“The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.”
~ Katha Upanishad I
As a sacred symbol representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism, the syllable Om is used to express the omnipresent, the source of all manifest existence, and omnipotent. Due to the incomprehensible state in which is Brahman it is necessary for there to be a symbol to express that which is Unknowable, and Om encompasses both the unmanifest, or nirguna, as well as the manifest, or saguna condition of God.
Because the Om embodies the most profound thoughts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily as they begin the day by uttering Om. Hindus even assure that they Om symbol is placed at the start of any important papers, including examinations, to bless their endeavors, and wear pendants as a sign of spiritual perfection.
So important is this symbol that when a Hindu child is born it is drawn on their tongue with honey, it is included in public as well as family shrines, and is tattooed on some.
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