So as per the Skanda Purana, Śaṁkara Saṁhitā, Śivarahasya khaṇḍa, Skanda as a teacher describes the meaning of the Pranava to Lord Shiva, as his student as:

सुब्रह्मण्यों स्वरस्यार्थस्त्वं चाहं च सदाशिवोम्।

Subrahmanyom, the pranava is you (shiva) and/or me (subrahmanya), Sadashivom.
Sambhava kāṇḍa, Chapter 34, verse 29

I was wondering about the words ‘Subrahmanyom’ and ‘Sadashivom’. The former is used in the Sarpa Sukta of the Krishna Yajurveda and very surprisingly in the Śatapatha Brahmana III.3.4.17 where it’s an appellation to ‘Brahman’.

From the perspective of Subrahmanya, one would notice the Vaidika Brahmana saying Subrahmanyom only, for which one could argue in favour of ‘Subrahmanya’ referring to the impersonal Brahman, but the Purana adds Sadashivom too, which means that the Pranava is being/ can be added to another deity as per different sects’ ishtadevata and ‘Subrahmanya’ is not impersonal Brahman (Good Brahman Om) at least for the purana.
From the perspective of Lord Shiva, if one thinks Sadashiva to be Brahman, the fact is that term is not only being used for him, but also for his amsha (himself), Subrahmanya; which would mean that it can be used for other deities (Shakti, Narayana, Brahmaji) considered as Brahman by different sects/ other amshas (like Vinayaka, Nandi).


  1. Please explain the significance/ philosophy behind adding the Pranava to any deity’s name, in the above peculiar fashion, to explain the pranava? In other words why has Skanda added the Pranava against 2 deities names to explain its meaning?

    If Subrahmanyom is impersonal Brahman, please explain the significance of this name and whether the word ‘Subrahmanyom’ itself can be used to call on Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Devi, etc.

  2. Can we add the Pranava in the above fashion, to a chosen form of a sect’s ishta:

Ishta Adding Pranava
Vinayaka Vinayakom, Ganeshom
Tri-Shakti Devom, Lakshmom, Saraswatom?
Narayana Narayanom, Ramom, Krishnom
Brahmaji Brahmom, Vidhatom

If yes, please also provide some examples for at least the two other main deities, Narayana and Shakti (will be reluctant to accept answer otherwise). If no, the reason for the same and exception carved out for Sadashiva (e.g. If Subrahmanyom is for the impersonal Brahman, then please explain the reason for the Purana on Sadashivom and why another purana cannot do the same for its ishta)

Please note that this is not a mere sandhi of Subrahmanya and the Pranava, else it would’ve become Subrahmanyaum. It’s Subrahmany + Pranava. Not a duplicate of: What were the reasons for adding "ôm" at end in Subrahmanyôm? as I’m asking about the significance of the term and mainly it’s significance/ allowability when used for other deities.


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