Wednesday 15 May 2024

Pavamana Suktam: Word to Word Meaning and commentary

Introduction to Vedas 

The entire Universe is reverberating. When there is reverberation, there is sound. In other words, the entire cosmos is simply a manifestation of sound energy. The ancient Vedic sages through penance, could download cosmic data directly. They received cosmic truths in the form of sounds which they envisioned. These truths were recited as received, and passed on generations after generations.

Various truths downloaded by various Rishis gave rise to the ocean of Vedas. Veda Vyāsa later compiled these Vedas and classified them. These is how the 4 Vedas came to existence. Each of these Vedas had many branches. Each branch had 4 components : 

(1) samhita
(2) brāhmaṇa
(3) āraṇyaka
(4) Upanishad

The Pavamāna sūkta is a compilation of mantras which find place in the Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda, Taittirīya samhita 5-6-1-1 to 5-6-1-4 and Taittirīya Brahmaṇa 1-4-8-1 to 1-4-8-6.

This is sūkta is recited during Puṇyāhavācanaṃ in a pūja.

हिरण्यवर्णाः शुचयः पावका यासु जातः कश्यपो यास्विन्द्रः ।
अग्निं या गर्भं दधिरे विरूपास्ता न आपः शं स्योना भवन्तु

hiraṇyavarṇāḥ śucayaḥ pāvakā yāsu jātaḥ kaśyapo yāsvindraḥ ।
agniṃ yā garbhaṃ
 dadhire virūpāstā na āpaḥ śa syonā bhavantu ॥1॥

Hiraṇya-varṇāḥ: Golden-coloured

Śucayaḥ: Pure

Pāvakā: Purifying / purifier

Yāsu:  In which

Jātaḥ: Born

Kaśyapa: Reference to sage Kaśyapa ( who is a progenitor to beings )

Yāsu: In which

Indra: Indra ( The deity who represents mastery over the senses )

Agniṃ: Agni
Yā: Which

Garbhaṃ: Womb

Dadhire: To Bear / hold

Virūpāḥ: Diverse forms

Tā: They / those. It refers back to the diverse forms mentioned earlier.

Naḥ : our

Āpaḥ: Waters 

Śaṃ: peace. 

Syonā: blessed

Bhavantu: So be it


May the golden-colored, pure, and purifying waters, in which Kaśyapa was born, in which Indra is found, waters that held the fire god Agni in their manifold forms, may those waters be auspicious and benevolent to us.

Water is a representation of the absolute reality. This absolute reality ( abstract God- Brahmaṇ ) is a wave of consciousness. Water is also wave-form. Like Brahman, water can take any form it wants. It is beyond all forms. It can be benign as a still pond or ferocious like a crashing waterfall.

Lord Indra, who is the chief of devata-s and the aspect of mastery over senses, Lord Agni, the effulgence who exists in many forms and the progenitor of beings are all manifestations of the absolute reality, represented by 'water'.

May the absolute reality, take an auspicious form of purity and golden auspiciousness ever be benevolent to us.

यासां राजा वरुणो याति मध्ये सत्यानृते, अवपश्यं जनानाम् ।
मधुश्चुतः शुचयो याः पावकास्ता न आपः शं स्योना भवन्तु 

yāsāṃ rājā varuṇo yāti madhye satyānṛte, avapaśyaṃ janānām ।
madhuścutaḥ śucayo yāḥ pāvakāstā na āpaḥ śaṃ syonā bhavantu ॥2॥

Yāsāṃ: Of which 

Rājā: King

Varuṇa: Refers to Varua, deity of cosmic order and waters.

Yāti: Goes / moves

Madhye: In the midst.  It denotes the location where Varua moves or acts.

Satyānṛte: truth and falsehood (satya = truth, anṛta = falsehood). It represents the dual nature of truth and falsehood, symbolizing the cosmic order and its maintenance.

Avapaśyaṃ: pash= to see. Sees /observes. It denotes the action of Varua in perceiving or understanding.

Janānām: Of people / of beings, in reference to those who are born.

Madhuścutaḥ:  (madhu = honey, cutaḥ = dripping) Honey-washed

Śucaya: Purified / pure.

Yāḥ: Which / those. 

Pāvakāḥ: Purifying / purifier.

Tā: They / those

Na: Not 

Āpaḥ: Waters

Śaṃ: Peace

Syonā: pleasant/auspicious

Bhavantu: So be it


The king Lord Varuṇa has His role in observing Truth and Falsehood in all beings, by moving to the middle, unbiased to anything, as the Lord of Cosmic order. 
These waters are nectarine and pure. It is purifying. May the waters provide us with prosperity, free from harm.

Lord Varuṇa, the Lord of cosmic order unbiasedly watches our actions of truth and un-truth, mirroring purity and impurity. Every action we perform, when aligned to dharma ( righteousness ), is in parallel with the cosmic order. The actions unaligned to dharma is deviant from the cosmic order. Lord Varuṇa is the witness to this. We pray for the waters ( absolute reality ) to purify us and to bless and confer peace to us. The beautiful link here is Lord Varuṇa is also the Lord of the waters.

यासां देवा दिवि कृण्वन्ति भक्षं या, अन्तरिक्षे बहुधा भवन्ति ।
याः पृथिवीं पयसोन्दन्ति शुक्रास्ता न, आपः शं स्योना भवन्तु ॥३॥

yāsāṃ devā divi kṛṇvanti bhakṣaṃ yā, antarikṣe bahudhā bhavanti ।
yāḥ pṛthivīṃ payasondanti śukrāstā na, āpaḥ śaṃ syonā bhavantu ॥3॥

Yāsāṃ: Of whom 

Devāḥ: deities

Divi: In the sky/heavens

Kṛṇvanti: To make

Bhakṣam: Food/nourishment.

Yāḥ: Which / those. It refers back to the food mentioned earlier.

Antarikṣe: Region between sky and earth.

Bahudhā: "In many ways" or "in various forms." It describes the diverse manifestations or appearances.

Bhavanti: Exist/are. It indicates the state of being of the various forms mentioned earlier.

Yāḥ: Which / those. It refers back to the various forms mentioned earlier.

Pṛthivīm: On the earth 

Payasā: with water

Undanti: moisten/fill

Śukrāḥ: Pure

Tāḥ: They / those.

Na: to us 

Āpaḥ: Waters

Śaṃ: peace

Syonā: Unto us

Bhavantu: So be it


Here, we recognise water which is present in many various forms - as the heavenly waters which nourishes the deities, as the waters which are in the form of moisture and rain in the atmosphere, as the waters which run as streams, oceans and rivers on earth. May the pure waters confer us peace to us.

Here, we see the various forms of water. This is a reflection of the various manifestations of the absolute reality in the form of deities whom we worship. For instance, as Indra ( rain ), Pṛthivī ( earth ), Varua ( ocean ), Agni ( fire ), Vāyu ( wind ). Water ( absolute reality ) can be benign like the lake of Mānasarova ( Sadāśiva ) or come crashing like a ferocious waterfall ( Rudra ). We pray for the absolute reality to be benign and peaceful to us.

शिवेन मा चक्षुषा पश्यताऽऽपः शिवया तनुवोप स्पृशतत्  त्वचं मे ||४||

śivena mā cakṣuṣā paśyatā''paḥ śivayā tanuvopa spṛśatat tvaca me ||4||

Śivena: Shiva: auspiciousness ; with auspiciousness
Mā: me

Cakṣuṣā: With eyes

Paśyatām: looking

āpaḥ: Waters 

Śivayā: With auspiciousness

Tanuvā: with body

upa: upon

Spṛśata: touching

Tvacaṃ: Skin

Me: me


O waters, perceive me with your auspicious sight! Touch my skin with your auspicious body!

Water, despite being beyond forms, can still interact with us in proximity. It can perceive us and touch us.

This reflects the absolute reality, which though, exists as an abstract principle, can interact with us in proximity as deities.

This is where rituals ( tantra ) comes into picture. In Hindu rituals, we associate with the deity in great proximity. We feed, bathe and rejoice with them. 

सर्वां  अग्नीं  रप्सुषदो हुवे वो मयि वर्चो बलमोजो नि धत्त ॥४॥

sarvāṃ  agnīṃ  rapsuṣado huve vo mayi varco balamojo ni dhatta ॥4॥

Sarvām: Everything

Agnīm: Agni

Rapsuṣadaḥ: dwelling in water

Huve: I invoke

Vaḥa: unto you

Mayi: upon me

Varcaḥ: Radiance

Balam: Strength 

ojaḥ: energy

Ni: unto

Dhatta: Place


I invoke all forms of Lord Agni who dwells in water. Place brilliance, strength, and vitality into me. 

Agni is latent in water. For instance, the form of Agni as lightning is produced from the waters in raincloud. The digestive fire of Agni is excreted through the waters of digestive juices in the stomach.

This reflects upon the various forms of Agni assumed by the absolute reality ( waters )

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 15, Verse 14:

अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रित: |
प्राणापानसमायुक्त: पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम् || 14||

ahaṁ vaiśvānaro bhūtvā prāṇināṁ deham āśritaḥ
prāṇāpāna-samāyuktaḥ pachāmy annaṁ catur-vidham

Meaning: It is I who take the form of the fire of digestion in the stomachs of all living beings, and combine with the incoming and outgoing breaths, to digest and assimilate the four kinds of foods.

Thus, we invoke expressions of the absolute reality who is manifest as the various forms of Lord Agni.

पवमानः सुवर्जनः । पवित्रेण विचर्षणिः । यः पोता स पुनातु मा ॥ ५॥

pavamānaḥ suvarjanaḥ । pavitreṇa vicarṣaṇiḥ । yaḥ potā sa punātu mā ॥

Pavamānaḥ: Purifying / purifying one

Suvarjanaḥ: Su = suṣṭu= excellent  ; varjanaḥ comes from root vṛj which means 
                   'to avoid'. Suvarjanaḥ= something that brings the good

Pavitreṇa: With purifying. It indicates the instrument or means of purification.

Vicarṣaṇiḥ: wise one

Yaḥ: Whosoever

Potā: purifier

Saḥ: That / He

Punātu: May purify

Mā: me


May the purified one, the bringer of prosperity, the wise one, who is the purifier, purify me with purity. 

The purified one, the purifier is the absolute reality. May He purify us and fill us with purity.

पुनन्तु मा देवजनाः । पुनन्तु मनवो धिया । पुनन्तु विश्व आयवः ॥६॥

punantu mā devajanāḥ । punantu manavo dhiyā । punantu viśva āyavaḥ ॥6॥

punantu - may they purify

mā - me

devajanāḥ - divine beings (deva - gods; janāḥ - beings)

punantu - may they purify

manavaḥ - humans

dhiyā - with intellect

punantu - may they purify

viśvāḥ - all

āyavaḥ - life-force


May the divine beings purify me, may humans purify me with wisdom, may all life forces purify me.

The absolute reality can be reflected upon through any entity - divine beings, humans and beings animated with life-force ( trees, animals etc ).

Let us say you prayed to your deity. At times, you may have your prayers answered through a person. This is because the all-animating absolute reality can work through any entity. All forms are verily His' forms.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Verse 7

मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय |
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव || 7||

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñchid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

Meaning: Everything rests in Me, as gems strung on a thread.

The absolute reality, runs through every form like a common string which holds the beads together.

जातवेदः पवित्रवत् । पवित्रे ण पुनाहि मा । शुक्रेण देव दीद्यत् । अग्ने क्रत्वा क्रतूं रनु ॥७॥

jātavedaḥ pavitravat । pavitre ṇa punāhi mā । śukreṇa deva dīdyat । agne kratvā kratūṃ ranu ॥7॥

jātavedaḥ - a name for Agni as the knower of all births

pavitravat - possessing purity

pavitreṇa - by the purifying substance

punāhi - purify

mā - me

śukreṇa - with brightness/clarity

deva -  deva

dīdyat - shining

agne - O Agni

kratvā - with the intention/will

kratūṃ - sacrifice/ offering

ranu - to perform


O Jātaveda, with purity and with a purifying substance, purify me. O divine and resplendent Agni, with brightness, accomplish the sacrifice with intention. 

This truth as revealed in the Vedas is what we apply as ritual. 

Agni is invoked as Jātaveda in a Yaga. He is the main deity of a Yāga whom we invoke to send our offerings to deities. Here, we invoke Him to purify and guide us into a ritual.

यत्ते पवित्रमर्चिषि । अग्ने विततमन्तरा । ब्रम्ह तेन पुनीमहे ॥८॥

yatte pavitramarciṣi । agne vitatamantarā । bramha tena punīmahe ॥8॥

yat - which

te - your

pavitram - purifying agent

arciṣi - in the flame

agne - O Agni

vitatam - spread

antarā - within

brahma - Vedas/ the absolute reality

tena - with that

punīmahe - we purify


Brahma  ( Brahmaṇ ) is also seen as the Vedas. The Vedas are the sound-form of the absolute reality. We use the recitation of Vedas for a ritual like yāga. Lord Agni is the One who acts as a purifier and as the One who can spread the purity.

This revelation is very well applied in our rituals as tantra. We perform ārati using Agni to the deity. The Agni is then offered to us. Here, Lord Agni acts as the One who spreads the purity of the deity. When we offer oblations in a fire sacrifice ( yāga ), it is Agni who purifies and carries our offerings to the deity we desire.

उभाभ्यां देव सवितः । पवित्रेण सवेन च । इदं ब्रम्ह पुनीमहे ॥ ९ ॥

ubhābhyāṃ deva savitaḥ । pavitreṇa savena ca । idaṃ bramha punīmahe ॥ 9 ॥

ubhābhyāṃ - by both

deva - deva

savitaḥ - Savitaḥ ( sun )

pavitreṇa - by the pure one

savena - "savena" refers to "sava," meaning an offering 

ca - and

idaṃ - this

brahma - vedas / the absolute reality

punīmahe - we purify


Savita is attribute of Lord Sūrya who brings us to self-realisation or knowledge. He confers us enlightenment through the dual action of purity and sacrifice. 

This revelation is applied today in rituals. Without the purificatory procedure, we don't enter into the ritual. This is why we always start with ācamanam. Every offering we give is a sacrifice. For example, a yāga is referred to as a fire sacrifice as we offer our energy through oblations. The duality of the power of purification and sacrifice shall make us realise the absolute reality ( enlightenment ). This infers to the realisation of the recitation of the Vedas in a ritual ( Vedas = sound form of Brahmaṇ ).

वैश्वदेवी पुनती देव्यागात् । यस्मै बह्वीस्तनुवो वीतपृष्ठाः ।

vaiśvadevī punatī devyāgāt । yasmai bahvīstanuvo vītapṛṣṭhāḥ ।

vaiśvadevī - all-pervasive devi

punatī - She purifies

devyā - with her divinity

āgāt - arrival

yasmai - to whom

bahvīḥ - many

tanuvaḥ  - forms/bodies

vītapṛṣṭhāḥ - spreading out


The all-pervasive Mother purifies with Her divine arrival. She possesses many forms widespreadly.

This mantra talks about the arrival of the deity who is all-pervasive. Every form of the Universe is verily Her form. Her very presence purifies everything.

तया मदन्तः सधमाद्येषु । वयं स्याम पतयो रयीणाम् ॥१०॥

tayā madantaḥ sadhamādyeṣu । vayaṃ syāma patayo rayīṇām ॥10॥

tayā - by Her

madantaḥ - rejoicing

sadhamādyeṣu - in the assemblies/company/gatherings

vayam - we

syāma - may be

patayaḥ - pati: Lord

rayīṇām - of wealth


Rejoicing with the deity in the assemblies, may we be masters of wealth. With the presence of the deity in the ritual, with all the purifications, the fruit of the ritual attains complete ripening. Thus, we are blessed with wealth.

When a ritual is done with purification, the presence of the deity is rejoiced by the assembly ( crowd participating in a ritual ). Wealth refers to the completion of the ritual and the ultimate fruit which we get from it.

This again explains why every Hindu ritual today emphasises so much on purificatory procedures.

वैश्वानरो रश्मिभिर्मा पुनातु । वातः प्राणेनेषिरो मयो भूः ।

vaiśvānaro raśmibhirmā punātu । vātaḥ prāṇeneṣiro mayo bhūḥ ।

vaiśvānaraḥ  - Vaiśvānara (a name for Lord Agni )

raśmibhiḥ - with rays/beams

mā - me

punātu - may purify

vātaḥ - wind

prāṇena - with life-force

iṣiraḥ - active/moving

mayaḥ - filled with

bhūḥ - Materialised objects in physical plane ; the Earth


May Vaiśvānara with his rays purify me, and the wind animate my active being. Lord Agni exists as our fire of digestion in the form of Vaiśvānara in our stomach. The Wind God exists in our body in the form of life-force. These deities make our being and we invoke them to purify and activate ourselves.

This truth as revealed in the Vedas is very well utilised in rituals as tantra. Before offering oblations to Agni in a fire sacrifice, we actually merge the physical Agni in the Homa Kuṇḍa with the digestive fire in our body. We also perform prāṇāyāma and bhūta śuddhi to activate the life-forces. All these rituals are compulsory before proceding to the main puja.

द्यावापृथिवी पयसा पयोभिः । ऋतावरी यज्ञिये मा पुनीताम् ॥११॥

dyāvāpṛthivī payasā payobhiḥ । ṛtāvarī yajñiye mā punītām ॥11॥

dyāvāpṛthivī - sky and earth (dyāvā - sky, pṛthivī - earth)

payasā - by milk

payobhiḥ - with waters

ṛtāvarī - upholders of cosmic order (ṛta - cosmic order )

yajñiye - fit for yaga

mā - me

punītām - may purify


May the skies, earth, waters and the nourishments act as purifiers. The absolute reality expresses itself in the form of nature deities ( dyauḥ, pṛthivī, and āpaḥ )to purify us so that we become fit to conduct a ritual.

All elements of nature are seen as deities in our culture. This very cognition will enable a form of initiation from the nature deities which purifies us. We recognise the absolute reality expressing as these deities.

So for us, sky is not just dyauḥ, it is dyauḥ pita ( The father sky- as revealed in Rig Veda ), Pṛthivīmāta is our mother. They are conscious, deities to us.

बृहद्भिः सवितस्तृभिःः । वर्‌षिष्ठैर्देव मन्मभिः । अग्ने दक्षैः पुनाहि मा । येन देवा अपुनत । येनाऽऽपो दिव्यं कशः । तेन दिव्येन ब्रह्मणा । इदं ब्रम्हे पुनीमहे 

bṛhadbhiḥ savitastṛbhiḥḥ । var‌ṣiṣṭhairdeva manmabhiḥ । agne dakṣaiḥ punāhi mā । yena devā apunata । yenā''po divyaṃ kaśaḥ । tena divyena brahmaṇā । idaṃ bramhe punīmahe ॥12॥

bṛhadbhiḥ - with the great

savitaḥ - Savita

tṛbhiḥ - by three

var‌ṣiṣṭhair - most excellent

deva - deva

manmabhiḥ - with the thoughts

agne - O Agni

dakṣaiḥ - with the skillful act

punāhi - purify

mā - me

yena - by which

devā - deva-s

apunata - purified

yenā - by which

āpaḥ -  waters

divyaṃ - divine

kaśaḥ - shining/brilliant

tena - with that

divyena - divine

brahmaṇā - by the vedas/absolute reality

idaṃ - this

brahme - to Brahmaṇ ( absolute reality )

punīmahe - we purify


With the recitation of the Sāvitri thrice, may I be purified. O Agni, purify me with the skilled, by which the deva-s are purified, by which the divine waters shine, with that divine Brahmaṇ, we purify.

In this mantra, we first invoke the Sun God, who is the driving force behind the solar radiance to purify us. The sound form of the deity Savita is the Sāvitri mantra ( commonly called Gāyatri Mantra today ). A threefold recitation of this purifies us.

We ask Lord Agni for purification. As the medium between us and the deities, He is skilled with the ability to purify everything He touches, as we send them to the deities. He also transmits the grace of the deity to us ( through dīpārādhana) to purify us.

The waters also purify us as they act as a medium to hold the sound form of Brahma ( Vedas ). They act as a reservoir to hold the Vedas we recite.

The truth revealed here forms our daily sādhana. We are told to recite the Sāvitri mantra during trikāla-sandhya ( morning, afternoon and evening ). Lord Agni is invoked in every ritual to connect us with the deity. Water is used for ācamanam with the recitation of mantras. The Kalaśa is also filled with water. The Veda mantra-s recited are stored within the waters which can be utilised to consecrate a deity.

Thus, we attain purification through these various means.

पावमानीरध्येति । ऋषिभिः सम्भृतं रसम् । सर्वं स पूतमश्नाति  स्वदितं मातरिश्वना । 

pāvamānīradhyeti । ṛṣibhiḥ sambhṛta rasam । sarva sa pūtamaśnāti svaditaṃ mātariśvanā । 

pāvamānī - referring to this sukta

adhyeti - recites

ṛṣibhiḥ - by the sages

sambhṛtaṃ - gathered, collected

rasam - essence/juice

sarvaṃ - all

sa - he

pūtam - the state of being purified

aśnāti - consumes the purified

svaditaṃ - swallowed, consumed - satisfaction of consuming

mātariśvanā - by Mātariśvan (a deity associated with the wind)


Whoever who recites this Pavamāna Sūktam, which is the essence of the Vedas received by the Sages, he becomes the enjoyer of all the purified offerings.
When the esence of the Vedas is realised, the state of oneness is acheived with the deity. This is the ultimatum of Vedānta ( self-realisation ). In this state, one verily realises that He is verily the giver and receiver. He is one with Brahma.

As the Mahāvākya of the Vedas declare: 

अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि

aham brahmāsmi 

Meaning:  I am the absolute reality

पावमानीर्यो अध्येति । ऋषिभिः सम्भृतं रसम्। तस्मै सरस्वती दुहे । क्षीरं सर्पिर्मधुदकम् ॥१३॥

pāvamānīryo adhyeti । ṛṣibhiḥ sambhṛta rasam। tasmai sarasvatī duhe । kṣīra sarpirmadhudakam ॥13॥

pāvamānīḥ - This sūkta

yaḥ - who

adhyeti - recite

ṛṣibhiḥ - by the sages

sambhṛtaṃ - collected, gathered

rasam - essence, juice

tasmai - to him/that one

sarasvatī - Sarasvati devi

duhe - may she give, yield ( like yeilding milk )

kṣīraṃ - milk

sarpiḥ - ghee (clarified butter)

madhu - honey

udakam - water


Whoever who recites and studies this Sūkta, which is the essence of Vedas received by the Sages, Devi Sarasvati will confer milk, ghee and honey. 

One who recites the mantras of this Sūkta will attainn richness and prosperity, symbolized by the richness of milk, ghee and honey.

When one utilises the truths of this Sūkta, the ritual attains completion and the fruits enrich us in the form of richness and wealth.

पावमानीः स्वस्त्ययनीः । सुदुघा हि पयस्वतीः । ऋषिभिः सम्भृतो रसः । ब्राम्हणेष्वमृतं हितम्

pāvamānīḥ svastyayanīḥ । sudughā hi payasvatīḥ । ṛṣibhiḥ sambhṛto rasaḥ । brāmhaṇeṣvamṛtaṃ hitam

pāvamānīḥ - This sūkta

svastyayanīḥ - bringing welfare or good fortune

sudughā - yielding well/generously (sudughā is often used metaphorically to describe cows that yield a lot of milk)

hi - indeed

payasvatīḥ - rich in milk, milky

ṛṣibhiḥ - by the sages

sambhṛtaḥ - gathered

rasaḥ - essence, sap, juice

brāhmaṇeṣu - among the Brāhmaṇas ( those who teach and learn Vedas )

amṛtaṃ - nectar/immortality

hitam - beneficial


This sūkta, received by the Sages as the essence of the Vedas, is indeed rich in essence ( like milk ). It provides richness. It will grant the nectar of immortality to the Brāhmaṇas.

Immortality refers to the state of complete realisation of the self. Death is only to the body, not the Atma, which is our true nature. Thus, the purificatory effect of this Sūkta can lead us to self-realisation. 

पावमानीर्दशन्तु नः । इमं लोकमर्थो अमुम् । कामान्त्समर्धयन्तु नः । देवीर्देवैः समाभृताः

pāvamānīrdaśantu naḥ । imaṃ lokamartho amum ।kāmāntsamardhayantu naḥ । devīrdevaiḥ samābhṛtāḥ

pāvamānīḥ - This sūkta / purifier

daśantu - may they grant

naḥ - us

imaṃ - this

lokaṃ - world

arthaḥ - purpose/wealth

amum - that (other world)

kāmān - desires

samardhayantu - may they fulfill

naḥ - our

devīḥ - Devi-s

devaiḥ - with the deva-s

samābhṛtāḥ - well-accompanied


This sūkta purifies us, in this world and that other world; may they fulfill our desires; devi-s well-accompanied by deva-s.

Here, the study and application of this sukta purifies us in all planes. The different worlds refer to the different dimensions of our own self. Our physical body, subtle body and causal body all gets purified ( all worlds ). The blessings of deities shall manifest in our thus, purified self instantly. The subtle body houses all our cakra-s. The deities are all present in our chakras and subtle body.

So when the Sūkta purifies us in all dimensions, the deities confer us success.

पावमानः स्वस्त्ययनीः | सुदुघा हि घृतश्चुतः । ऋषिभिः सम्भृतो रसः । ब्राम्हणेष्वमृतं हितम् ॥१४॥

pāvamānaḥ svastyayanīḥ | sudughā hi ghṛtaścutaḥ । ṛṣibhiḥ sambhṛto rasaḥ । brāmhaṇeṣvamṛtaṃ hitam ॥14॥

pāvamānaḥ - This sūkta

svastyayanīḥ - bringing good fortune/well-being

sudughāḥ - yielding well/generously

hi - indeed

ghṛtaścutaḥ - dripping with ghee (clarified butter)

ṛṣibhiḥ - by the sages

sambhṛtaḥ - gathered, collected

rasaḥ - essence, sap, juice

brāmhaṇeṣu - among the Brāhmaṇa

amṛtaṃ - nectar/immortality

hitam - beneficial


This Sūkta that brings good fortune, indeed, generously yielding ghee, the essence gathered by the sages; among the Brāhmaṇa-s, immortality is placed.

The Sūkta confers us good fortune and richness ( ghee ). This Sūkta, which is the essence of the Vedas received by the Sages, shall confer the nectar of immortality to the Brāhmaṇa-s.

This has been expounded in the previous mantra

येन देवाः पवित्रेण । आत्मानं पुनते सदा । तेन सहस्रधारेण । पावमान्यः पुनन्तु मा । प्राजापत्य पवित्रम् । शतोद्यामं हिरण्मयम् ।

yena devāḥ pavitreṇa । ātmānaṃ punate sadā । tena sahasradhāreṇa । pāvamānyaḥ punantu mā । prājāpatya pavitram । śatodyāmaṃ hiraṇmayam ।

yena - by which

devāḥ - deva-s

pavitreṇa - with the pure

ātmānaṃ - themselves

punate - purify

sadā - always

tena - with that

sahasradhāreṇa - with a thousand streams

pāvamānyaḥ - the purifiers

punantu - may they purify

mā - me

prājāpatya - belonging to Prajāpati ( Progenitor of mankind )

pavitram - pure/sacred

śatodyāmaṃ - having a hundred measures

hiraṇmayam - golden


By which the deva-s always purify themselves, with that, having a thousand streams, may the purifiers purify me. May the purification of thousand streams associated with the progenitor of mankind, purify us with such brilliance.

Prajāpati is the progenitor of mankind. Here, His aspect of purification is associated with the purification of our genetic makeup. This mantra cleanses the genetical memory and karmic account associated with it from the residue of our ancestors.

तेन ब्रम्हविदो वयम् । पूतं ब्रह्म पुनीमहे । इन्द्रः सुनती सह मा पुनातु ।

tena bramhavido vayam । pūtaṃ brahma punīmahe । indraḥ sunatī saha mā punātu ।

tena - by that

brahmavidaḥ  - knowers of Brahmaṇ ( absolute reality )

vayam - we 

pūtaṃ - purified/cleansed

brahma - absolute reality

punīmahe - we purify 

indraḥ - Indra 

sunatī - grant/provide

saha - along with

mā - me

punātu - may he purify (from the root 'pū', meaning to purify)


May we attain enlightenment ( knowledge of the absolute reality ). May we be purified. May Lord Indra ( the deity who represents the mastery of the senses ) grant us purification.

Lord Indra is the aspect of the mind which has control over the senses. The purification of the senses is an important step in realising Brahman.

The eyes that are purified will 'see' the absolute reality inn every being and object. The ears which are purified will 'hear' the Vedas ( sound form of absolute reality ) at any place. The tongue that is purified will only experience nectarine relish of the absolute reality. The nose that is purified will only smell the divine presence of the absolute reality. The purified senses will only perceive the presence of the absolute reality with every stimulus.

This truth is applied in our rituals. When we visit a temple, our eyes gets fixed on the deity and divine symbols ( like the tilak, triśūla, kuṃkuma). Our ears only hear mantras and divine renditions. Our tongue tastes prasāda which had been offered to the deity. The nose only smells the sandal, saffron and dhūpa that has been offered to the deity. Our skin gets into contact with bhasma, temple floor and tīrtham which is consecrated with the deity's grace.

सोमः स्वस्त्या वरुणः समीच्या । यमो राजा प्रमृणाभिः पुनातु मा ।
जातवेदा मोर्जयन्त्या पुनातु ॥१५॥

somaḥ svastyā varuṇaḥ samīcyā । yamo rājā pramṛṇābhiḥ punātu mā ।
jātavedā morjayantyā punātu ॥15॥

somaḥ - Moon

svastyā - with well-being or auspiciousness

varuṇaḥ - Varuna (the Vedic deity of the waters and cosmic order)

samīcyā - properly, correctly, or appropriately

yamaḥ - Yama (the deity of death and justice)

rājā - king

pramṛṇābhiḥ - pra = manifest
                     mṛṇā, from the root "mṛ," meaning to show compassion
                     abhiḥ = towards
punātu - may he purify

mā - me

jātavedā - Jataveda (another name for Agni, meaning 'knower of all creations')

morjayantyā - while praising or invoking

punātu - may he purify


May Soma purify us with well-being. May Varuṇa purify us with propriety. May Yama purify us with great compassion. May Jataveda purify us with with His invocation.

The moon ( Soma )represents the mind. The purification of the mind leads us to well-being. Abiding to dharma ( the cosmic order, whose presiding deity is Varuna ) enables us to live correctly. Death ( Yama ) is literally time. When death pounces, we say that our 'time' is up. Purification of time enables us to act with great compassion, as we are humbled by death. Jātaveda is the name for Lord Agni who is the knower of all beings. Every ceremony is therefore, purified by His invocation.

For instance, wedding vows are done in the presence of Jātaveda, who is the cosmic witness to the oath taken. Here, the purity of the oath is preserved.

This mantra guides us on how to live, and the importance of purification of different aspects of us.

The Pavamana Sukta officially ends here. However, during Punyahavacanam, several other mantras are recited, as below:

(1) Vyāhṛti-s:

भूर् भुवः सुवः

bhūr bhuvaḥ suvaḥ

Bhūḥu : 

Bhūḥu refers to materialisation. This is the gross plane. Materialisation refers to the gross form of the absolute reality- the planet, the body, mountains etc

Absolute reality ( God ) condensed after big bang, forming the 5 elements. The subtlest form of the 5 elements, is akasha ( ether ). Ether can be only perceived through sound energy. The Vedas were downloaded in the form of sounds ( mantras ) which vibrate as akasha ( ether ). The Ether element is the cosmic archive which houses all data about the universe.

As per Vedas, ether condensed to form wind ( vayu ). Wind can be experienced through touch and sound. It is a little more gross. Wind then condensed to fire - which can be perceived through touch, sound and form. Fire condenses to water - which can be perceived through touch, sound, form and taste. Finally, water condenses to form earth - which can be perceived with touch, sound, form, taste and smell. This is why earth is synonymous to Bhu - for it represents the most gross plane.

Bhuvaḥa :

Bhuvaḥa refers to vibration. It is more subtle than Bhūḥu . Vibration is sound energy. Sound is the underlying principle for the hologram of creation to take place. Every sound ( vibration ) has a form. Every sound produces a geometry. This geometry is what we see as the universe. The solar system, the planets, the alignment of the heavenly bodies, the symmetry of our bodies etc is governed by the underlying vibration. Bhūḥu is only a hologram projected by the plane of Bhuvaḥa .

Video: Illustration on how sound creates geometry which creates forms we perceive. 
Video courtesy : Youtube: Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds - Part 1 - Akasha

As mentioned earlier, the Vedas themselves were downloaded as sound vibrations; mantras.


svāḥa refers to radiation. Radiation is like light - pure waveform. Consciousness is wave. It is all pervasive. We can find various forms of shadows in accordance to the size of objects and bodies. Despite these varieties ( in creation,so as to say ) , the underlying principle behind these varieties is a common consciousness - the sunlight. The atma - God is the underlying wave which threads the entire creation. It is the string which joins every individual bead in a bangle.

As we recite bhūḥu-bhuvaḥa-svaḥa , we are realising the three fundamental dimensions of the cosmos. All these dimensions are non-different. They are just moving from the grossest to the subtlest.

The same apple you eat becomes gross by forming flesh and faeces. The subtler aspect becomes the mind. The even subtler aspect becomes the life force within which sustains the body.

(2) śānti mantra

ॐ तच्छं योरावृणीमहे । गातुं यज्ञाय । गातुं यज्ञपतये । दैवी स्वस्तिरस्तु नः । स्वस्तिर्मानुषेभ्यः । ऊर्ध्वं जिगातु भेषजम् ।
शं नो अस्तु द्विपदे । शं चतुष्पदे ॥

oṃ tacchaṃ yorāvṛṇīmahe । gātuṃ yajñāya । gātuṃ yajñapataye । daivī svastirastu naḥ । svastirmānuṣebhyaḥ । ūrdhvaṃ jigātu bheṣajam ।
śaṃ no astu dvipade । śaṃ catuṣpade ॥

tacchaṃ - that truth (tat = that, sat = truth)

yorāvṛṇīmahe - we choose or seek (from the root "vṛ," meaning to choose)

gātuṃ - to go or move

yajñāya - for the sacrifice or ritual

gātuṃ yajñapataye - to go to the Lord of the sacrifice

daivī - divine

svastiḥ - welfare, prosperity

astu - let there be

naḥ - for us

svastiḥ - welfare, prosperity

mānuṣebhyaḥ - for mankind

ūrdhvaṃ - upwards

jigātu - may it conquer or win

bheṣajam - medicine, healing

śaṃ-naḥ = peace- to us

astu - let there be

dvipade - two-legged 

śaṃ - peace

catuḥ-pade - four-legged 


We seek that ultimate truth. May we move towards the sacrifice, may we move towards the Lord of the sacrifice. Let there be divine prosperity for us. Let there be welfare for mankind. May the medicine conquer (diseases) upwards. Let there be peace for us, the two-legged, and peace for the four-legged.

This śānti mantra speaks on the significance of a sacrifical ritual.  Through a yāga, we attain the absolute reality. The yāga showers divine prosperity, welfare, health and peace to all beings.

The yāga is the heart of the Vedic culture.

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