By Swami Harshananda
Pavamānasukta literally means ‘prayer concerning Pavamāna-Soma’.
Significance of Pavamānasukta
This is a well-known sukta or prayer appearing in the Ṛgveda. Madhucchandā is the sage and Pavamāna-Soma is the deity. It is composed in the gāyatrī metre. This prayer is actually addressed to the soma juice considered as a deity. The word ‘pavamāna’ literally means ‘flowing’, hence Pavamāna-Soma is the deity of soma juice which is flowing. However in course of time, the word ‘pavamāna’ came to be associated with or applied to Vāyu or the wind-god.
Inference of Pavamānasukta
The Ṛgvedic prayer requests the deity to flow in torrents, to destroy the enemies grant wealth and food as strength. It also mentions that when Indra, the king of gods, drinks this soma juice, becomes exhilarated and fulfills all the desires of the supplicants like destroying their enemies and granting wealth. Dharmaśāstra works often prescribe this sukta to be used as a mantra for the purification of the bones of a dead person to be repeated in śrāddha ceremonies as a purifier when sins have been committed.
- Ṛgveda 9.1.1-10
- Their enemies are the demons.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore