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Stories of Goddess Saraswati

After Lord Brahma created the cosmic universe, he realized that it lacked forms, concepts and orders. He felt lost and needed assistance to organize the Universe. He decided to create the very embodiment of knowledge to help him with this Herculean task, and from his mouth emerged the Goddess Saraswati. She gave him direction on how to create order in the cosmos, as we know it. The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars were born. The oceans emerged and seasons changed. The joyous Brahma then named Saraswati - Vagdevi, the Goddess of speech and sound. Thus, Brahma became the Creator of the World with Saraswati as his Source of Wisdom.

Another legend tale tells the story of how Goddess Saraswati got back the life-giving Somras from the Gandharvas without a war. It is believed that the Gandharvas were demigods who sprang from the fragrance of flowers. They stole the Soma plant from the Gods, as its inebriating and invigorating sap was believed to make devas immortal. This infuriated the Gods, but Goddess Saraswati promised to recover the plant without a fight. She walked into the garden of the Gandharvas and began to create beautiful music with her veena - the enchanting tunes of ragas and the raginis. Mesmerized, the Gandharvas begged for the music, and Goddess Saraswati agreed to teach it to them if they returned the Soma plant. Hence, the gods got back their Soma plant, and the Gandharvas learned music to become celestial musicians whose melodies could rouse the mind like no other intoxicant.

While together Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati are considered to be the creators of the universe, few know that they never enjoyed domestic bliss. Legends say that she sprung from the forehead of her father, Brahma. When Brahma set eyes on the beautiful Saraswati, he became enamored by her beauty and intelligence. Saraswati disliked his lust, so she decided to escape his gaze. But no matter what direction she moved in, Brahma grew another head just to be able to look at her. He grew a head in each direction and one atop them all – hence having 5 heads to be able to see her anywhere.

This distressed Goddess Saraswati a great deal and she cursed Lord Brahma, so he would have very few temples to worship him. When Brahma’s lust started to upset the order of the world, Lord Shiva stepped in as Bhairava, Lord of Terror. As Bhairava ripped off Brahma’s fifth head, he came back to his senses. He needed to perform a yagna to cleanse himself, but needed a wife for that. So Brahma took Saraswati as his wife. Yet, she remained aloof and absent-minded as the marriage was out of duty, and the two never enjoyed marital bliss.

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