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Svaha

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In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sanskrit lexical item svāhā (Romanized Sanskrit transcription; Devanagari: स्वाहा , chi. 薩婆訶 sà pó hē, jp. sowaka, tib. soha) is an interjection, approximately "hail!" in mantras indicating the end of the mantra. In the Tibetan language, "svaha" is translated as "so be it" and is often pronounced and orthographically represented as "soha". Whenever fire sacrifices are made, svāhā is chanted. Etymologically, the term is probably from su "well" and the root ah "to call".

As a feminine noun, svāhā in the Rigveda may also mean "oblation" (to Agni or Indra), and as oblation personified, Svāhā is a minor goddess, and the wife of Agni. She was originally a nymph but became immortal after marrying Agni. In some versions, she is one of the many divine mothers of Karttikeya. She is considered as a Daughter of Daksha. She is taught to preside over burnt offerings. Her body is said to consist of the four Vedas and her six limbs are the six Angas of the Vedas. Sometimes she is represented as a wife of Rudra[1]

Lord Agni, as also the other Gods, to whom offerings are being made through yagna, don't accept any offering in the fire of the yagna, unless the word 'swaha' is uttered while the offering is poured in the altar of fire.

Other meanings

  • "Svaha" is also an Old Icelandic or Norse word, meaning "the pause between the lightning and the thunder" and Sanskrit and Norse languages have a shared origin in the Indo-European language family.

References

  1. MW Sanskrit Digital Dictionary v1.5
ja:スヴァーハー

ta:சுவாகா

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