Markandeya Puranam

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DATTATREYA said: – Even hundreds of birth cannot dislodge a Yogin from his position, who, intent on practising Yoga, follows such a method. (1) Seeing the Great Soul, manifest in the form of the universe, having the universe for his feet, head and neck, the Lord and the Protector of the Universe, he should, for obtaining Him, recite the great and sacred monosyllable Om. The study of this (Om) is (nothing but) listening to its great and true form. (2-3) A, U, M are the three letters – these are the three Matras2 pertaking of the quality of goodness, passion and darkness. (4) There is another half Matra of this Om which is placed high and above the reach of the three qualities; for its dependence on the Musical note Gandhara3 it is called Gandhari. Its motion and touch is like that of an ant; it is perceived on the head. (5) As when recited Om goes to the head so the Yogin, by every letter, becomes identical with Om. (6) The vital breath is the bow, the soul is the shaft and Brahman is the excellent aim; so by assiduously piercing Brahman like a shaft one becomes at one with Him.

(7) That Om is the three Vedas, the three worlds and the three fires, Vishnu, Brahma and Siva, as well as Rik, Saman and Yayush. (8) You should know truly that there are three half Matras of Om; the Yogin, who is intent upon reciting it, attains to fusion or Laya into it. (9) Again A is intended to mean Bhu (earth), U Bhuva and M the celestial region. (10) The first Matra is Vyakta (Brahma) the second is called Avykata, the third in the Chit or thinking principle; and the half Matra is the Brahman. (11) These should be duly known as grounds for practising Yoga; by the recitation of Om, all things, existent and non-existent, are realized.

(12) The first Matra is Hrasya (short), the second Deergha (long) and the third Pluta4 and the

1 The true knowledge according to Patanjali is that of the supreme spirit or the God; from it the knowledge of all other things flows. According to him a man should seek this true knowledge, the essence of all and by and by he will come to know every thing in the world. If however one seeks knowledge of every thing he sees in the world at the sacrifice of supreme knowledge or Para Jnana he will never acquire it even in thousands of years. According to the Arya Rishis this Para Jnana is the only supreme knowledge – the knowledge of the great Brahman which people should strive to acquire if they want to liberate themselves from the three fold pains and the fetters of the knowledge. 2 As syllable foot. 3 One of the seven primary notes of Music. 4 The third sound given to vowel; the protracted or continuous sound being three times the length of the short vowel and occupying three moments in its utterance.

half Matra is not within the range of words. (13) Thus the person, who thoroughly understands and meditates upon the great Brahman designated by the great monosyllable Om, renouncing the wheel of the world and being freed from the three fetters, attains to fusion or Laya in the Brahman, the Great Soul. (14-15) If the fetters of his actions are not snapped, he, knowing death by Aristha1 and having the recollection of the pristine birth, in another, again is born as a Yogin. (16) By his accomplished Yoga in another life as well as by that in this life he is always acquainted with Aristha and does not sink down at the time of death. (17)