"Taking hold of the bow, the great weapon familiar in the Upanishads, one should fix on it an arrow
sharpened with meditation.
Drawing the string, O beloved one,
hit that very target that is the Imperishable,
with the mind absorbed in Its thought." ............Munduka Upanishad 2.2.3
Taking hold of the bow (Om is the bow). Right away we are being given a most valuable instruction in meditation. We “take hold” of Om by intoning It within.
Our practice must not be passive, but calmly active–we are always to be in charge by taking hold of Om and applying it in meditation through the generation of subtle sound.
The active character of Om is indicated by Its being called a bow, for a bow impels the arrow to its target. It is a matter of strength, of power.
” Om is the force that impels us toward Divinity. That is the Great Weapon familiar in the Upanishads. Om is not just a weapon among many, It is the Great Weapon for conquering ignorance.
....................Swami Nirmalananda Giri
This is a beautiful verse in the Upanishad and its meaning can be deeply understood through a little knowledge in science. The intoning of OM is a vibration which is usually referred to as frequency in science. This frequency has a vast spectrum starting from the very low; like the brain waves in deep meditative stage at 3 or 4 vibrations per second to Gamma Rays, which are generated in the explosion of Supernovae in collapsing stars, at a frequency of 300,000,000,000,000,000,000 (Exahertz) vibrations per second. The higher the frequency the more destructive the force of that vibration. Our brain waves are in the very low frequency region typically between 4 to 38 cycles or variations per second. A very healthy heart beats at one cycle per second.
During deep meditation, we tend to operate in the "Theta wave" region or 4 to 7 cycles per second. These low frequencies assist us in deeper intuitive mental process while the 13 to 38 cycles per second or "Beta wave" brain waves are seen during thinking and problem solving. The "OM" Frequency - Based on a mathematical calculation of the rotation of the Earth around the Sun is 136.1 cycles per second when orally recited but its lower harmonics (perfectly divisible by a whole number) can be matched with the Theta wave. The perfect synchronization takes place when the base frequency of 136.1 is divided by the heart frequency. This will fall in the "Delta wave" region of the brain wave, which is below 4 cycles per second. This is the reason Swami Nirmalananda Giri explains in his commentary that it should be intoned within and produce a subtle sound.
The bow consists of two parts, namely; the elastic limb and the bow string. The tension of the bow string is imparted to the arrow which is launched towards the target and this results in the vibration of bow string which in turn transfers a lower harmonic vibration on the elastic limb. All forces are then balanced without any structural damage to the system. This mechanism is what the Upanishad instructs us to follow.
The OM vibration both at the fundamental level in the body and the harmonics at the consciousness level ensures that the intention is perfectly launched towards the target of Divine realization.
In Christianity, the word "sin" comes from the Greek word "Hamartia" (Ancient Greek: ἁμαρτία) which means a tragic error of judgement or missing the mark. This is exactly what you would call a deviation from the target of our lives, which is a realization of our true spiritual nature and the intended travel towards the Omega point as proposed by the famous Jesuit priest and anthropologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
May this powerful verse from Munduka Upanishad empower us towards hitting the bulls-eye in our spiritual quest.