Om or Aum, ॐ , ओ३म्) is a sacred sound and a spiritual symbol in Indian religions. It signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, consciousness, or Atman. More broadly, it is a syllable that is chanted either independently or before a spiritual recitation in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The meaning and connotations of Om vary between the diverse schools within and across the various traditions. It is part of the iconography found in ancient and medieval-era manuscripts, temples, monasteries, and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.