symbol of all speech and all life. Om thus becomes the name, not only of all our physical and mental powers, but especially of the living principle, the Prâna or spirit. This is explained by the parable in the second chapter, while in the third chapter, that spirit within us is identified with the spirit in the sun. He therefore who meditates on Om, meditates on the spirit in man as identical with the spirit in nature, or in the sun; and thus the lesson that is meant to be taught in the beginning of the Khândogya-upanishad is really this, that none of the Vedas with their sacrifices and ceremonies could ever secure the salvation of the worshipper, i.e. that sacred works, performed according to the rules of the Vedas, are of no avail in the end, but that meditation on Om alone, or that knowledge of what is meant by Om alone, can procure true salvation, or true immortality. Thus the pupil is led on step by step to what is the highest object of the Upanishads, viz. the recognition of the self in man as identical with the Highest Self or Brahman. The lessons which are to lead up to that highest conception of the universe, both subjective and objective, are no doubt mixed up with much that is superstitious and absurd; still the main object is never lost sight of. Thus, when we come to the eighth chapter, the discussion, though it begins with Om or the Udgîtha, ends with the question of the origin of the world; and though the final answer, namely, that Om means ether (âkâsa), and that ether is the origin of all things, may still sound to us more physical than metaphysical, still the description given of ether or âkâsa, shows that more is meant by it than the physical ether, and that ether
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SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST.