[*This is 23rd in order of 108 Upanishads.]
Om. Next Pippalada, Angiras, and Sanatkumara addressed Atharvan:- Thus, O Lord, what is that meditation, what was first enjoyed to be meditated upon? What is that meditation? Who may be the meditator? Who is to be meditated upon?
2. And to them, Atharva replied. 'The syllable (akshara) Om, is the first object enjoined to be meditated upon'.
3. This syllable is Supreme Brahman. The four Vedas form its parts (Padas). (Hence) syllable consisting of four parts is the supreme Brahman.
4. The first part (Matra) of it represents the Earth, the letter Akara, the hymns of the Rigveda, Brahma, Vasus (eight in number), Gayatri metre and Garhapatya fire.
5. The second represents antariksha (Bhuvarloka), the letter U, the various Yajurmantras of Yajurveda, Vishnu, Rudras (eleven in number), Trishtup metre, and Dakshinagni.
6. The third represents heaven, the letter M, Samaveda with the Samans, Rudras and Adityas (twelve in number), Jagati metre, and Ahavaniya fire.
7. That which is the fourth and last of it (Om) with Ardhamatra represents Soma Regions, Omkara, (in full) Atharvaveda with Atharva mantras, Samvartaka fire, Maruts (seven in number), Virat, (Universal one), Ekarshi (a seer in the Atharvaveda Vide Mundaka-Up. 6-10).
8. Thus said to be, these (four parts) are resplendent ones.
9. The first is said to be red and yellowish and has the great Brahma as its presiding Deity.
10. The second is bright and blue and has Vishnu as its presiding Deity.
11. The third, which is auspicious and otherwise, is white, and has Rudra as its presiding Deity.
12 & 13. That which is the fourth and last with Ardha-Matra, has all bright colours, and Purusha is its presiding Deity.
14. Thus, verily, is the Omkara with four letters (a. u. m. and Ardha-Matra); four feet, four heads, four matras, and with this Sthula (gross), Hrasva, Dirga and Pluta (four kind of notes).
15. One should recite Om, Om, each, with respective (Hrasva, Dirgha and Pluta) notes.
16. The fourth means the peaceful Atman.
17. Chanting Om of the (three) kinds, with Pluta notes, leads one immediately to the Atman Light.
18. Mere reciting it once uplifts (Un-namayate), one it is named Omkara.
19. It is called Pralaya, as it absorbs all Pranas (senses).
20. It is named Pranava, as it leads all the Pranasa into Paramatman.
21. As it is divided into four, it is the Source of all Devas and Vedas.
22. One should understand that the Pranava connotes all the things, and also the Devas.
23. It enables one to cross over all the fears and pains, so it is mentioned as Tara (Tar, to cross).
24. As all the Devas enter into it, it is named Vishnu (Vis, to enter).
25. It is Brahman, as it expands all.
26. It is called Prakaas, as it illumines, like a lamp, all the meditative objects which are inside of the body.
27. The rue Om shines more frequently in the body like the flash of lightning than all the illumined ones. Like the flash of lightning, it penetrates each and every quarters. It pervades through all the Lokas. It is the Omnipresent Mahadeva, as it encircles all.
28. The first matra of it, if awakened, means the waking state, the second, the dreaming; the third, the sleeping; and the fourth the fourth, state (Turiya).
29. The self-illumined one becomes Brahman itself, as he completely transcends all the parts (of the Om), including the matras which are in them. This mantra leads one to Perfection. Therefore it is used as the primary means to meditation.
30. Brahman is the fourth (transcending the three states of consciousness), as it makes all activities of the senses to cease, and also supports all that need support.
31. That state of meditation is called Vishnu, in which all the senses are well-established in the mind.
32. The meditator is called Rudra who keeps the Prana along with the senses in the mind.
33. Well-establishing the Prana and the mind along with the senses in the supreme self who is at the end of Nada (sound), one should meditate upon Isana who is alone to be meditated upon.
34. All this, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra, all the senses with their respective elements, are evolved from Him.
35. The cause of (all) the causes is not the meditator. The cause alone is to be meditated upon.
36. Sambhu who is the Lord of all, and the Endowed with all the perfections, is to be well-centered in the middle of the ether (of the heart).
37. A single minute of this (meditation) will bring forth the result of 174 Vedic Sacrifices and also the whole benefit of Omkara.
38. The Omkara or the Supreme Isa alone knows the result of all Dhyana, Yoga and Jnana.
39. Siva alone is to be meditated upon, Siva the Giver of good. Give up all else. Thus, concludes the Atharvasikha.
40. The twice-born one, who studies this (Upanishat), attains emancipation and never more enters the womb; the twice-born one – womb, (twice repeating this indicates the end of the book).
41. Om, Truth. Thus ends the Upanishat.
R. A. Sastri.