1.27 – The expression of Awareness is OM.

तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः ॥२७॥

tasya vachakah pranavah

  • tasya – of that; his; her
  • vachakah – expression; spoken declaration; significant sound
  • pranavah – the sacred sound of OM

1.28 – Through contemplative repetition of OM, its purpose becomes clear.

तज्जपः तदर्थभावनम् ॥२८॥

tat japah tat artha bhavanam

  • tat – that
  • japah – repetition of mantras, prayers, names of deities, or passages from scripture
  • tat – that
  • artha – purpose; meaning; an object
  • bhavanam – contemplation; dwelling upon; absorption in; building; developing; cultivating

1.29 – Through contemplation of OM, all obstructions to the inward flow of consciousness are removed.

ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभवश्च ॥२९॥

tatah pratyak chetana adhigamah api antaraya abhavash cha

  • tatah – due to that; from that
  • pratyak – inwards; in an opposite direction; backwards
  • chetana – consciousness; sentience
  • adhigamah – knowledge; acquirement
  • api – even; also; too; though
  • antaraya – obstruction; hindrance; impediment
  • abhavash – annihilation; absence; destruction
  • cha – and; also; both

Commentary on Sutras 1.27—1.29:

“OM vibrates like a storm in the sky… The Shakti that is OM fills and penetrates the universe. It is formless, infinite, and indivisible. It is the light in all directions.” ~ Bhagwan Nityanada of Ganeshpuri

“Kali represents Mother Nature. She is OM, the cosmic vibration. In OM everything exists—all matter, all energy, and the thoughts of all conscious beings.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

OM is the primal sound, the vibratory power of Awareness. It’s the creative, energetic expression of Awareness. This sacred sound has been called “the mother of all mantras” because it contains all other sounds within it.

OM is the force that brings all things into existence, maintains that manifestation, then dissolves it back into the source.

Everything in nature—from the smallest particles to the largest stars— is vibrating. Thoughts are vibrations, feelings are vibrations, bodies are vibrations, and all those vibrations are OM. They are all the creative expression of Ishvara, of God. Or as seen in the quotes from Nityananda and Yogananda above, as the Goddess Kali/Shakti.

There are two aspects to Awareness—the changeless and the expressive. The terms used to describe this in tantric philosophy are Shiva and Shakti. Out of Shiva arises Shakti. Out of the changeless comes the desire to express.

Somehow, out of the eternally silent stillness—The Big Bang. The sound of The Big Bang is OM. And if you listen closely, in the quiet depths of meditation, you can still hear it.

When we meditate on OM, we meditate on the sound of creation. Eventually, when we become entirely absorbed in the contemplation of OM, its creative purpose becomes clear.

Through that contemplation, the inward flow of consciousness takes over, and we can ride the vibration of creation back to its source—Awareness Itself.