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Symbolism In The Image Of Goddess Saraswati

This article looks at the symbolism hidden in the images of Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddesses of all knowledge, words, learning,  music and art.

The Vedic Tradition in India has given women the highest place of respect and recognition. The Bhagavad Gita is known as Mother Geeta; Knowledge itself is personified as a feminine deity – the Goddess Saraswati.

Goddess Saraswathi represents the ideal Guru, sitting on a lotus holding the sacred scriptures in one hand and a mala in the second hand. With the other 2 hands she plays the Veena.

Sitting on the Lotus symbolizes that the teacher herself is well established in the subjective experience of the Truth.

Holding the Scriptures - indicates that she upholds the knowledge of the scriptures which alone can lead to the truth.

The 4 Hands - represents the 4 aspects of the inner personality - Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (conditioned consciousness, memory) and Ahamkara (ego).

The Veena - The suggestion is that the guru tunes up the mind and intellect of the seeker to be in perfect harmony with the universe, and thus he surrenders his individual conditioning and ego.

Source: Excerpt from an article published in the magazine October 2000 edition of Chinmayam a magazine of Chinmaya mission.


The name Kali refers to her colour, which is black, and represents the infinite. But it also refers to time. That itself gives us a clue to her function, because time, space, and causation are all processes of maya, the great illusion.