ओमित्येतदक्षरमुद्गीथमुपासीतोमिति ह्युद्गायति तस्योपव्याख्यानम् ॥ १.४.१ ॥
omityetadakṣaramudgīthamupāsītomiti hyudgāyati tasyopavyākhyānam || 1.4.1 ||
1. Om is the closest word to Brahman. Recite this Om as if you are worshipping Brahman. [That is, treat this Om as the symbol of Brahman and concentrate on the idea of their oneness.] How you recite this Om is being explained.
Om iti, this Om [is closest to Brahman]; etat akṣaram udgītham upāsīta, recite this syllable as part of your upāsanā [ritual]; hi om iti udgāyati, how you recite this Om; tasya upavyākhyānam, is being explained.
This akśara is Brahman, and Om is that Brahman. Akṣara, Brahman, and Om are interchangeable words. As Brahman is abhaya, without fear, and amṛta, immortal, so Om and akṣara are also without fear and immortal.