primordial sound of creation; (var) aum, omkar, omkara, omkaram
Bhagawan advices starting the day with Omkaram chanting – OM (x 21). He further enunciates:
The Pranava (primeval sound OM) recital is one form of such spiritual effort. It is laid down at Prashaanthi Nilayam that the early dawn recital of Om should be done twenty one times. This number is not arbitrarily fixed; it has a significance of its own.
We have the five karmendhriyas (senses of action) and the five jnaanendhriyas (senses of perception);
we have also praanas (the five vital energies or airs) to sustain us.
Then we have the five koshas (sheaths), enclosing the Divine Spark that is the Reality. These total up to twenty.
Hence the recitation of Om twenty one times purifies and clarifies all these twenty components and makes man the twenty-first entity, ready for the final merger with Reality.
The Jeevathathwam (life-principle) merges with Parathathwam (the Supreme Reality). The jeevathathwam may be pictured as a rider on the twenty-headed horse.
Finally, you end the Pranava recital with the recital of ‘shaanthi’ three times. That completes the process of clarification and purification. The first call for shaanthi (peace chant) is for the purity of the aadhibhouthik (body) part of the Self. The second call is for the purity of the aadhidhaivik (the mind). The third is for the purification of the aadhyaathmik (the spirit). This Pranava recital will tone you up, calm all agitations in the mind and quicken the downpour of Grace.