Taittiriya Upanishad- Petal 3

‘Sv’means "one's own". The word ‘sv’ indicates the "my" notion, or the ego power governing all of one's thought, word and deed. Sva hanam is svaha - the ego power has been destroyed by the grace of  the Supreme Power, which means I am released from ego or aham, I am free, the Jiva is free, the material used for oblation representing the Jiva is also free, and hence I am naturally fit for Jiva - Brahma Aikyam.

Thus by the utterance of the svaha− mantra, with proper attitude, one consciously uplifts oneself from the ego power, by the grace of Paramatman and projects one's mind and intellect towards the overriding purpose of life, namely gaining identity with Brahman.  Any prayer preceding the svaha mantra is not for any trivial pleasure, but it is only for serving as an aid in one's endeavor to uplift oneself to reach that state of identity with Brahman. This is the meaning of the svaha mantra. By repeating this svaha mantra again and again, after each prayer, as the ahuti mantra, as the mantra for oblation unto Agni Devata, one affirms one's deliberate commitment to be free from ego and to Brahma Jnan (Knowledge of Brahman) as one's overriding goal of life.

Now let us study the mantra.

These mantras are invocations with which oblations are offered into the sacred fire for getting fortune and students. It should be noted that wealth here is considered as an instrument or means of doing spiritual work through which purity of mind is achieved. From this angle, we understand that the teacher is anxious to get large number of students and additional wealth in the form of food and clothing.  The teacher’s motive for wealth and students is entirely different from that of today’s Private Coaching Classes.


yasho jane.asani svaha . shreyan.h vasyaso.asani svaha .
tam tva bhaga pravishani svaha . sa ma bhaga pravisha svaha .
tasmin tsahasrashakhe nibhagaham tvayi mrije svaha .
yatha.a.apah pravata.a.ayanti yatha masa aharjaram.h .
evam mam brahmacharinah . dhatarayantu sarvatah svaha .
prativesho.asi pra ma bhahi pra ma padyasva .. 3..

May I become famous among men! Svaha! May I become richer than the rich! Svaha! O gracious Lord, may I enter into Thee! Svaha! May Thou, O gracious Lord, enter into me! Svaha! O Lord, I am cleansing my sins in that Self of Thine, which is like a river of a thousand branches. Svaha! O Preserver, as waters flow downward, as the months merge in the year, so may brahmacharins come to me from all directions! Svaha! Thou art a refuge. To me do Thou shine forth. Accept me unto Thyself completely.

Famous among men; richer than the rich – These are the terms used not with an eye on self-enlargement but a prayer to be rich and famous for serving others and to spread spiritual knowledge. Fulfillment of earthly or heavenly personal desires cannot be the purpose of  the knowledge portion of the Vedas.

May I enter into Thee; May Thou, O gracious Lord, enter into me – This is a plea for complete unity between Jiva and Brahman, Thee and Me, the divine and human.

River of thousand branches – Just as a river with a huge number of branches benefits the society on a large scale, meditation on OM is the best means of cleansing one’s vast accumulated sins.

The prayer concludes with an exhortation that as the metal head of an arrow becomes one with the target, the devotee has to worship OM by regarding himself as one with it.


This section brings to the foreground the necessity of intelligence and wealth in that order, for wealth in the hands of a barbarous mind is very dangerous to the society.

A prayer is addressed to the Lord represented by the sacred symbol OM seeking tenacious memory, able body, sweet speech, vast erudition, and general fitness to receive the bliss of immortality.

Prayers in the form of oblations in the fire are made by the eager teacher to transmit spiritual wisdom to an increasing band of calm, self-controlled disciples. His prayer for copious wealth, food and drink has for its motive only the maintenance of the dependent disciples.  The teacher is very keen to share among a multitude of worthy candidates his knowledge “as water flows downwards, as months go to make an year, so may numerous, deserving students come to me”.

This section concludes with the sublime appeal by the teacher “O God, may I enter into thee; may Thou manifest in me and take possession of me; may I be cleansed of all defilement in Thyself having a thousand manifestations”.

iti chaturtho.anuvakah ..

End of Section 4 - Chapter 1

We shall take up Section 5 of Chapter 1 next time.


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