Om (praNava), the mystic monosyllable appears first in the Upanishads and is there set forth as the object of profound religious meditation, the highest spiritual efficacy being attributed not only to the whole word but also to the three sounds a, u, m, of which it consists; in later times Om is the mystic name for the Hindu triad, and represents the union of the three gods, viz. a (vishnu), u (Shiva) and m (Brahma).
We all are familiar with this explanation but what I wanted to share is the explanation what I found in Gopala-Tapani Upanishad. May be, you all are far ahead than me but I got carried away. For me, it was very interesting.
rohiNI-tanayo rAmo a-kArAkSara-sambhavaH |
taijasAtmakaH pradyumnA ukArAkSara-sambhavaH ||54||
prAjJAtmakoniruddho ma-kArAkSara-sambhavaH |
ardha-mAtrAtmakaH kRSNo yasmin vizvaM pratiSThitam ||55||
The son of Rohini, Rama, comes out of the first part of the pranava, produced from the letter a. Pradyumna, who is composed of fire, is produced from the vowel u.
Aniruddha is identified with the prajnA state is produced from the letter m, the third element of oMkAra. The half syllable that cuts off the vowel is kRSNa, in whom the entire universe is seated.
All this time I kept wondering about this sign which emerged from the middle and I was also asked many times by my students. Now I have the answer. This makes sense.
I was very happy to find this explanation how the four Deities of the catur-vyUha are contained within this sacred syllable and how they manifest from it. Om represents the entire conscious reality manifest in the four stages of waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and beyond. The first three of these represent covered material stages of consciousness, while the fourth represents enlightenment.
Soon I am going to post in Book Review about GopAla-tApanI UpaniSad.
Many many regards to Swami Tripurari Maharaj and our one and only Jagatji.