Why Is Omkara Called Pranava?

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Shiva Linga

ॐ is called Pranava.

Why is Omkara called Pranava?

Shiva Purana talks about three reasons.

1.प्रो हि प्रकृतिजातस्य संसारस्य महोदधेः।

नवं नावान्तरमिति प्रणवं वै विदुर्बुधाः

प्र - - वः

The ण is in fact न.


What the three letters stand for is explained in the above shloka.

प्र - stands for prakriti, the world which is like a very difficult ocean to cross.

But Pranava has come as a new boat for this - वं नावान्तरम्.

This boat called Pranava can take you across that ocean.

It is one of the boats, not the only one - नावान्तरम्

Of course, Panchakshara Mantra will also do that.

Our wise ancestors knew this - विदुर्बुधाः.


2.प्र प्रपञ्चो नास्ति वो युष्माकं प्रणवं विदुः।

प्र stands for prapancha, the world.

न means No.

If you chant Pranava, the compulsions of the world do not affect you, the world will not limit you anymore.

You can go beyond the world.


3.प्रकर्षेण येद्यस्मान्मोक्षं वः प्रणवं विदुः।

प्रकर्षेण येत् वः

Pranava leads you towards moksha, in a great way, in a powerful way.


Benefits of chanting Pranava

स्वमन्त्रजापकानां च पूजकानां च योगिनाम्।

सर्वकर्मक्षयं कृत्वा दिव्यज्ञानं तु नूतनम्।।

तमेव मायारहितं नूतनं परिचक्षते।

प्रकर्षेण महात्मानं नवं शुद्धस्वरूपम्।

नूतनं वै करोतीति प्रणवं तं विदुर्बुधाः।।

Past karma goes away.

The hindrance in getting real knowledge is your own past karma.

When past karma no longer affects you, knowledge comes.

By chanting Pranava, you can achieve Shiva.

How is this possible?

To achieve Shiva, you have to become absolutely pure (fresh - नवं / नूतनं).

Chanting Pranava makes you absolutely pure, fresh.




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Does a bhakta have to give up worldly and scriptural duties?

Not necessarily; he would rather change every kind of duty as service to Bhagavan. For him, every task is an opportunity to serve Bhagavan.

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