The Hindu goddess Saraswati represents knowledge, wisdom, art, and music. Additionally, she goes by the names Bharati, Vedamata, Vageshwari, Putkari, Brahmi, and Sarada. In later religious texts, Saraswati is referred to as the creator of Sanskrit and, fittingly, bestows pens and inks upon Ganesha.
Saraswati mata first appears in the Rigveda. Despite the Bengal Vaisnavas' initial belief that she was Vishnu's first wife, she is the wife of Brahma and a patron of the arts and sciences. In Jainism and by some Buddhist sects, saraswati mata is also revered as the goddess of learning. She is one of the three devis known as the Tridevi, along with Lakshmi and Parvati.
Speech And Rivers
The term "Saraswati" derives its meaning from the union of two Sanskrit words: "Saras," which means pooled water or, more figuratively, "speech," and "Vati," which means "she who possesses." She was originally identified with a river or rivers, but is also sometimes referred to as "she who has lakes, and pooling water" or "she who possesses speech" The meanings of Saraswati's name—"elegant," "flowing," and "watery"—indicate that she was one of the first Aryan border rivers.
Like the Ganges River, the Saraswati River originates in the Himalayas and is revered as a sacred source of fertility, good fortune, and cleansing for those who bathe in her waters. The holy river then evolved into a personified god, much like the Ganges.
Festival of the Goddess
The Saraswati Puja, which is celebrated on the first day of spring, is one of the goddess' own celebrations. Worshipers dress in yellow during the event because it represents knowledge and wealth. Additionally, yellow silk is used to cover statues of the goddess, and worshippers ask for protection for their creative talents, books, and musical instruments.
During the occasion, children are taught to write for the first time, ancestors are revered, and Brahmin priests are fed exquisite food. When India as a whole celebrates Navaratri, saraswati mata is honoured with other important deities. She is widely invoked by musicians before performances as the patroness of music, and by students before tests as the goddess of intellectual pursuits.
Saraswati Mata And Brahma
There was anarchy at first. Everything was in a fluid, formless condition. Saraswati mata was asked by Brahma, the universe's creator, if he could make this chaos more orderly. Devi came from Brahma's mouth riding a swan as the goddess Saraswati, heralded by a peacock and carrying holy texts and a veena while clad in white. The goddess said that mortals can benefit only from knowledge. Brahma learned to detect, understand, comprehend, and communicate thanks to her guidance. He started to see the beauty that lay inside the turmoil as he started to see it with the wisdom he had attained. In the clamor of turmoil, he heard the melody of chants. He delightedly referred to saraswati mata as the goddess of speech, Vagdevi. The cosmos was flooded with prana as a result of the sound of mantras; henceforward it started to take on form and structure.
The earth appeared and became silent, the sky filled with stars ascended from the heavens, and the sea disappeared into the depths below. Gods rose to power and ruled over the heavenly realms; demons controlled the underworld, and people wandered the earth. The tide rose and fell, the sun rose and set, and the moon waxed and faded. As randomness gave way to life's rhythm, seasons changed, seeds sprouted, plants blossomed and withered, and animals moved and reproduced.
As a result, Brahma assumed the role of world-creator, while saraswati mata served as his knowledge. The first entity to enter Brahma's universe was Saraswati. Brahma didn't take long to start feeling passion and want for her. Saraswati looked away, but Brahma's infatuation deepened as a result of his inability to restrain his thoughts of sex. To be able to always admire Saraswati's beauty, he granted himself four heads, one facing each direction. By assuming the guise of a cow, saraswati mata attempted to avoid Brahma's attention. Then Brahma, disguised as a bull, pursued her. She transformed into a mare, and he pursued her as a horse. Brahma, Saraswati's masculine counterpart, followed her every time she turned. No matter how hard he tried, Brahma was unable to capture Saraswati.
Immersed in the mystical saga of the gods, a tale unfolds where Saraswati mata, the embodiment of wisdom and grace, finds herself chastising Brahma for his unrestrained passion. She foresaw the consequences of his fervent desires, knowing that they would overshadow his temples and festivals. Yet, Brahma's longing persisted, his gaze fixated upon Saraswati, oblivious to the impending curse. In a bid to enhance his sight, Brahma bestowed upon himself a fifth head, driven by desire that clouded his consciousness and fueled his ego. This act disrupted the universe's tranquility, awakening the great ascetic, Shiva, from his profound meditation. As Shiva opened his eyes and witnessed Saraswati's distress, an indignant rage consumed him, transforming him into Bhairava, the Lord of Terror. His snarl resonated with foreboding, his eyes aflame with fiery determination.
With a swift motion, Bhairava swung his mighty hand, severing Brahma's fifth head. The ferocity of Brahma was tempered by the shedding of blood. The detached head clung to Bhairava's palm, sapping his strength and driving him into a state of madness. Sensing his plight, Saraswati rushed to Bhairava's side, embracing him with tenderness akin to a mother caring for her child. She nursed him back to sanity, restoring his senses and soothing the turmoil within. This transformative experience left Brahma awakened, seeking an escape from the labyrinth of his desires. In his pursuit of purification and a fresh start, Saraswati advised Brahma to undertake a sacred yagna, a ritual requiring the presence and assistance of a woman. It was then that Brahma chose Saraswati as his wife, a moment of reconciliation that marked the beginning of their renewed harmony.
In this divine saga, we witness the intricacies of desire, passion, and redemption. Saraswati's wisdom and compassion guide the path of Brahma and Bhairava, leading them towards enlightenment and restoration. It serves as a timeless reminder that even in the realm of gods, the pursuit of balance and self-reflection is paramount.
Figurines And Sculptures
In the realm of divine sculptures, the goddess Saraswati takes her rightful place, often accompanied by her beloved spouse or the regal peacock, a loyal companion. Adorned with four graceful arms, she embodies the essence of many Hindu goddesses, each arm delicately holding a symbolic item. In her left hand, a palm-leaf book and a ritual water pitcher symbolize knowledge and purification. Her upper right hand gracefully clasps a white lotus, a symbol of purity and spiritual enlightenment, while her lower right hand extends in the revered varada mudra, a gesture of bestowing blessings and gifts. A resplendent veena, the embodiment of Saraswati's divine gift of music to humanity, frequently finds its place in her celestial hands, reminding us of the enchanting power of melody and harmony. With these sacred symbols, Saraswati reveals her boundless grace and eternal influence as the goddess of knowledge, arts, and wisdom.