Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Fredrica R. HalliganEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_476

In the Eastern religions, which grew out of the Vedic tradition, sound vibrations are thought to have great power in both the spiritual and physical domains. Om is believed to be the first sound of the universe, the creative power from which all else emerged. Pronounced A-U-M (Ah-oo-mm), all sounds are believed to be contained in this Prandava or primal sound. A favorite mantra (chant) in Hinduism and Buddhism, Om is believed to be the Name – the very Presence – of the Absolute. Many individual or communal rituals begin or end with the chanting of Om.

In psychotherapy, if meditation is recommended, the practice of mantra meditation may be very calming and/or uplifting for the client. Om is an appropriate mantra for many clients. An alternative sacred word for meditation in the Judeo-Christian tradition is “Shalom” which ends with the same sound vibrations.

See Also


  1. Dattatreya, A. (1994). Avadhuta Gita: The song of the ever-free (trans: Chetananda, S.). Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  2. Shraddhananda, S. (1996). Seeing God everywhere: A practical guide to spiritual living. Hollywood: Vedanta Press.Google Scholar
  3. Yatiswarananda, S. (1995). Meditation and spiritual life. Bangalore: Ramakrishna Math.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mind Body Spirit InstituteStamfordUSA