Aitareya-Aranyaka: Second Aranyaka, First Adhyâya, Sixth Khanda
1. Speech is his (the breath's) rope, the names the knots. Thus by his speech as by a rope, and by his names as by knots, all this is bound. For all this are names indeed, and with speech he calls everything.
2. People carry him who knows this, as if they were bound by a rope.
3. Of the body of the breath thus meditated on, the Ushnih verse forms the hairs, the Gâyatrî the skin, the Trishtubh the flesh, the Anushtubh the muscles, the Gagatî the bone, the Pankti the marrow, the Brihatî the breath (prâna). He is covered with the verses (khandas, metres). Because he is thus covered with verses, therefore they call them khandas (coverings, metres).
4. If a man knows the reason why khandas are called khandas, the verses cover him in whatever place he likes against any evil deed.
5. This is said by a Rishi (Rv. I, 164, 13):
6. “I saw (the breath) as a guardian, never tiring, coming and going on his ways (the arteries). That breath (in the body, being identified with the sun among the Devas), illuminating the principal and intermediate quarters of the sky, is returning constantly in the midst of the worlds.”
He says: “I saw a guardian,” because he, the breath, is a guardian, for he guards everything.
7. He says: “Never tiring,” because the breath never rests.
8. He says: “Coming and going on his ways,” because the breath comes and goes on his ways.
9. He says: “Illuminating the principal and intermediate,” because he illuminates these only, the principal and intermediate quarters of the sky.
10. He says: “He is returning constantly in the midst of the worlds,” because he returns indeed constantly in the midst of the worlds.
11. And then, there is another verse (Rv. I, 55, 81): “They are covered like caves by those who make them,”
12. For all this is covered indeed by breath.
13. This ether is supported by breath as Brihatî, and as this ether is supported by breath as Brihatî, so one should know that all things, not excepting ants, are supported by breath as Brihatî.