Who is Saraswati?
The story of Saraswati
Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. She is the consort of Brahma, also revered as his Shakti. She is also addressed as Sharadha, Veena pustaka dharani, Vaakdevi, Varadhanayagi.... these are just a few names among many other.
Saraswati comes from Sarasmeaning "flow" and wati meaning "she who has...". i.e., "she who has flow".
Saraswati is symbol of knowledge, its flow or growth is like a river, and knowledge is supremely alluring, like a woman. Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman, dressed in pure white and seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the absolute truth. Thus, she not only has the knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. She is mainly associated with the colour white, which signifies purity of true knowledge... however, she is also associated with the colour yellow, the colour of flowers of the mustard plant that bloom at the time of her festival in the spring. Unlike the goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati is adorned with simple jewels and gold, representing her preference of knowledge over worldly material things.
She is generally shown to have four arms, which represents the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. Alternatively, these four arms also represent the four Vedas, the primary sacred book of Hindus. The vedas, in turn, represent the three forms of literature:
- Poetry - The Rig-Veda contains hymns, representing poetry.
- Prose - Yajurveda contains prose
- Music - Samaveda represents music
The four hands also depict this thus - prose is represented by the book in one hand, poetry by the garland of crystal, and music by the veena. the pot of sacred water represents purity in all of these three, or their power to purify human thought.
She is shown to hold the following in her hands:
- A book, which is sacred Vedas, representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as her perfection of the sciences and the scriptures.
- A mala of crystals, representing the power of meditation and spirituality.
- A pot of sacred water, representing creative and purification powers.
- The vina, a musical instrument that represents her perfection of all arts and sciences. Saraswati is also associated with anuraga, the love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expresses in speech or music.
She is known as Sharadha, Vani and Vagdevi, all meaning "speech".