ॐ as a Scientific Symbol

What country does H2O belong to?

Those of you who know Chemistry would scream:

“Non-sense! H is for Hydrogen, 2 means there are 2 atoms of Hydrogen & O is for oxygen. H2O is the scientific symbol which represents water. It can’t belong to a single country!”

That’s exactly what a Pure Philosopher would say about a question like:

Which religion does ॐ belong to?

Those with the true sense of Sanatana Dharma will say:

“ॐ represents the cycles in which the universe undergoes changes. From start through progress to an end followed by preparation for the next start. Everything in existence itself is in one of the stages of ॐ.”

ॐ must have been a scientific symbol to ancient Indian Philosophers in the same sense as H2O is for present scientists. Ancient Indian philosophers were practicing scientists with just one difference compared to modern scientists. Their approach was to turn inwards spiritually rather than look outwards materialistically.

The western scientists look to the material world & decide symbols to represent elements of matter. Indian philosophers looked inwards & tried to capture the happenings of the whole existence into this one symbol.

H2O helps us predict reactions of water. What would ॐ help us achieve?

I heard you. Since Indian Philosophers took a spiritual approach, ॐ must have spiritual implications. But I am not going to preach or hallucinate you on that matter.

I am an engineer & anything which cannot be used to solve problems is waste for me. I am a practical man. And if I am talking about ॐ I am doing so because I know practical application for it. It will make our task of finding solutions so much easier.

But first, let us clear some misconceptions. ॐ is actually pronounced as aaaauuuummmm. Not OM as some people believe & translate it.

You can clearly make out the 3 sounds in ॐ. Each of them represents a stage of the cycle. ॐ is this cycle of everything & everyone.

1. ‘aaaa’ – the beginning, the birth
2. ‘uuuu’ – the progress, the life
3. ‘mmmm’ – the end, the death
0. ‘      ‘ – the silence, the preparation 4 next cycle

So you see, everything in nature goes through the cycles of ॐ. The materialists of today are puzzled if ॐ could be the vibration of the universe. They are trying to connect it with the string theory. Ignoring it’s true & most CS meaning. CS being Common Sense.

Let’s take a leaf on the tree as an example to see what are the stages of ॐ. The leaf has following stages:

1.  Birth – ‘aaaa’ – The tree absorbs minerals from soil & uses it to sprout a leaf.
2.  Life – ‘uuuu’ – The leaf produces food 4 the tree as far as it is healthy & attached to it.
3.  Death – ‘mmmm’ – It dries up or is plucked by external force falling to ground.
0.  Prepare – ‘     ‘ – It mixed with the soil & gets decomposed. Now it’s ready to be reabsorbed.

The tree itself goes through a cycle that is so much bigger. It has so many cycles of leaves, flowers & fruits involved which make up its own much larger cycle of ॐ.

So it is with us humans, we are born, we live & we die completing the cycle. Are we reborn? Well, our ideals, dreams & desires at least find a place in others’ minds/hearts. That is rebirth 4 us. Is there a better way to be reborn?

The PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) can also be represented by the cycle of ॐ. It has following stages:

  • Plan – ‘aaaa‘ – Idea in demand is recognised & investments are decided
  • Design – ‘uuuu‘ – Engineers develop designs & optimize them with prototypes
  • Implement – ‘mmmm’ – Machines are set up & products are manufactured for masses
  • Analyze – ‘      ‘ – Product is sold & Feedback collected to improve next version of it.

Every cycle improves the product. It would need no improvement if it becomes perfect. But is there such a thing as perfect?

It probably is, the ancient Indian Philosophers called this perfect state as Moksha. Once that state is reached, there is not space for further improvement & hence no more need to repeat the cycle. One gets free of this vicious cycle they say.

We must learn to divide any work we do into these stages & plan each of the stages further in detail. The more the time available to prepare, the more detailed you can plan & the better will the end result be.

The PLM stages of Plan, Design, Produce & Market pretty clearly differentiate the stages.

In general sense, Planning would mean preparation for the task ahead. It could be on the mental level of gather confidence or physical level of gathering necessary skills & resources.

If you want to take up studying for example. Take a moment or 2 to check if you know the basics required for it. Whether you have a pen, paper or any other instrument with you before sitting down. Ensuring other wouldn’t disturb you while studying would also help if the distraction is your weakness.

Design for studying would mean deciding based on experience how many topics you plan to complete & how you’ll go ahead doing it.

Implementation is where you actually start studying. Taking notes, jotting down doubts, doing derivations, solving problems wondering about practical applications and so on.

Many of us leave the last stage of analysis. Some of us like doing it while away from the book. Whatever way you chose to do it. Know that this step is important too. Repetitions increase our chances of remembering manifolds. So repeat your learnings as many times as possible.

You must learn from the mistakes done before. You could explain to your friend. Write exams or tests. Play games involving the principles or do micro projects based on the same. Keep your mind open for any new innovative ideas.

If a topic is very difficult to understand & you haven’t perfected even after going through all these steps, start from the scratch. Repeat the cycle once again. With every cycle, your perfection will grow.

Until it finally reaches Moksha, where you’ll become a master of those concepts & wouldn’t need to take up the book again to study. You already know every part of it. It is already there in your mind. You can answer any question & solve any problem related to it. You have mastered it.

So you see, Indian philosophers always tried to imply much more than what they said. They understood the repetitive nature of the existences.

What they said about one type of existence implied something for other existences as well.

What do I mean by existence?

Well, that I’ll explain in another article perhaps.

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Srikanth Rangdal
Asst Professor
Dept of Mechanical Engineering
Nishitha College of Engineering & Technology
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