Hindu Mantras

Twameva — A Mantra from the Pandava Gita

Twameva — A Mantra from the Pandava Gita

A depiction of Queen Gandhari being visited by Vyasa, the narrator of the poem the Mahabharata.1

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:

 

Please note: We have not read the entirety of this book, and so cannot vouch for all of its contents. Special thanks to Sonam Lama for submitting this mantra to The Spiritual Sun.


  1. By Ramanarayanadatta astri [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

26 Comments

  • I have been reciting this since the age of 4-5 and I am 45 now.. So for 4 decades. My mom taught me this.

    It has helped me go through many tough times. There is a power to it that I cannot explain. But I have often felt that when I recite it with feeling and true devotion, someone or something listens to me and miracles have happened … I have won when I thought all was lost, got clarity When there was only haze and got kindness when I didn’t deserve it.

    Thank you for bringing it to the world’s notice. Our divine parents are watching over us ….. Always

    • Thanks for sharing the beautiful and intimate experience of Twameva you have Rakesh. You’re very fortunate your mother taught you this at such a young age! I really like what you say about having ‘kindness when you didn’t deserve it’ – the love our divine parents at our times of greatest need is incredible.

      Wishing you more insights, understanding and spiritual growth!

    • Your experience has been very inspiring, Rakesh. Really thanks.

      It must be very beautiful to grow, accompanied throughout your life by this recitation and feel the impact into difficult times too. I hope you have also the chance to impart it to other people as well, so they can feel the benefit and the gratitude for our divinity.

  • I have never heard this mantra before it sounds very nice, I will defiantly give this one a go, do you know were I can get a copy of this version

  • I have practised this mantra for a while almost every day – having in mind that I am singing it to my divine parents. I could feel the connection between us as I was singing the mantra and inspired me to sing this to them more often.

  • What a beautiful hymn to our divinity! It makes some of the most thoughtful and profound mantras I have heard and experienced so far. And this version has also created a feeling and an atmosphere full of sweetness and dedication.

    Really thank you.

  • Thank you for posting that !
    I never heard it before and practicing it for a while I really like its effect inside of me. Like a lullaby it took me slowly in a sleeping mode and aware/clear in the same time. I also liked doing it like singing to my divine parents and wanting to come closer to them. I would recommend that too.

  • I recently spent a week with this mantra as a focus and it brought some wonderful results. I could feel that it opened me up to this very special state, where I had a child-like devotion and love for my divine parents, and was thus receptive to their love for me. Thank you for bringing this mantra to my attention, and for the lovely rendition!

  • This is a beautiful rendition of the mantra. You guys have put it together very nicely. Thank you for providing the expanded translation too, which is full of meaning.

  • This is really so beautiful. I can’t wait to hear it live, and with flute! Thanks for putting this together, very pleasant to listen to.

  • Didn’t know the mantra, but your version is a very nice introduction to it! Beautiful, professional and a bit different, great job.

  • I love the sound of this mantra and the beautiful meaning behind each of its words. I agree – it would be nice to have a compilation of all the mantras presented here on a cd.

  • Thanks for the wonderful introduction to this mantra, and the lovely rendition. I also felt it was something like a medieval european rendition, very east meets west, giving it a unique quality.

    Thank you mantra maestros.

  • So so beautiful and inspiring. It invoked feelings of love and yearning, thank you so much for this celestial chant!

    I would to be able to get all your mantras on a cd one day 🙂

    And happy Valentines Day to you all 🙂

  • Oh thank you for this!

    What a beautiful chant – just came across it today on Valentine’s Day, and it just feels like the perfect song to chant to celebrate the Source of all Love, that of the Divine..

    What a truly beautiful gift <3

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