Sutras 1.27 'Sup with that whole Om thing? Part 1

1.27. God's voice is Om.

So what's up with that whole Om thin?  I mean, we see Yogi's chanting it all the time.  The symbol is all over bumper stickers, T-shirts and everything else Yoga related.  Well, to start out with, let me dispel one misconception: It's pronounced Aum, not Om.  Why?  First lets look at it's origins, the Sanskrit alphabet called



Devanagari alphabet is a map of the human vocal range, with it's letters pointing to positions of the tongue and throat and amount of aspiration used in each base vowel.  Now, when you say the word Aum, notice how the beginning of the word works it's way from the back of the throat to the tip of the tongue.  Thus it is said to encompass the whole human vocal range, excluding belching out the Star Spangled Banner (BTW don't try to do that, it's a bad idea, not that I would know). 

So, in sutra 1.27, we say that God's voice is Om since it encompasses the full vocal range.

There is a much deeper meaning to the symbol.  In Yoga, Om is called a Bija syllable, or a root vowel in which mantra is performed.  In fact, it is considered THE root syllable.  Mantra works by using the vibratory nuance of Sanskrit syllable to rewire our nervous system.  If you chant a mantra long enough, it becomes part of you in a way.  I use it myself to steady the mind and get rid of nasty thoughts that hang out like a bad roommate that steals your food and hoards the air conditioning (sorry guys).