A proposal by Deb (1848) held that the swastika is "a monogrammatic representation of the syllable Om, wherein two Brahmi /o/ characters ( Om came to be used as a standard utterance at the beginning of mantras, chants or citations taken from the Vedas.
For example, the Gayatri mantra, which consists of a verse from the Rigveda Samhita (RV 3.62.10), is prefixed not just by Om but by Om followed by the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ.
The symbol has a spiritual meaning in all Indian dharmas, but the meaning and connotations of Om vary between the diverse schools within and across the various traditions.
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It has variously been associated with concepts of "cosmic sound" or "mystical syllable" or "affirmation to something divine", or as symbolism for abstract spiritual concepts in the Upanishads.
The Aitareya Brahmana of Rig Veda, in section 5.32, for example suggests that the three phonetic components of Om (pronounced AUM) correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation, and when it is read or said, it celebrates the creative powers of the universe.
The Om symbol, with epigraphical variations, is also found in many southeast Asian countries.