The mantra Twameva comes from the Pandava Gita, an anonymously compiled collection of verses from several ancient sacred Hindu texts (Mahabharata, Bhagavata, and Vishnu Purana). It is also called the song of surrender, as the overarching theme of this sacred hymn is complete surrender to the divine. Its verses are widely chanted by those seeking to experience the wisdom said to be contained therein.
The mantra Twameva is one of the most beloved Hindu mantras and comes from verses spoken by Queen Gandhari to Krishna. In Sanskrit, the lines are:
Twameva mata cha pita twameva
Twameva bandhushcha sakha twameva
Twameva vidya dravinam twameva
Twameva sarvam mama deva deva
Translated into English, the verses mean:
“You alone are my mother,
you alone my father; you alone are my kinsman, you alone my friend;
you alone are my knowledge, you alone my wealth!
You are everything to me, Oh Lord of Lords, you alone!”
~ The Pandava Gita, Verse 28, translated by Satya Chaitanya (source)
Translating Sanskrit sacred hymns into the English language can often be difficult, because not only do the words themselves have meanings, but also the syllables, the letters, their arrangement, and context, as well as the use of symbols can give the text multiple layers of meanings. The following translation offers an “elucidation” of the verses for further context:
Tvameva Mata: You are my Mother, the Supreme One Without a Second, Who nourishes me with Divine Love and graces my life with Self-Respect (the perception of my self as the Soul-Self, and not just as a body, mind, intellect, or ego).
Cha Pita Tvameva: And you are my Father, the Supreme Being Who protects me by raising my consciousness and transforming my mind into a receptacle of the divine; Who instills in me the sterling qualities of Divine Consciousness.
Tvameva Bandu cha Sakha Tvameva: You are my True Relative with Whom I am eternally related as Atman (Soul-self) with Paramatman (the Supreme Self), and You are my Best Friend, my Eternal Companion and Dearest Confident Who will never leave me.
Tvameva Vidya: You are the Divine Wisdom, the Essence of everything I know, everything I am learning, and everything I do not know but seek to understand and realize (actualize).
Dravinam Tvameva: You are the Highest Wealth (Laxmi) and the Bestower of all the best things in this life and the next. You are the Source of everything good and the Bestower of all Resources we require for our physical sustenance and spiritual enlightenment. You are the Wealth of Wisdom and the Gift of Liberation (Moksha).
Tvameva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva: You are All-in-All; You are Everything to me, You are the core of my being, the Heart of my heart, the Source of my Self, the Soul of my soul, the Ultimate Reality devoid of duality and partiality; Indivisible, Immutable, Immaculate, the Ultimate Knower and the Absolute Perfect Incomparable Supreme Being.
~ An elucidation by Jai Maha Dev on verse 28 of the Pandava Gita (source)
Below is a rendition of the Twameva mantra that we put together, but many other versions and ways of singing it can also be found on YouTube:
Article by Jenny Resnick. Research by Justin Norris, Vida Norris, Jenny Resnick, Jordan Resnick, and Sonam Lama.