Similarly, O:m is the root of all knowledge but it’s beauty is experienced only when one knows the elaborated meaning and when we start experiencing that knowledge.
The word ‘amma, mother’ is sweet because we all experience her love, not because the word itself is magically sweet! The reason we can experience her love is because we spend time with her. Similarly, if one wants to experience o:m, one needs to spend time in learning the elaborated meaning from a right guru. The elaborated meaning is given in the ashtakshari mantra (the Narayana mantra) which can be beautifully explained by acharyas. These acharyas belong to the lineage of gurus who have been cherishing and spreading the joy with the initial acharya being God himself. These acharyas are our comprehensive scientists! (for both visible and invisible world)!
The experience from this knowledge glorifies one by enlightening him/her. It also enriches the surrounding beings including family, friends and the nature! The secrets of the entire existence are slowly learnt by the seeker and he begins to live meaningfully. His conduct with everyone improves at the root level thereby creating a positive impact with everyone he interacts. The more one enjoys the meaning of o:m through Vedas and, ithihasas (history of God’s own visible forms) etc, the better person he becomes!
There are certain schools of thought preaching the meaning of the mantra to be, ‘I am the Bramhan’! Let’s take an analogy here. Your child asks his friend, ‘hey, why don’t you come to play in my house tomorrow?’. Does your child own your house, did he buy it? No, but he considers anything you possess to be his own! The reason is the bond that your child experiences with you. He is not you, and you are not him. But, the special bond unites you so much that all of yours becomes his. Similarly, our bond with God is so special that all his existence belongs to us as well. However, that doesn’t make us God! Does it?
That is why, understanding the right meaning of what you utter is so crucial. You can chant o:m, but learn the meaning from a right guru to reap its benefits to the maximum!
-From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami, 7th August 2018, Bhagavad Vishayam