Part One Chapter I-Meditation on Om
1. The syllable Om, called the Udgitha, should be meditated upon; forpeople sing the Udgitha, beginning with Om.Now follows the detailed explanation of the syllable:2. The essence of all these beings is the earth; the essence of the earthis water; the essence of water is plants; the essence of plants is aperson; essence of a person is speech; the essence of speech is theRig-Veda; essence of the Rig-Veda is the Sama-Veda; the essence of theSama-Veda is the Udgitha which is Om.3. That Udgitha (Om) is the best of all essences, the supreme,deserving the highest place, the eighth.4. What, then, is the Rik? What is the Saman? What is the Udgitha? This is to be considered.5. Speech, indeed, is the Rik; the vital breath (prana) is the Saman; thesyllable Om is the Udgitha. Speech and the prana, or the Rik and theSaman, form a couple.6. And that couple become united in the syllable Om. When a paircome together they fulfil each other's desire.7. He who knows this as stated above and meditates on the syllableOm, the Udgitha, becomes, indeed, a fulfiller of desires.8. This syllable Om is used to give assent, for wherever one assents tosomething, one says Om (yes). Now, what is assent is gratification. Hewho knows this and meditates on the syllable Om, the Udgitha,becomes, indeed, a gratifier of desires.9. By means of this syllable the threefold knowledge proceeds. Whenadhvaryu priest gives an order in a sacrifice, he says Om. When thehotri priest recites the hymn, he says Om. When the udgatri priestsings the Saman, he says Om. All this is done for the glory of theImperishable Atman by the greatness of that syllable and by itsessence.10. It may be contended that he who knows this true meaning of thesyllable Om and he who does not, perform the same sacrifice andtherefore must reap the same fruit. But this is not so. The results of knowledge and ignorance are different. Work that is done withknowledge, faith and the Upanishad (i.e. meditation on the deities)produces more powerful fruit. This is, verily, the detailed explanation of the syllable Om.
Chapter II - Meditation on Om as the Prana
1. When the gods and the demons, both offspring of Prajapati, foughtwith each other, the gods took hold of the Udgitha, thinking that withthis they would vanquish the demons.2. They (i.e. the gods) meditated on the Udgitha (Om) as the pranawhich functions through the nose. But the demons pierced it (i.e. theprana) with evil. Therefore with it (i.e. the breath) one smells both what