Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter IX - Theology of om in the monads of monotheistic creeds

1. Monads or Unities.  ~~

We have seen that Om expresses all things (Sarvamonkara), by virtue of the word like its kindred Greek and Latin on and ens (B. haon), signifying "a being" by synecdoche (laxana) of a part for the whole. And this is done of all things whether concrete or discrete and taken either singly or by groups of two or more things together; as it is said—"Ekasadvisastrisas" &c., i. e. Singulatim, dualiter, pluraliter &c. We shall first come to see the monads expressed by Om and leave to the reader to discover the relation which the significates may bear to the symbol, or rest satisfied with the idea of their being meaningless or arbitrary.

 

2. Om is speech or voice  ~~

Om, says the Sruti is Sarvavak "all voice and speech"; and we shall come to see below that it is applied alike to denote both human and brute speech, and words belonging to all the different parts of speech.

 

3. Om is sound and word  ~~

"All things are united with words which express them, and all words are contained in the mystical syllable Om, ( ~~). Om, pervades all sounds; he rises above all objects which are expressed by sounds, who repeats this sound Om" (Ch'handogya II.23. (Maitri p. 253).

 

4. Om is Brahm  ~~

"Om is Brahman called sound (sabda). By means of Om rising above

all things, a man merges in the Supreme called Para Brahma." "Om is the emblem of the Most High." (Ch'handogya p. 4. Manu II. 83. Bhagavad Gita). So says the Maitri Upanishad (VI. 22)  ~~

 

5. Om is Fire and its splendour  ~~

"Om was splendour and fire at first. By this syllable Om the splendour germinates, it shoots upward, it expands, and becomes the vehicle of divine worship. The splendour germinates in the form of the mystic syllable Om, as a seed germinates; i. e. It is manifested as the primeval form of the Veda, it next shoots upward as the internal sound Om itself." (Maitri Up. VII. 11.  ~~ Fire was the first object of adoration of the Rigveda and of the fire worshippers of India and Persia. It is believed to be the arche or beginning of all things according to Heraclitus.

 

6. Om is light.  ~~

"Om is light and manifest as light, the sleepless, deathless and sorrowless light." Again: "Om is light which shines in yonder sun, and in the moon, fire, and lightning" (Maitri Upanishad VI. 25.). So says the Bhagavad Gita, "That splendour which abiding in the sun illumines the whole world, which abides in the moon and in fire, that splendour know to be mine" (XV. 12.) Light was the first work of creation and the "first born" of Heaven. God said Lux fiat et lux fit."—"Let there be light and there was light."

 ~~

 

7. Om is Lightening.  ~~

"The Veda is called lightening, since the moment when it is uttered (as Om), it enlightens every incorporated being; therefore by the syllable Om let a man adore the infinite splendour of Brahman" (Maitri Upanishad VII. 11.)  ~~

 

8. Om is the Brahman light.  ~~

"The syllable Om is the Brahman light or pure intelligence, veiled behind the fire and breath, and manifested itself at first as the one undivided sound Om." Thus the Maitri Upanishad Tika (VII. 11).  ~~

 

9. Om is Water.  ~~

"Om shines in the waters" (Maitri Upanishad VI. 35).  ~~ Water is said to be the first work of God ( ~~) "and the Spirit of God floated on the surface of the waters" hence called  ~~ (Genesis and Manu). Thales found water to be the origin of all things.

 

10.  Om is Flavour &c.  ~~

"Om is Rasa, moisture, flavour, taste, relish and love (Maitri Up. VI. 35). The goodness of God is flavour, a man having attained flavour, becomes possessed of joy" (Taittiriya Up II. 7.)  ~~ By flavour rasa they mean love also and love is believed to be the formative power according to Empedocles.

 

11.  Om is Ambrosia.  ~~

"Om is ambrosia the food of gods. (Gr. He ambrosia est setos theon).

It is also honey and all sweet." So the Sruti:  ~~

 

12.  Om Udgitha.  ~~

"Om, this letter the Udgitha, should be adored, Om is chaunted." (Ch'handogya I. 1).

"The Udgitha of Sama Veda, corresponds with the pranava of the Rig Veda." (Cowel's Mait VI. 3).

"The Udgitha is the principle part of the Sama verse, and sung by Udgatri priests."

"It is chaunted (Udgiyate), and is therefore called Udgitha and is a Karmangavayava or part of the liturgy."

"What is Udgitha, that is Om; what is Om, that is Udgitha." (Maitri. Ch'handogya).

 

13.  Om is breath.  ~~

"Om called the Udgitha is breath," (Ch'handogya Upanishad p. 12).

 

14.  Om is sun.  ~~

"The sun is Om, Om is Udgitha, the sun is Udgitha, he is Om." (Maitri IV. 4).

"The splendour of Brahman is yonder sun, and it too is the splendour of Om." (Ibid).  ~~

 

15.  Om the soul.  ~~

"The soul is looked upon as Om." (Ch'handogya Upanishad. p. 12). "For this all represented by Om is Brahma. This soul is Brahma." (Mandukya V. 2).  ~~

 

16.  Om the Supreme spirit.  ~~

"Om is the most appropriate name for the Supreme Spirit paramatman." (Ch'handogya I. 1). "The Universal soul is the totality of individual souls." ( ~~).

 

17.  Om is Mind.  ~~

"Om is mind manas, the self consciousness or ahankara of the Sankhya." (Ibid p. 3).

 

18.  Om is Body.  ~~

"Om is corporeal." (Ch'handogya p. 3).

 

19.  Om is Adorable  ~~

"The letter Om is eulogised for its adorableness, and is an inducement to its worship." (Ch'handogya I. 9. p. 8).

 

20.  Om a Vehicle  ~~

"Om is the vehicle of the worship and knowledge of the superior and inferior Brahma." (Maitri Up. 260).

 

21.  Om is a Raft.  ~~

"Om is a raft of Brahman to cross over the torrents of the world." (Swetaswatara II. 8. p. 53).

 

22.  Om an arrow.  ~~

"The body is the bow, Om is the arrow, with which one pierces the mark Brahma through darkness."  ~~

 

23.  Om a Bridge.  ~~

And so Om is used to represent many other single objects. (Maitri Up. p. 271).

It is represented as a bridge in the Atharva Veda (VI. 10 and VIII. 4).