Om tattoo (ॐ) is a design which popularity has been getting more and more attention lately. It is a sacred symbol and sound of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. The trend of tattooing the Om symbol only rose in the past few years when many people started to take an interest in Buddhism. Like any other tattoo, it is a visual form of art, but it also carries a deep symbolical meaning.
There are lots of tattoos that people get just because they are visually beautiful. And that’s completely okay. But, when we’re talking about the tattoos of religious symbols, we can’t ignore their meaning. We’re not saying that you have to be a Buddhist to get an Om tattoo. If you’re interested in Buddhism you probably already know its meaning, and you can scroll down to the tattoo gallery. But if you’re not familiar with the Om symbol, we invite you to keep reading and learn more about this beautiful tattoo.
Om in Hinduism and Buddhism
What does it mean? Well, it is complicated to describe precisely. Although many scientists and researchers tried to explain it, only a small part of it is understandable for those who are not practicing Hinduism or Buddhism. The only accurate way to understand the Om is through meditation and mantra’s chanting.
Om is an essential symbol in Hindu culture. It is the most sacred mantras in Dharma which doesn’t translate in one word, but it means the unity with the supreme and combines the spiritual world with the physical. In Hinduism, Om represents Braham (a divinity without a body, a supreme spirit) and Atman (soul). According to the Hinduism, everything arose from the vibrations of the Om sound. It is a symbol that has every living thing and every material inside it. In other words, it represents the universe.
Also, Hindus believe that Om protects them against the mistakes and while meditating, it brings spiritual freedom. A well-known Hindu tradition is to mark every newborn child with an Om symbol on their tongue with honey. During the meditation, monks use the Om sound like a mantra. With a correct intonation, they create a vibration which tunes with the cosmic oscillation and connects them with the whole universe. When chanting the Om mantra, one must feel joy, happiness, and harmony if he or she wants to reach the center of the soul (Atman).
The meaning of Om symbol parts
The sign of Om consists of three curves, a semicircle, and a dot. Curves symbolize the states of human consciousness. The lower curve is facing upwards, and it represents our wakefulness. The upper curve stands for the state of the deep sleep without dreaming, while the middle curve represents our dreams and desires. Finally, there is a crescent moon (Turiya) and the dot (Bindu) on top. Turiya is a state of restful alertness, while the Bindu symbolizes the transcendental state.
- First, the lower part represents our wakefulness in which the mind perceives the world through the five senses, and it is the most common of all conscious states of human beings.
- Since it is between two other elements, the second part on the right side is the intermediate state. It is the state of dreaming that happens between the deep sleep and awakening part.
- Next, the third upper part is the unconscious deep-sleep state when we are neither dreaming nor awakening.
- The fourth part (the dot) represents the silence. It is a state of mental peace, stillness, and harmony.
- And finally, the fifth part (the crescent moon) is a barrier that prevents us from getting off the three states of consciousness. Although it is challenging to go to the fourth dimension, this final part doesn’t touch it, so we can still reach it if we try very hard.
Om tattoo meaning
So, no matter whether you consider yourself a Buddhist or a Hindu – om is a perfect choice for you. It represents everything that exists in our universe. Om is the first sound that ever appeared, and everything came from it. So, apart from all its religious meanings, a tattoo of Om can also be a mark of the newborn child.
Hindus also believe that every language arose from Om symbol. It represents a sound that makes other sounds appear from it. Buddhist monks use this sound to reach a state of supreme meditation. So, a tattoo of Om symbol can also express your wish to enter the state of absolute harmony and inner peace. It can be like a guideline for your life.
Last but not least – it can be a reminder that your life is short, and you have to live it right. Maybe you want to achieve something or to follow a lifelong dream? This symbol will always help you to remember what is most important for you.
Om tattoo Ideas
Usually, people choose the simplest version of black and grey ink. This ‘trend’ probably comes from the fact that Om is a powerful symbol itself and it doesn’t need any additional elements or ornaments.
However, others choose other elements together with the Om symbol. For example a circle, mandala, or a sun surrounding it. Also, in the background of the Lotus flower. Another great way of Om decoration is cosmic background as it relates to the Unity with the whole universe and cosmos.
Om is a lovely symbol full of meanings. And you don’t need to be a practicing Buddhist or Hindu – if you like the concept of Om that’s a perfect reason to get it. We have gathered some beautiful om tattoos that will inspire you. Take a look at them and let us know in the comments whether you find your dream tattoo!