The swan, or “Hamsa”, in Sanskrit is an important motif in Advaita Vedanta, a school of thought in the Hindu philosophy that has endeavored to penetrate its name. Ham-sa when inverted reads as sa-ham, which in Sanskrit means the oneness of human and the divine. During pranayama, which is a yogic exercise of breath control, the inhalation is believed sound like ham, while the exhalation is believed to sound like sa. Thus, a hamsa came to epitomize the prana, the breath of life. It symbolises two things: first, the swan is called “hamsah” in Sanskrit (which becomes hamso if the first letter in the next word is /h/). Upon repeating this hamso indefinitely, it becomes so-aham or soham, meaning, “I am That”. Second, just as a swan lives in water but its feathers are not soiled by water, similarly a liberated being lives in this world full of maya but is untouched by its illusion.