Svaha – Importance, Meaning and Symbolism of the term Svaha in Hindu Rituals and Pujas



Svaha is a word repeatedly used in Hindu rituals and pujas especially during Yajnas. It is mainly repeated again and again when offerings are made into Agni or fire. As per Satapata Brahmana, Svaha is acclaimed to be the glory of Prajapati. Svaha is also a personified as a female deity in some scriptures. Her role is to transmit the offerings made by humans to the gods.

If Om is the primordial sound, Svaha is the sound associated with all yajnas and offerings to Gods. She helps in pleasing the gods and thereby devotees get good fortune and also their desires are fulfilled.

She is the vital element of truth, reclining on Brahman’s inherent nature. She flashes with radiance of three colors – white, red and yellow.

Svaha is mentioned in the Brahmavaivarta Purana as the daughter of Prajapati and his wife Prasuti. She officiated the coronation ceremony of Kartik, when he became the commander of Gods or Devas.
Devi Bhagavata extols the importance and spiritual symbolism of Svaha.

Symbolically, what we are offering to fire is our soul. We are purifying it. Just as gold is purified through fire, a person purifies his/her soul. All ignorance are removed. We purify ourselves to make it fit to travel on path of self realization.