॥ प्रथमोऽध्यायः ॥
ओमित्येतदक्षरमुद्गीथमुपासीत । ओमिति ह्युद्गायति तस्योपव्याख्यानम् ॥ १.१.१ ॥
|| prathamo’dhyāyaḥ ||
omityetadakṣaramudgīthamupāsīta | omiti hyudgāyati tasyopavyākhyānam || 1.1.1 ||
1. Om is the closest word to Brahman. Recite this Om as if you are worshipping Brahman. [That is, treat this Om as the symbol of Brahman and concentrate on the idea of their oneness.] How you recite this Om is being explained.
Om iti, this Om [is closest to Brahman]; etat akṣaram udgītham upāsīta, recite this syllable as part of your upāsanā [ritual]; hi om iti udgāyati, how you recite this Om; tasya upavyākhyānam, is being explained.
Om is as good as Brahman. To begin with, it is a symbol of Brahman. But it is not just a symbol; it is Brahman itself. The Upaniṣad says to recite Om as if you are worshipping Brahman. This recitation is called udgītha, and it is loud recitation. You recite Om aloud, but you do it with the feeling that you are worshipping Brahman. This worship then eventually purifies the mind.
The importance of Om is being explained in the following verses.