Goddess Saraswati is the most worshipped deity by followers who wish to seek divine knowledge and prowess in arts, music and learning. She is the supreme Goddess when it comes to knowledge and hence She is especially adored and worshipped by students, teachers, scholars, scientists, musicians and artists. Goddess Saraswati is the divine consort of Lord Bramha who is the Creator of the universe. She is believed to be a part of the divine trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. Originally, regarded as a river in terms of the name and its essence in the mythology, She gradually came to be associated with literature, wisdom, music, etc. According to Hindu mythology, Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga.
It is also said that Goddess Saraswati is important for the Lord in order to facilitate knowledge and bestow creative power without which the universe would not come to existence. Goddess Saraswati symbolizes creativity that exists and her name in Sanskrit is said to be sara "essence" and swa means "self". After the creation of human being, Goddess Saraswati started residing on the tongue and is also known as "Vageshwari".
Appearance and Origin of Goddess Saraswati:
Goddess Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga and helps form the Trinity of Goddesses along with Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Durga. It is said that Lord Bramha divided Himself in two parts for bringing Goddess Saraswati to life in order to help Him build the entire universe. She endows the humans with extreme wisdom, learning and powers of speech.
In terms of appearance, Goddess Saraswati is portrayed as immensely beautiful woman with glowing white skin and wrapped in a white sari. She is shown seated on a white lotus and has four arms, the rear two hands holding a book and a rosary and the front two hands playing a veena (lute). Her chosen vehicle is Swan, but belief portrays a peacock that is gazing at Her.
Symbolism of Goddess Saraswati's Appearance:
There is a distinct meaning that runs behind the appearance of Goddess Saraswati. The white lotus on which She resides is the symbol of supreme knowledge. By sitting over this white lotus, She signifies that She is the supreme reality and is at the top of all knowledge of the universe. She wears a white sari to denote purity in knowledge. She is also an embodiment of creativity. Out of the four arms the two back arms signify her existence in the spiritual world and the front hands signify her activities in the physical world.
In totality, the four hands are the representations of four personalities which are mind, intellect, consciousness and ego. The book held in one hand consists of all knowledge of the world and rosary in another symbolizes concentration and meditation to achieve divinity. The veena is played by Goddess Saraswati to represent true knowledge and intellect that is required to attain prowess.
Goddess Saraswati rides on a white swan which is said to have attained a higher conscience with the ability to distill water and milk apart. It denotes the capability to judge between right and wrong. The peacock sitting is said to be anxiously waiting to serve Goddess Saraswati but due to its mood influences, ego and pride fail to capture Her attention. The act of the Goddess being seated on the peacock indicates that one has to shed all ego and pride of their own to attain and be one with true knowledge and sort divine blessings from Her.
Mantras to praise Goddess Saraswati:
Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||
This mantra praises the Goddess of her serene form and her divinity. It urges her to remove all sluggishness, ignorance and lethargy of the devotees.
Saraswati Vandana mantra:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa, Yaa shubhra-vastra'avritaa
Yaa veena-vara-danda-manditakara, Yaa shweta padma'asana
Yaa brahma'achyuta shankara prabhritibhir Devai-sadaa Vanditaa
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadya'apahaa.
Shuklaam Brahmavichaara Saara paramaam Aadhyaam Jagadvyapinim,
Veena Pustaka Dhaarineem Abhayadaam Jaadya'andhakaara'apahaam
Haste Sphaatika Maalikam Vidadhateem Padmasane Sansthitaam
Vande taam Parmeshwareem Bhagavateem Buddhipradaam Shardam.
The Goddess who is fair like the Kunda flower, white like the moon, and a garland of Tushar flowers; and who is draped in white clothes
She, whose hands divinely holds the great veena, and whose divine seat is the pure white lotus;
She, who is praised by Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh; and revered by the Devas
O Mother Goddess, remove my mental lethargy!
Om vageeshwaryae vidmahe,
Tannah saraswati prachodayat.
The mantra is a salutation to the Goddess and a humble appeal to bless the devotees with divine knowledge.
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