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Goddess Saraswati – About Hindu Goddess Saraswati

Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and learning. She is the deity invoked for attaining mastery in music and fine arts. Students, writers, artists and poets invoke her and take her blessings for success and achievements.
Ignorance is impurity. Knowledge removes impurity. This knowledge is Saraswati. The light of knowledge is all-penetrating. It removes mind’s darkness. It removes the blindness of the ignorant and clears the vision.

She is essentially a Vedic goddess and is mentioned in the Rig Veda.

The popular belief is the Goddess Saraswati appeared from the mind of Brahma before he began the process of creation. Brahma needed a female to complete a yajna he was preparing to complete before creation. A girl appeared from his Sattva Guna and she was named Saraswati.

Brahma asked her to sit on the tip of the tongue of human beings. Another form of her was asked to reside with him. At third form became river on earth.

In traditional Hindu iconography, Goddess Saraswati is represented as being of fair complexion. She is dressed in lustrous white silk. She has four arms and is seated on a lotus. She holds a veena, stringed musical instrument, in two hands. In one hand, she holds Vedas - a book made of palm leaves. In another hand, she holds a string of 51 crystal beads called akshamala.

The colour symbolic of light and purity is white. That is why Goddess Saraswati, the symbol
of knowledge and wisdom, is white. Clarity also means purity. For the same reason, the colour symbolic of purity is white.

Just as Mother Lakshmi has the pot of savings of ‘material utility’ in her hand, Mother Saraswati holds a book, the ‘receptacle of knowledge’. Knowledge acquired over ages is stored in a book.

The ability to apply knowledge properly to the field of work is wisdom. And wisdom leads to humility. Wisdom has no ego. That is why wisdom is sweet, affectionate, and good to hear. That is why Saraswati has the musical veena in her hands.

And the symbol of development is the hundred petal lotus. The symbol of development with the scent of pure knowledge is the white lotus, the seat of Saraswati.

Vehicle or Vahana of Goddess Saraswati is an elegant white swan or Hamsa. It is a symbol of knowledge, wisdom and power of discrimination. One very rare occasion, She is depicted with a peacock, a symbol of secular knowledge.

This bird has the unique ability to drink milk after separating it from water. This special quality of throwing away the non-essentials and accepting the essentials is in reality the quality of being appreciative. The swan also has the ability to dust off any stain from its body. When it enters mud, its body becomes muddy. But as soon as it gets out of mud and flaps its wings, all mud vanishes. Not even a trace of stain remains anywhere on its body. Then it becomes stainless and sinless.

Sometimes the Goddess is portrayed making Vyakkyaana mudra – the gesture of teaching in which the tips of the index finger and thumb are pressed together to form a circle, with the palm of the hand facing the devotee. The other fingers are stretched upwards.

Temples exclusively dedicated to Goddess Saraswati are very rare. The most famous among them are Basra Gnana Saraswati Temple in Telangana, Mookambika Temple in Karnataka and Panchikadu Saraswati Temple in Kerala.

She is also known as Goddess Sharda, Goddess Gayatri and Savitri.

The most important festivals dedicated to Goddess Saraswati are Basant Panchami, Navratri and Vijayadashami. Sharda Puja is held on Diwali in Gujarat and western parts of India.

She is invoked before initiating children into the world of letters and knowledge. This ceremony is known as Aksharabhyasam or Vidyarambham.

White and yellow color flowers are offered to her.

Prayer to Goddess Saraswathi

Saraswathi Namasthubhyam,
varade Kama roopini,
Vidhyarambham karishyami,
sidhir bhavathu me sada.
My salutations to Goddess Saraswathi,
Who can take any form,
Who is the giver of all boons,
And I start learning now,
With the prayer to her,
To make it very effective