The syllable Om is first
described as all-encompassing mystical entity in the Upanishads. Today, in all
Hindu art and all over India
and Nepal, 'Om' can be seen virtually everywhere, a common sign for
Hinduism and its philosophy and theology. Hindus believe that as creation
began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first
and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM".
Buddhists place Om at
the beginning of their Vidya-Sadaksari or mystical formulary in six syllables
("om mani padme hum") as well as most other mantras and dhāranis. As
a seed syllable (mantra), it is also considered holy in Esoteric Buddhism.