Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Amitabh Vikram DwivediEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_444-1


Realization of inner sound leads to a development of spiritual path, and a reference to this is found in almost all traditions, religions, and philosophies worldwide [ 1]. This inner sound represents the Almighty that is unnamed and indescribable; however, interestingly this Supreme One has got different expressions in human languages across cultures. Some call it AUM (in Hinduism), Allah (in Islam), God, Father (in Christianity), Hu (in Sufism), Shabd (in Sikhism), Tao (in Taoism), and Word of the Almighty, Consciousness, Awareness, Self, Brahman, and the like. The list is endless; however, the philosophical works and scriptures name the following (Table 1):
Table 1

Linguistic expressions for the Almighty in different religions

Linguistic expressions



AUM, Naad, Akash Bani, and Sruti



Nada and Udgit




Bhagavad Gita





Aum, Namo



The Music of Spheres

Taught by...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Beck GL (1993) Sonic theology: Hinduism and sacred sound. University of South Carolina Press, ColumbiaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bloomfield M (1889) On the etymology of the particle om̐. Proceedings of the american oriental society. J Am Orient Soc 14(1890):cl–cliiGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bühler G (ed) (1892–1894) Āpastambīya-Dharma-Sūtra: Aphorisms on the sacred law of the Hindus by Āpastamba. Bombay Sanskrit series, vol 44. Bombay, p 50Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bryant E (2009) The yoga Sūtras of Patañjali. North Point Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown NW (1968) The creative role of Vāc in the rig veda. In: Heesterman (ed) Pratidānam. American Oriental Society, Michigan, pp 393–397Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bull M, Back L (2003) Into sound. In: Bull M, Back L (eds) The auditory culture reader. Berg, Oxford/New York, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cardona G (1997) Pāṇini, a survey of research. Mouton, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cohen S (2008) Text and authority in the older Upaniṣads. Brill, Leiden/BostonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Collins B (2014) The head beneath the altar: Hindu mythology and the critique of sacrifice. Michigan State University Press, East LansingGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Doniger O’ Flaherty W (ed) (1980) Karma and rebirth in classical Indian traditions. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Doniger W (trans) (1981) The rig veda: an anthology. Penguin Books, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Flood G (1996) An introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gerety FMM (2017) Melody, mantra, and meaninglessness: towards a history of OM. In: Thompson G, Payne R (ed) Beyond meaning: essays honoring the life and work of Frits Staal. Contemporary issues in Buddhist studies series. University of Hawai’i Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Houben JEM (2000) The ritual pragmatics of a Vedic hymn: the ‘riddle hymn’ and the Pravargya ritual. J Am Orient Soc 120:499–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jamison S, Brereton J (trans) (2014) The rigveda: the earliest religious poetry of India, vol 3. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Keith AB (ed, trans) (1909) The Aitareya Āraṇyaka. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Killingley D (1986) Oṃ: the sacred syllable in the Veda. In: Lipner JJ (eds) A net cast wide: investigations into Indian thought in memory of David Friedman. Grevatt & Grevatt, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp 14–33Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Macdonell AA (1897) The vedic mythology. K.J. Trübner, StrassburgGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Malinar A (2007) The Bhagavadgītā: doctrines and contexts. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Michaels A (2004) Hinduism. (trans: Harshav B). Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Olivelle P (trans) (1992) Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads: Hindu scriptures on asceticism and renunciation. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ouseparampil SV (1977) The history and mystery of OM. J Dharma II(4):438–459Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Padoux A (1990) Vāc: the concept of the word in selected Hindu Tantras (trans: Gontier J). State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pollock S (2006) The language of the gods in the world of men: Sanskrit, culture, and power in premodern India. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    von Roth R, Whitney WD (eds) (1856) Atharvaveda Saṃhitā (School of the Śaunakas). F. Dümmler, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Smith BK (1989) Reflections on resemblance, ritual, and religion. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Watkins C (1970) Language of the gods and language of men: remarks on some Indo-European meta-linguistic traditions. In: Puhvel J (ed) Myth and law among the Indo-Europeans. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wilke A, Moebus O (2011) Sound and communication: an aesthetic cultural history of Sanskrit Hinduism. De Gruyter, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zaehner RC (1969) The Bhagavad-Gītā, with a commentary based on the original sources. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Languages & LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia