Inscriptions of Om throughout the Sas Bahu temple.
The sound Om or Aum is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Dharmic religions. Contrary to popular belief, Om is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The symbol ॐ is spiritual, referring to Atman (soul) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirely of the universe). The syllable is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism and is often found at the beginning and end of chapters in Hindu texts.
Om is part of the iconography found in ancient medieval era temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The syllable is also referred to as Omkara, Aumkara and Pranava. According to yoga, Samkhya and many other scriptures, whole material creation, including human, mind and body are manifestation of ‘mula prakriti’ (primordial nature) which is composed of three gunas- sattva, rajas and tamas. The three letters OM thus correspond to the the three gunas as follows:
· A= Tamas (darkness, inertia, ignorance)
· U= Rajas (passion, activity, dynamism)
· M= Sattva (purity, truth, light)