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The Pavamana Mantra



asato mā sad gamaya,
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya,
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya,
Om shanti~ shanti~ shanti hi~~

Lead me from falsehood to truth,
Lead me from darkness to light,
Lead me from death to the immortality
Om peace peace peace


These three statements are referred to as the three Pavamana Mantras.


The word used for immortality here is āmṛtaṃ, and the word used for death is mṛtyu (root word) mṛtyor (ablative case, meaning "from death"). The word used for light is jyotir, and the word used for darkness is tamas. The word used for truth here is sat (or "sad" in IAST). The word used for falsehood is the negation of sat, asat, a combination of a (negation) and sat. The verb used is gam + Nich (to go, causal form: to cause to go, i.e. to lead, inspire, push, etc.), in the imperative lot mood, second person singular gamaya.


The Sanskrit term sat, which means "truth" or "what is existing, real", has a range of important religious meanings including "truth" or "the Absolute, Brahman". The passage immediately following the mantra explicitly identifies the unreal and darkness with death and the real and light with immortality, saying that all three portions of the mantra have the same meaning of "Make me immortal.”

 Krishnananda 1977: "The light that we see in this world is really a form of darkness, [...] all forms of life are forms of death only. They are not realities. The sunlight is not real light, because it is not intelligent. [...] So, the prayer is for a total rise from this involved, insufficient, conditioned 'being' to the absolutely independent, unconditioned 'Being' which is simultaneously Sat, Jyotir and Amrtam – Existence, Light, Enlightenment, Consciousness, Omniscience and Immortality. No rebirth is possible there. "



Sanskrit help from Wikipedia


Here is a link to a chant of the Mantra:


Pavamana Mantra