1. does one need some form of Diksha to chant OM or can it be chanted by anyone?
  2. Are there any benefits of simply chanting OM?
  • Keep chanting OM all time... just see miracles happening afterwards Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 0:05
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    It is said only Sanyasis should chant OM not Grihasthas.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 6:57
  • but there are different types of chanting if you chant OM in one matra anybody can do. if you do in 3 matra.. its for sanyasi, It will lead to virakthi..
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Om is a Mantra, so chanting Om constitutes Mantra Japa. Other names for it are Pranava Mantra, TAraka Mantra etc.

Om represents the Adi Dvani (primordial sound) and is an Ekakshara Bija Mantra (mono-syllabled seed Mantra). It also represents the Brahman in the MAntrik level.

EkAkshare tathA kute traipure mantra nAyike |
Shtri datte swapna lavdhe cha sidhhAdi naiva sAdhayet ||

O MantranAyika! - For mono-syllabled Mantras, Kuta Mantras, Tripura Mantras and those which are women-given (given by StriGurus) or those which are obtained in dreams, considerations like SiddhAdi are not required.

KulArnava Tantram 15.98

The above verse says that for all mono-syllabled Mantras Siddha-Asiddha and other such considerations are not required (usually they are required for Mantras).

This verse proves that Ekakshara Mantras are Mantras.

Few examples of such Mantras (besides Om) are Hrim (Shakti Bija), Srim (Lakshmi Bija), Klim (KAma Bija), Aim (VAg Bija), Hum, Haum (Shiva Bija), Gam (Ganapaty), Dum (DurgA) etc etc.

And, Om definitely requires initiation.

EkAkshmarapradAtAram yo gurunchA vamanayet |
SwAnam yoni satam gatvA chandAlatvam vApnuyAt ||

One who insults the Guru, who is the giver of ekAkshara (or OM), gets the womb of dogs for hundred births and thereafter gets chandAla-hood (a low human birth).

KulArnava Tantram 11.74.

So, Guru is the one who gives the initiation of Om.

Also, in all scriptures, including the Tantras, there are certain restrictions regarding the initiation of Om.

SwAhA Pranava Samyuktam Sudre Mantram Dadad DvijAh |
Sudro NirayagAmi SyAd BrAhamano YAtyadhogatim ||

The Brahmin who gives a Sudra a Mantra, that has the Pranava (OM) and SwAhA in it, goes himself downwards and the Sudra too visits hell.

Devi YAmala Tantram

So, Om is a Mantra with just a single syllable and like all Mantras it will also require initiation.

It is actually the foremost of all Mantras too and it usually sits at the front of almost all Mantras.

Any Vedic recital must also start and end with the pronunciation of Om.

  • Thank you for answering the question. Just a follow up question based on your reply. So listening to OM ok let’s say YouTube or while driving is not good ?
    – P Jai
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 11:08
  • It's not about listening but reciting. Well if u want to follow what the scriptures say then better be initiated before reciting. Or else one can always recite the Dirgha (extended) Pranava viz-AUM (14th Sanskrit letter+the Bindu) .. This is also know as Tantrokta Pranava. There r no restrictions on it and anyone can chant it without any prohibitions. @PJai
    – Rickross
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 12:38
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    Ok, that's why I asked. @SethuSrivatsaKoduru
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 6:57
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    Ok you can delete now @SethuSrivatsaKoduru
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 6:57
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    Hrim is the Shakta pranava .. AUM is Tantrokta pranava .. according to Mahanirvana Tantra all applications of Om should be replaced by Hrim in Kali Yuga. But AUM is different .. it is said even the uninitiates can pronounce it and get benefits out of it just like chanting Om benefits the initiates @Bingming but I will definitely let you know about scriptural references if I find them
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 9:45

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