The chanting of mantras brings certain beautiful vibrations and helps us in lifting our own energy and consciousness. Modern scientists have proven the power of sound vibration. Sounds are even being used for cleaning purposes, as well as for soothing and comforting us. This is not something new. Sound has been used for many ages in the name of religion. All religions agree that the original manifestation of the unmanifested essence, which we call God, was through sound vibration. The cosmic essence wanted to express itself and it did so through sound. The Bible calls it “The Word: In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God.” This is more or less the same idea that is expressed in almost all the major religions.

Sound is used a lot in trying to communicate with the Higher Self, Cosmic Self, or Universal Self, which are all different terms for God. We are all created out of the same sound. In a sense, all that we see is nothing but the expression of different sound vibrations. Sounds can create forms and that is another thing that has been proven by science. Our effort to communicate with the Cosmic Power, the Cosmic Essence or God, is what is meant by communion or by Yoga. In one sense, we are never separated; we don’t need to “become united.” We only have to realize that we are already always united with God. But we feel that we are separated. It’s a matter of wrong thinking and wrong feeling. So, to liberate ourselves from this limited feeling, we have to develop that basic vibration, the basic sound in us. We are all vibrating in different wavelengths. If we could vibrate in the same wavelength there would be harmony. That’s the reason why sometimes when you see a total stranger, whom you have never met, all of a sudden you feel connected and that you have known that person before; you communicate easily. At the same time, with another stranger, you might feel a sort of negativity and don’t even feel like standing anywhere near the person. This is because of the different vibrations.

But, if we could develop the basic vibration with which we came into this world, then we would feel the Oneness and we would communicate well with the Higher Power. It is with this higher purpose that certain chants are used. Hari Om is one of those chants. When we use the two words, Hari Om, just remember that it is not just a name that belongs to one particular faith. Instead, it is a helpful key to open ourselves up to the Divine vibration that is already within us. So when you repeat the words Hari Om, try to repeat every letter clearly. We also use a nice rhythm. When you repeat the Ha, you can feel a gentle pull at the solar plexus. The solar plexus is the very center of our system, which a linear solar system.

Our body is nothing but a miniature solar system. It’s a small universe by itself. It also has a sun and all other planets. The central part is at the naval and that’s why it is called “solar plexus.” The sun is there. So let us awake, let the sun rise up. When you repeat Ha, feel the contraction in the solar plexus and as you repeat ri (sounds like “ree” as in reed), the sound moves up almost to the throat and then with the sound O, it goes even further up. The minute you close your mouth to produce mmm, you will feel the vibration almost throbbing at the crown. Feel as if you are trying to penetrate through the limited shell into something higher.

We all came into this world as babies with a soft spot, a sort of opening at the crown of the head. That’s why we can have communication with the higher levels. If you have any doubt go and feel the head of a baby. Just at the crown, you will see a sort of indentation, like a cradle. It is gently covered with a thin skin. Babies come with an openness, but we don’t let them stay like that. We slowly educate them and the openness gradually gets closed up. In the beginning, it was open and soft, but as we grow, we get closed up and we become hard. No wonder people call the head a “hard nut.”

In some religious sects, when a person evolves in spiritual pursuits and comes to a higher consciousness, that soft spot is said to open again and the communication with the higher level returns. To symbolize this some sects shave the head at that spot or tie the hair in a tuft. It’s a symbolic thing that means the person is opening themselves up to the higher regions. That’s why we say that babies are still divine. The kingdom lies with them. There is another way to open that spot—a gentle way of performing an operation without any instruments, but with sound. We can say it’s a sound operation. We can become our own doctors and operate on ourselves with sound vibrations.

Now-a-days, many people might ask, “What is this chanting?” There is a definite and wonderful purpose behind it. It’s not going to disturb any of your beliefs related to your faith. It’s not going to make you a non-Jew or non-Catholic or non-Muslim because using sounds to uplift is a very common idea. And nobody can monopolize these things. God’s property belongs to everybody. So understand that chanting is a beautiful, universal way to develop our essential vibration. Then we can experience our oneness with one another and with God.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda