Aum/Om (ॐ; in Devanagari as ओं oṁ [õː], औं auṃ [ə̃ũ], or ओ३म् om [õːːm]) is a mantra and mystical sound of Hindu origin (geographically India and Nepal), sacred and important in various Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. The syllable is also referred to as omkara (ओंकार oṃkāra) or aumkara (औंकार auṃkāra), literally "om syllable", and in Sanskrit it is sometimes referred to as praṇava, literally "that which is sounded out loudly".
Aum or Om is also written ओ३म् (o̿m [õːːm]), where ३ is pluta ("three times as long"), indicating a length of three morae (that is, the time it takes to say three syllables) — an overlong nasalised close-mid back rounded vowel —, though there are other enunciations adhered to in received traditions. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred incantation to be intoned at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or prior to any prayer or mantra. It is used at the end of the invocation to the god being sacrificed to (anuvakya) as an invitation to and for the latter to partake of.