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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Ahava, AhAva, AAhaava

Āhāva literally means ‘calling’.

Derived from the root ‘hve’ (‘to call’), āhāva is the technical name of a formula of summons pronounced loudly by the hotṛ (chief of the priests representing the Rgveda) in a Soma sacrifice before starting the śastra (laudatory recitation). It is usually in the form of śom 3*[1] sāvom or śoṃsāvo 3[1] (a corrupt form of śarṃsāva).

Soma juice is extracted (savana) three times during the day :

  • Morning - prātasavana
  • Noon - mādhyandinasavana
  • Evening - tṛtīyasavana

During all these three savanas āhāva is done 4 times in the first, 5 times in the second and again 4 times in the third.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The numeral 3 indicates that the syllable is to be chanted for 3 unites of time, called a 'pluta' as against 1 unit of time ('hrasva') or 2 units of time (dīrgha').
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore