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Sarasvathi - The Goddess of Knowledge (Navarathri Special 3)

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Sarasvathi, the goddess of learning and knowledge is depicted as the wife of Brahma, the creator of the world. She is represented as an extremely beautiful woman with milk-white complexion, sitting or standing on a water lily and playing a veena.

    She presides over and protects every form of art and is credited with the invention of writing. Whenever, a student is initiated into any new art, worship of this goddess is performed. She is also called Vagvadini, the deity of eloquence. She is also the goddess of speech, the power through which knowledge expresses itself in action.

    Literally Sarasvathi means, “the flowing one”. In the Vedas she represents a river and the deity presiding over it. Hence she is connected with fertility and purification. The “ flowing one” can represent speech also, allegorically. Perfect speech presupposes power and intelligence from which organized creation proceeds.

    Here are some of the names used to describe her: - S(h)arada, giver of essence, Vagis(h)vari, the mistress of speech, Brahmi , the wife of Brahma, Mahavidya, knowledge of Supreme. Knowledge is the antithesis of the darkness of ignorance. Hence she is depicted as pure white in colour. Since she is the representation of all sciences, arts, crafts and skills, she has to be extraordinarily beautiful and graceful. Clad in a spotless white apparel and seated on a lotus seat, she holds in her hands, a veena, akshamala (rosary) and book.

    Being the consort of Brahma, the creator, she represents his power and intelligence, without which organized creation is impossible. That she is seen in white shows that this intelligent power is stupendous.

    Being the goddess of learning, it is but proper that she is shown holding a book in her left hand. This represents all areas of secular sciences. The veena , she holds, shows the need for cultivation of fine arts to show that higher feelings, sentiments and emotions are necessary besides intellectual learning. The akshamala in the right hand symbolizes all spiritual sciences.

    Two mounts, the swan and the peacock are attributed to her. The peacock with its beautiful plumage stands for this world in all its glory. This symbolizes Avidya or secular knowledge. The swan, which is supposed to possess the peculiar power of separating milk from water stands for Vidya or spiritual illumination. This shows that we transcend hunger and thirst through the secular sciences and then alone can obtain immortality through the spiritual sciences. It is to teach this great truth to us that Mother Sarasvati
    has chosen the two mounts, the swan and the peacock.

    Let us close with this verse on Mahasarasvathi from Devi Mahatmiyam:

    Vidhyah samasthah thava daevi baedhah
    Sthriyah samasthah sakalaa jagathsu

    All the arts and sciences are your aspects; so are all the different women in the world your form.

    Some prayers to Sarasvathi are:
    The Importance of Saraswathi Puja and Ayudha Puja
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/pujas-prayers-and-slokas/1868-shlokas-14.html#post12899
    Navarathri Shlokas (daily chanting)
    Vaak Siddhikara Sarasvathi Sthothram (post 756)
    Shree Sarasvathi Dvadasanama Sthothram (post 724)
    Navaratri Shlokas (Saraswathi)

    Love,
    Chithra.

     
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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    ஸரஸ்வதியின் தமிழ் சுலோகங்கள்:

    ஓம் ஊழ்வினை போக்குபவளே போற்றி
    ஓம் ஊமைக்கும் அருள்பவளே போற்றி
    ஓம் ஊரார் மெச்ச வைப்பவளே போற்றி
    ஓம் ஊரும், பேரும் தருபவளே போற்றி
    ஓம் ஊழியின் சக்தியே போற்றி
    ஓம் ஊனக்கண் நீக்கி, ஞானக்கண் அருள்பவளே போற்றி

    கம்பர் அருளிய அந்தாதியைப் படித்தால், கலையும் கல்வியும் மனதில் ஏறும்:
    ஆயகலைகள் அறுபாத்து நான்கினையும்
    ஏய உணர்விக்கும் என்னம்மை தூய
    உருப்பளிக்கு போலாவாள் என் உள்ளத்தினுள்ளே
    இருப்பன் இங்கு வாராது இடர்.

    அன்புடன்,
    சித்ரா.
     
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi chitmam,

    Simple explanation:clap:clap:clap. i did not the know the significance of her vahanas.thanks for explaining.

    Last year had been to koothanur. the goddess there looks so divine and energy vibrates throughout the sanctum. not too commercially exploited still....
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shanthi,
    Is your other name "promptness" ??:tongue
    I visited Koothanoor on a Vijayadasami day when there was a special alankaram. It was breath taking.
    Please see the photo of Koothanur Sarasvathi by Shilpi, a less common one, which I have just posted in the pdf files of deity pictures.
    Thankyou for joining me so fast !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  5. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    You have very beautifully explained about the Godess Saraswathi. Most of the things you explained are new to me. It is so nice of you to share all this for the future generations.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    DearVidhi,
    Thankyou.
    As you say, I want to put many things on record in I L for posterity, as well !
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  7. Priya Amarnath

    Priya Amarnath Bronze IL'ite

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    My dear Chithra

    That was a nice write up about Saraswathi Devi. I got to learn many new things from your post. Thanks for yet another beautiful post.

    Love and regards
    Priya
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Priya,
    With the write up on Sarasvathi, my navarathri postings end !
    I am glad you found it useful.
    Thanks, Priya.
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  9. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Your first few lines have described Sarasvathi so well
    that I feel I am looking at her as I read (which is true isnt it)
    Never knew she was called Vagvadini. By decribing the goddess
    of speech and eloquence the writer in her own words is depicting
    the elegance and eloquence so well. are we seeing the goddess
    through these eloquent words or are we seeing a special
    devotee through these words
    I am going to take many points from here for the quiz I am
    prepareing for my Balashala children.
    The description of Saraswathi continues to be beautiful and \
    graceful as the goddess herself.
    And thank you for the verse from Devi Mahatmiyam;
    i am also taking printout of the importance of the pujas
    so as many children can benefit.Did not know about her vahanas. By reading I am able to see how litle i know and how much more i can teach the kids.
    Thank you so much
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    Thanks for the sweet words - you seem to have become eloquent, when writing about the Goddess of Eloquence !:tongue
    Vagvadini, Vagdevi, Vageeswari , besides Medha, Manasvini are few other names of Her.
    I feel happy that you will find some points useful for your students !:)
    Love,
    To
    Chitra
    From
    Chithra.
     

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