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The Gayatri Panjara, AKA the Savitri Panjara, is a hymn to Gayatri, five-headed wife of Brahma and goddess of the Vedas. Here is the preamble to the hymn given in this excerpt from the Narada Purana:

The sage of the Panjara is So'ham, the metre is vikriti. The great Hamsa is the deity and the great Brahman etc. are the deities, its utility and application is for the attainment of virtue, wealth, desire and salvation.

My question is, what does it mean to say that the sage who heard the Gayatri Panjara from the gods is "So'ham"?

For those who don't know, So'ham is Sanskrit for "I am That". It's an expression taken from the Isha Upanishad, and in Adi Shankaracharya's philosophy of Advaita it's taken to be a central insight revealing the individual soul and Brahman as one and the same.

But why would "I am That" be listed as the seer of a mantra? Who was the actual seer of the Gayatri Panjara? This forum post claims that it "was given to Lord Brahma at the time of creation of universe by Lord Narayana Himself". So is Vishnu the one being described as "So'ham", since he is the Supreme Soul or Paramatma?

Does anyone know if there are any other scriptures which discuss the seer of the Gayatri Panjara?

  • Lord Brahma is narrating the Savitri Panjara Stotram to Narada.So Soham must refer to Brahma.I have also read that Narayana gave it to Brahma at the beginning of creation. – Rickross Mar 23 '16 at 7:22
  • @Rickross Actually, in this Narada Purana chapter, Sanatkumara is telling the Stotram to Narada, so if you think the rishi of the Stotram is the person speaking, then Sanatkumara would be the rishi. But I don't think that's what's going on here. Otherwise it would simply say "Aham (I) am the rishi". Instead it says "So'ham is the rishi." I think what it means is "That being who is described in the Upanishads with the phrase "So'ham", i.e. Brahman, is the Rishi", where Brahman is being equated here with Vishnu. That would make sense if Vishnu taught it to Brahma, who taught it to Sanatkumara. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 23 '16 at 8:22
  • You know even though Hamsa is the deity - Soham is just a modification of Hamsa. So it could mean that Paramahamsa (the great Hamsa) is the deity and Hamsavatara of Vishnu is the seer. – Surya Mar 23 '16 at 11:19

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