Goddess of Ash, Afterlife and Marriage
|Children||Pavaka, Pavamana, Suci|
In Hinduism the Sanskrit lexical item svāhā (romanized Sanskrit transcription; Devanagari: स्वाहा; Chinese: 薩婆訶, sà pó hē, Japanese: sowaka; Tibetan: སྭཱ་ཧཱ་ sw'a h'a; Korean: 사바하, sabaha) is a denouement used at the end of a mantra, which is invoked during yajna fire sacrifices and worship. Svāhā is chanted to offer oblation to the gods. As a feminine noun, svāhā in the Rigveda may also mean oblation (to Agni or Indra). Svaha also is considered to mean an auspicious ending.
Svāhā is also personified as a Goddess and the consort of Agni. According to the Brahmavidya Upanishad, Svāhā represents the shakti or power that cannot be burned by Agni. In the Upanishads, Svāhā states to be enamoured by Agni and wishes to dwell with Agni. Other deities state that oblations will hence be offered to Agni while invoking svāhā during hymns, therefore Svāhā will dwell with Agni in perpetuity.
In some versions, she is one of the many divine mothers of Kartikeya (Skanda). She is also the mother of Agneya (Aagneya) — the daughter of Agni. She is considered to be a daughter of Daksha and his consort Prasuti. She is thought 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.
In the Mahabharata Vana Parva, Markandeya narrates her story to the Pandavas. Svaha was the daughter of Daksha. She fell in love with the god of fire, Agni, and was pursuing him. Agni did not notice her. Agni presided over the sacrificial rituals of the Saptarshis. The god became highly besotted with the wives of the Saptarshis who were so attractive and beautiful, and kept staring at them.
Finally, Agni could not bear the guilt of longing for wives belonging to someone else and he went to the forests to perform penances. Svaha followed him and realised his desire. She took the forms of the wives of the Saptarshis (though she was unable to take the form of Arundhati, wife of Vashishtha) and approached Agni. Agni and Svaha spent many loving moments in the forest.
- Antonio Rigopoulos (1998). Dattatreya: The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara: A Study of the Transformative and Inclusive Character of a Multi-faceted Hindu Deity. State University of New York Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7914-3696-7.
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- Dalal, Roshen (18 April 2014). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-81-8475-277-9.
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