Hindu texts state that vibration created the universe, OM is the whole world in a syllable. OM, OHM, and AUM are variations of the sound. Basically, if you relax your jaw and make a sound, and then slowly close your jaw, you pass through three regions of sound (A U M).
The belief that the universe was created by sound or vibrations emitted from the divine is found in many belief systems and sacred readings. Christian texts state, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Similar statements are also made in the Kabalah. All describe how sound as an emanation of the divine creates the manifested world.
Sanskrit: The spiritual language of the Hindu belief system. Spiritual Hindu texts are written in the Sanskrit language.
Mantra: (Sanskrit) a word or sentence which are said or thought repeatedly, and meditated upon.
man – mind
tra – protection or instrument
Mantra – a tool for protecting the mind from the traps of non-productive cycles of thought
OHM (Sanskrit) has many meanings, the most well known being: Peace, Divine, God
Vowels sounds in the Sanskrit language represent female energies.
Consonants represent male energies.
The vowels represent the maternal, physical, and material energies of the universe.
The consonants represent the male, the nonmaterial or esoteric, spiritual
In the 1800s Dr. Earnest Chlandi did an experiment showing how vibrations affect matter. He put sand on a steel disk then rubbed a rosined violin bow along the edge. He found that the vibration that was played onto the disk danced the sand into geometrical mandala-like patterns. As the frequency varied so did the pattern.
This is a clear way that shows how sound/vibration affects matter. The theory in using mantras or chanting is that the body and mind begin to resonate with the frequency of the voice, helping to organize thoughts and consciousness. Just as a particular vibration on the Chlandi disk created a mandala out of a pile of sand, so can chanting a simple mantra organize our random pile of thoughts and emotions into a cohesive and graceful pattern.
There are thousands of mantras and chants from all around the world. You can create your own in the form of an affirmation, such as I am at peace, the importance being the intention or healing thoughts that accompany these mantras.
Sat Nam. (I am truth.)
Jai Bagwan. (Peace be with You.)
-Some of this information is from Wheels of Life, by Anodea Judith, Ph. D.