Glory of Pranava
by Swami Sivananda
Within the Twinkling of an Eye!
Within the twinkling of an eye, you can enter the Realms of Inexpressible BlissNiratisaya Ananda! The key is in your own hands: that is OM, the most sacred Pranava.
OM is the Name of the Nameless: the Form of Pranava is the Form of the Formless. OM is the symbol of Nada Brahman. OM leads the Sadhaka instantly into Samadhi.
In the Upanishads you find this Sacred Pranava compared to a bow with the help of which the Atman (arrow) is directed to the Lakshya (target), i.e., Brahman. When the Yogi who has full control over his senses and who has practised the initial rules of self-discipline, viz., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara and Dharana, directs this arrow of Atman with the help of the Pranava-Dhanus, the arrow at once becomes one with the target! He loses himself in Nirvikalpa Samadhi and finds his Goal Kaivalya Moksha.
All Tapas, all Sadhanas, all observances, the practice of devotion, the performance of austerities, the vow of celibacy, of truth and of Ahimsa, all these have this one end and aim: Self-realisation. From time Immemorial the Sages of India have resorted to this Great Weapon Pranava for the purpose of achieving this aim. Various Upanishadic Seers have sung the glory of the Pranava.
Pranava leads the aspirant through all the stages, and that is the extraordinary charm in its meditation all at once! Ordinarily, man's Antahkarana is filled with Vishayakara Vrittis. He runs after objective enjoyment. He is dissatisfied; he is puzzled; he is unable to quench his thirst for enjoyment. He is unaware that the very source of Bliss is within him, his own Self. Pranava guides him along the right path. OM! It reveals to him the source of the Joy, Bliss, Peace and Immortality. Through the three Avasthas represented by A, U and M, he is led beyond to Turiya: and there in that Silence, he finds his own Self the Antara Atman! That is the Goal!