So, Satyakama is not interested in anything else, but the truth. So he asks the most important question. He says, people chant Aum, meditate on Aum; actually, he didn’t say chant, he said meditate on Aum.
Praayanaantam Onkaaram Abhidhyaayita, Katamam Vaava Sa Tena Lokam Jayatiti.
Those who meditate on the syllable Aum until the end of their lives, where do they go? What do they get?
Now, Sage Pippalada says, that which is the sound Aum, O Satyakama, is both the higher and the lower Brahman! Therefore, with this support alone does the wise man reach the one or the other!
Now, the lower and the higher Brahman needs a little bit of description, understanding.
The lower Brahman means the qualified personal Ishwara or the Supreme energy or the Supreme Brahman conceived as the Creator, the Worker, the Preserver, who can be worshipped and so on; and the highest and the absolute Brahman is the unqualified, Absolute Self, which cannot be defined or held or comprehended by our mind.
So, Pippalada said, the sound Aum is the most important support for the wise to reach either the personal Ishwara or the unqualified, Absolute Brahman. If the meditator meditates on the first element (matra), that is ‘Aaa’ within the sound of Aum (pronouncing it as Aaaauuuumm), he, being enlightened by that, comes quickly to the earth after death.
The ‘matra’ ‘Aaa’ constitutes, in essence, the hymns of Rig Veda that has the power to grant a human body in the next life. The verses of the Rig lead him into the world of men. There, endowed with austerity, chastity and faith, he experiences greatness.
When you say Shraddha, it means one-pointedness, complete attention and the eagerness to find the truth also. Faith in one’s self, in one’s capacity to find the truth. So, that is the significance of the first syllable ‘Aaa’.
So, when one meditates and contemplates on the first syllable of Aum–the sound Aaaa, the beginning of everything, Akshara, the indestructible Aaaa, the beginning of all sounds–on its sound and meaning, he becomes enlightened enough to return to the world of men after death, as one endowed with austerity, chastity and faith; he experiences greatness upon birth.
In this verse, I am translating Shraddha as faith; when you say Shraddha, it means one-pointedness, complete attention and the eagerness to find the truth also. Faith in one’s self, in one’s capacity to find the truth. So, that is the significance of the first syllable ‘Aaa’.
What happens when one meditates on the second syllable, the second matra?
Then, if he meditates on two elements, Aaaa and Uuuu, combining as Auuuuuuuuu, He attains the mind. He learns the formulae, the ways to the intermediate space which is called the world of the moon (mind) and, experiences greatness there, experiences the greatness of being able to do anything that he imagines, by living in the world of imagination, by living in the world of visualisation. He is led after death to the realm of moon by the hymns of Yajur Veda.