Om. Then Nārāyana, the supreme Purusha desired. “I shall create offspring.” From Nārāyana emanates prāna, manas, the several organs of sense and action, ākāś, vāyu, agni, āpas and pṛthivī that supports all. From Nārāyana emanates Brahmā. From Nārāyana emanates Rudra. From Nārāyana emanates Indra. From Nārāyana emanates Prajāpati (the divine progenitor). From Nārāyana emanates the twelve ādityas, rudras, vasus, and all the chhandas (Vedas). From Nārāyana only do (all these) proceed. Through Nārāyana do (they) prosper. In Nārāyana (they) are absorbed. The Ṛgveda teaches this.
Then Nārāyana is eternal. Brahmā is Nārāyana, Śiva is Nārāyana, Indra is Nārāyana, Kāla (time) is Nārāyana, Dik (space) is Nārāyana, the intermediate quarters also are Nārāyana; that which is above is Nārāyana, that which is below is Nārāyana, that which is in and out is Nārāyana, the whole universe which existed and will exist is Nārāyana. Nārāyana is the only one that is stainless, sinless, changeless, and unnameable, and that is pure and divine. There is no second. Whoever knows Him thus, becomes Vishnu Himself. The Yajurveda teaches this.
One should utter “Om” first, then “namaḥ,” and then “Nārāyanāya.” “Om” (is) a single syllable; “Namaḥ” contains two syllables: “Nārāyanāya” contains five syllables. This is the sentence known as the Ashtākshara1 of Nārāyana. Whoever studies this Ashtākshara of Nārāyana and recites it constantly, attains full life and supremacy over men, enjoys the pleasures of royalty and becomes the master of all souls. He attains moksha; yea, he attains moksha. The Sāmaveda teaches this.
The Yogin having pronounced (the name of) Him who is complete bliss, who is Brahma-purusha and who is of the nature of Pranava (Om)—a combination of A, U, and M—is released from the bondage of birth and mundane existence. He who practises the mantra “Om-Namo-Nārāyanāya” reaches Vaikuntha (the abode of Vishnu). It is this lotus (heart). It is replete with vijñāna: It has the brilliancy of lightning. The son of Devākī is Brahmanya.2 Madhusūdana is Brahmanya. Nārāyana who pervades all elements, who is one only, who is the cause Purusha and who is causeless, is known as Parabrahman. The Atharvana Upanishad teaches this.
Whoever recites (this Upanishad) in the morning destroys the sins committed the night (before). Whoever recites it in the evening destroys the sins committed during the day. Whoever recites morning and evening becomes free from sins, however sinful he may be. Whoever recites (it) in the noon facing the sun is freed from all the five3 great sins as well as from the minor ones. He derives the good effects of the recitation of all the Vedas. Whoever knows thus attains Sāyujya of Nārāyana (viz., is absorbed in the essence of Nārāyana). He attains Sāyujya of Nārāyana. Thus is the Upanishad.
1. The eight syllables.
2. Means Vishnu or Brahmā devoted to Tapas, Vedas, Truth, and Jñāna.
3. They are theft of gold, drinking alcohol, the murder of a Brahman, and unlawful union with the guru’s wife and association with them.