Pavan is the Sanskrit word for “air.” It is one of the five elements of the universe, or pancha mahabhuta, which the human body is also thought to be made up of.

The list of the pancha mahabhuta as described in Hindu philosophy includes earth (bhumi), water (jala), fire (agni) and sky (aakash), in addition to pavan.

The Hindu belief system states that these five elements dissolve upon death, to be retained in the cycle of life. That is, each element reaches its primordial source to balance nature and, thus, the cycle of life.

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