Skip to main content

A Power Word (Mantra) That Makes You God - Tat Tvam Asi

The author is a Post Graduate in Economics, Graduate in Botany as well as law, M.A., BSc., LL.B. law practitioner Bhagavad Gita enthusiast

Tat Tvam Asi meaning


"Tat Tvam Asi" is one among the four mahavakyas. "Tat" means ''that'', "Tvam" means ''you'', "Asi" means ''are''. Thus 'that thou (you) art'. Or "that you are".

Tat Tvam Asi is the simplest way to explain what vedanta enunciates. Brahman is everything (absolute tattv of) or (principal). Since Brahman is everything it automatically makes it most explicit that everything is Brahman.

"Tat Tvam Asi" does not mean that we are everything. we are not space. we are not laws but we are pure awareness which we call soul or Atman or consciousness.

Clear Or Still Confused ?

Above text maybe a little confusing for you to understand, but I am sure by reading this article in full, you will have complete understanding about tat tvam asi and it's meaning, along with its origin and other allied particulars, and how you can integrate this Knowledge in your life and how can you realize the full divinity in you.

Tat Tvam Asi Mantra Video

"Tat Tvam Asi" are Sanskrit words and are given emphasis by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the proponent of Advaita philosophy and enunciates unity of Atman with Bramhan. Tat Tvam Asi as per Sri. Adi Shankaracharya in simple parlance conveys that the soul and super soul are identical and so there is no difference between them.

Tat Tvam Asi is the edifice on which Sri. Adi Shankaracharya built his concept about Advaita philosophy.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya


Tat Tvam asi and Advaita philosophy

Though the origin of the Advaita philosophy dates back to more than 3000 years, yet it was given prominence by Sri. Adi Shankaracharya, an Indian Vedic scholar and teacher who lived during 700 CE (disputed) to 732 CE (disputed) and established 4 famous Mutts in India. All beings are thus universal energy and not distinct and separate from it. By reciting Tat Tvam Asi, we are saying that Brahman and Atman are one and the same and thus there is no ego and no separateness from the supreme self. Thus all beings are one with Brahman.

Tvam is the essential nature of an individual soul. Tat is the nature of supreme Brahman. Asi is the oneness of the soul with the supreme soul. Tat Tvam Asi takes us into our inner world from the world we already experience outside.

Changes take place in us as well as in the universe, which all of us can perceive. But beyond perception, there is an eternal truth, absolute bliss, Brahman the supreme truth. This supreme truth is also residing in each and every being as Atma.
Tat Tvam Asi makes it most explicit that we are also this same eternal truth.

Bhagvad-gita and Tat Tvam Asi

Lord Krishna through Bhagavad-gita has imparted the message of Tat Tvam Asi to Arjuna. Vide chapter 1 to 6, Lord Krishna is exhorting Arjuna to see "Tvam" i.e. the 'I' in Arjuna. Vide chapter 7 to 12 Lord Krishna has dealt with 'Tat' i.e. the Nirguna Brahman. Vide chapter 13 to 18, Lord Krishna has dealt with 'Asi' that i.e. oneness of the soul with supreme soul

Bhagavad-gita's top Verses that reveals (Tat Tvam Asi)

Tat Tvam Asi and it's connection with Sabarimala Temple

"Tat Tvam Asi" the word is written in Malayalam on the facade of the Sabrimala temple. Very few temples in India have the word Tat Tvam Asi written on the facade of respective temple. In Sabrimala temple the ritual itself enunciates the concept of 'Tat Tvam Asi'

Sabarimala - Temple Kerala India

Sabarimala Temple

Sabarimala Temple

Sabarimala Temple and Tat Tvam Asi enunciating ritual.

Any devotee who goes first time to Sabrimala temple carries on his head a cloth bag with various items in it including a Coconut filled with Ghee and Sealed. Cloth bag containing things as above is called "Irumudi Kettu"

The coconut is a symbolic representation of the human body. The ghee inside is mind. The devotee before praying before the Lord Ayyappa opens the coconut by breaking it and pouring the ghee into vessel kept for the ghee (Nai Thoni) and there after, coconut is thrown into the "Homa Kunda"(The fire). Thus after emptying the body and mind with nothing left, we pray to Lord Ayyappa. This represents the merging of soul with universal soul, the merging of jivatma with Parmatma.

Scroll to Continue

Irumudi Kettu

Irumudi Kettu

Irumudi Kettu

The origin of "Tat Tvam Asi "

The origin of the world 'Tat Tvam Asi' can be traced way back to the Chandogya Upanishad, of the 'Sama Veda' i.e. around 8th to 6th century BCE. Chandogya Upanishad, has 8 chapters. Chapter 6 contains TatTvam Asi. It is portrayed as a dialogue between Rishi Uddaalaka Aruni and Shvetaketu Aruni. Rishi Uddaalaka Aruni is the father as well Guru of Shvetaketu Aruni. Thus it can be construed as a teaching of Guru to disciple.

Tat Tvam Asi is the Brahma Vidya, the knowledge of supreme truth i.e. the oneness between the soul and the supreme soul. Self knowledge removes our ignorance of our own nature. Rishi Uddaalaka Aruni told Shvetaketu that once a person knows clay, then he also knows pots made of clay. Once a person knows iron all things made from iron are known. Same way, if one knows Brahman, then the entire universe (all the things) that cannot exist without God are also known. Uddaalaka Aruni, finally concluded his teachings to his disciple by making a statement "TAT TVAM ASI" which means that one's we know ourself self realisation we know the universe since it is like pot and clay because universe cannot exist without presence of Brahman, thus oneness between soul and supreme soul.

References of Tat Tvam Asi



A.C.E. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


4. QUORA -Anagha Meera Manohar

5. Advaita Vision

Conclusion and How to Practice 'Tat Tvam Asi'

I hope by reading this article you got the Understanding of Tat Tvam Asi meaning, and origin and other particulars about this mantra.

Now the most important question that may arise in your mind will be how you can apply this knowledge in your life and get the highest benefit out of it.

So for getting complete benefit out of this Mantra you have to recite this mantra everyday either at a fixed time or whenever you have free time, with the complete understanding of the meaning of Tat Tvam Asi and having a feeling within you when you recite.

Further apply this understanding in all areas of your life by always remembering that there is no 'Other' only you are there, which in its turn means all the 'others' are 'you' and you are all others.

By introducing this philosophy in your life for at least 21 days, I am sure you will see a visible change in your thinking, behaviour and various patterns in your life, apart from all these you will finally find a feeling of connection with yourself and the supreme.

About the author of this article

I am a Post Graduate in Economics, Graduate in Botany as well as law, M.A., BSc., LL.B.

The author knows 343 slokas of Bhagavad Gita by heart and being inspired by studying slokas 68 to 71 of chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita, I deemed it fit and proper to impart whatever little knowledge about "Tat Tvam Asi" to others which Lord Krishna has conveyed through chapter 1 to 18 of Bhagavad Gita (shlokas 11 of chapter 2 to sloka 71 of chapter 18.

Its not Just l am informing you about my educational qualifications or not to brag about myself, but just for you to understand that it is from my personal experience.

I submit this work at the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna as an offering of a humble devotee


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 A D Chandra Bose

Related Articles