Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Svaha Mean?

Svaha is a Sanskrit lexical term used in Hinduism and Buddhism as a denouement at the end of a mantra. This is particularly important in Mantra yoga. There are various translations of svaha, but the simplest is that it means “well said” or in the Tibetan language translation, “so be it.” The term may derive from the root words, su, meaning “well,” and ah, meaning “to call.”

Alternative interpretations of the term and its connotations are that it could mean “all hail.” More broadly, svaha is considered a term of blessing, and may be regarded as an exclamation of joy, ecstasy or an expression of complete emotional release.

In Vedic rituals, svaha is exclaimed by the priest after each ladle of an offering to the fire.


Yogapedia Explains Svaha

Although svaha is not a seed-syllable term because it has two syllables, in Buddhist mantras, it functions in the same way as a seed syllable mantra would. Svaha first appears in the Buddhist texts of the Dharanis, which were incorporated into the Mahayana Buddhist sutras, such as the "White Lotus" and the "Golden Light."

In the "Rig Veda," svaha is used as a feminine noun which may mean an offering to Agni, the fire god. Some say that Svaha is name of the wife of Agni and of a minor goddess who was previously a nymph. Svaha is chanted during havissu, an offering made during yagnas, which is a ritual made in front of a sacred fire. This may be another explanation for its use at the end of mantras because it is a way of offering the mantra up to the gods, similar to a fire offering.

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