5. veebruar, 2024


Sarasvatī (Sanskrit: सरस्वती), also known as Śāradā (Sanskrit: शारदा), is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning.

She is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Sarasvatī, Lakṣmī and Pārvatī . All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Viṣṇu and Śiva to create, maintain, and regenerate the Universe, respectively.

The earliest known mention of Sarasvatī as a goddess is in the Ṛgveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions. She is generally shown to have four arms, holding a book, a rosary, a water pot and a musical instrument called Veena. Each of these items have symbolic meaning in Hinduism.

Goddess Sarasvatī is the goddess of learning, wisdom, knowledge, fine arts, refinement, science and technology. Vasant Pañcami is treated as Sarasvatī's birthday.People worship Goddess Sarasvatī to attain enlightenment through knowledge and to rid themselves of lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance.

Symbolism and iconography

The goddess Sarasvatī is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan – the colour symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.

She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror her husband Brahma's four heads, representing manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity), and ahamkāra (self consciousness, ego). Brahma represents the abstract, while she represents action and reality.

The four hands hold items with symbolic meaning — a pustaka (book or script), a mālā (rosary, garland), a water pot and a musical instrument (vīnā). The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning. A mālā of crystals, representing the power of meditation, inner reflection, and spirituality. A pot of water represents the purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from the unclean, and essence from the inessential. In some texts, the pot of water is symbolism for soma – the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge. The most famous feature on Sarasvatī is a musical instrument called a veena, represents all creative arts and sciences, and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony. Sarasvatī is also associated with anurāga, the love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speech or music.

A hamsa or swan is often shown near her feet. In Hindu mythology, the hamsa is a sacred bird, which if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. It thus symbolizes the ability to discriminate between good and evil, essence from the outward show, and the eternal from the evanescent. Due to her association with the swan, Sarasvatī is also referred to as Hamsavāhini, which means “she who has a hamsa as her vehicle”. The swan is also a symbolism for spiritual perfection, transcendence and moksha.

Sometimes a citramekhala (also called mayura, peacock) is shown beside the goddess. The peacock symbolizes colorful splendor, the celebration of dance, and – as the devourer of snakes – the alchemical ability to transmute the serpent poison of self into the radiant plumage of enlightenment.

She is usually depicted near a flowing river or another body of water, which depiction may constitute a reference to her early history as a river goddess. She is a part of the Tridevi, the triad of great Goddesses. She represents the Sattva Guna, and Jnana Shakti.


Aiṁ is the seed mantra of Sarasvati, the Goddess of knowledge and speech, the consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator in the Hindu trinity of great Gods. As such, Aiṁ aids us in learning, art, expression and communication and is good for promoting learning and education generally.

Aiṁ is also the mantra of the guru and helps us access all higher knowledge. It can be used to call or to invoke wisdom and understanding. It indicates motivation, direction and will-power. It can orient us toward whatever we are seeking. It increases concentration of mind and awakens our higher intelligence (Buddhi). Relative to other mantras, Aiṁ is often used to direct our awareness or intention to the deity, to function as our call to draw in the higher knowledge so the mantra can work.

In terms of Ayurveda, Aiṁ strengthens the voice and the vocal chords. It helps open the lungs and clear the senses. Astrologically, Aiṁ connects to the planet Mercury and to some extent the Moon, both planets that govern speech and expression.

Source: www.vedanet.com, David Frawley


Sarasvatī in Vedas

Sarasvatī is described in 72 mantra-verses of Rig Veda Samhita, some of which are repeated in Yajur Veda. Even though there was a river of that name flowing in North India in Rig Vedic times which is now dry, the mantrās deal primarily with the goddess of inspiration and this was recognised by the rişhis.

Nature of Insipration

Inspiration is a power of Truth (satyam). Truth is intimately connected with beauty and harmony,sundaram and shivam, not only at the individual level but at the community level. In a sense Truth is the path and all-round bliss is the goal. Sin or falsehood is merely wrongly inspired emotion, wrongly directed will and action. We tell a lie because our ego tells us that the actual telling of the limited truth on the occasion is not palatable to the emotion. Similarly a person indulges in an illegal or immoral action because the ego directs the will for its own reasons of security. For most of us the central idea of our everyday life is permeated by falsehood. The wrongly directed emotion, will and action leads to a completely distorted results.


Inspiration is that power which leads to a perfect action (perfect with respect to time and space) by means of steps which are not perceivable to our mind. The perfection is all-round; beneficial to the individual and the community, harmonious. The result of the action directed by inspiration leads to a result pervaded by beauty and harmony.

The action may occur in any field, poetry, carpentry, science, technology, music.

But we cannot order the inspiration to come; it comes to us when it likes; we have to understand its operation for its manifestation.

“Truth comes to us as a light, a voice, compelling a change of thought, imposing a new discernment of ourselves and all around us. Truth of thought creates truth of vision and truth of vision forms in us the truth of being, and out of the truth of being (satyam) flows naturally truth of emotion, will and action. This is the central idea of the Veda.”  (Sri Aurobindo).

Developing Inspiration

Inspiration cannot be developed by any mechanical procedure. The three mantra verses in RigVeda give us some hints only to develop the inspiration, that too in stages.

The first step is to become conscious of the work to be done in all its details, i.e., we become aware of the details noting both the things we claim to know and those which we do not know. We must establish some measure of mental tranquillity in us. Then the person has to become conscious that he is an instrument and the real doer is the supreme energy. Even though the supreme spirit or shakti is pouring in the energies, the person is blocking its flow by his feelings of egoism, petty emotion etc. He/she must try to counter the psychological foes like greed, delusion etc., systematically.

Then we have to regard the work on hand, in which the inspiration is needed, as a self-offering (yajňa) to the divine. Next recognize that Sarasvati can give plenty of everything in all possible forms. The Sanskrit word is vaja, the plenitude, plenty of everything or all-forms. Hence there is no reason for us to indulge in the inimical acts like hoarding or being greedy, jealous, arrogant etc. We always get our turn, there is no need to be jealous etc. She is also rich in thought or rich in the substance of thought (dhiyavasu). First she uses her powers to purify (pavaka) us, i.e., remove the layers of falsehood embedded in our emotions, will and action. These are all negative thoughts and they can be neutralized by positive thoughts. The falsehood should go. She can do it because she is rich in the substance of thought.

Next she introduces her positive powers of thought and consciousness. She is the impeller (chodayitri) of happy truths (sūnŗtānām) and the awakener in consciousness (chetanti) of right mentalising. Sarasvati’s power makes us became more and more conscious so that our emotions do not jump to the path of falsehood. She creates in us the right states of emotion and right movement of thought which are in accordance with the supreme Truth. She pours her illumination; she impels the truth to manifest in our emotion, will and action. She thus liberates our life and being (the so called individuality) from falsehood, weakness and limitation. Then only are the un-opened doors of supreme felicity become open.

By this constant awakening and impulsion represented by the word ketu, Sarasvati brings down the great flood of Truth into the active consciousness in the human being. She illumines all the aspects with this consciousness. Thus our emotion, will and action become coordinated with this divine truth; and action naturally leads to a stage of perfection consistent with the time and space. Complete perfection cannot come in a single step. Action is very much necessary even if we have ample inspiration.

Source: R-L.Kashyap, Saraswati


Sarasvatī Vandana

Sarasvatī Ya Kundendu is the most famous stotram dedicated to Goddess Sarasvatī and composed by sage Agastyar. It is recited during Sarasvatī Puja on the eve of Vasant Pañcami.

It praises Sarasvati as the embodiment of creative power and her as the embodiment of innate knowledge within each of us, and we invite Her to bless us with Her attributes.

yā kundendu tuṣārahāra dhavalā

yā śubhra vastrāvṛtā

yā vīṇāvaradaṇḍamanḍitakarā

yā śvetapadmāsanā |

yā brahmācyuta śaṃkara prabhṛtibhirdevaiḥ sadā pūjitā

sā māṃ pātu sarasvatī bhagavatī niḥśeṣajāḍyāpahā


1.1: (Salutations to Devi Sarasvatī) Who is Pure White like Jasmine, with the Coolness of Moon, Brightness of Snow and Shine like the Garland of Pearls; and Who is Covered with Pure White Garments,
1.2: Whose Hands are Adorned with Veena (a stringed musical instrument) and the Boon-Giving Staff; And Who is Seated on Pure White Lotus,
1.3: Who is Always Adored by Lord Brahma, Lord Acyuta (Lord Visnu), Lord Shankara and Other Devas,
1.4: O Goddess Sarasvatī, Please Protect me and Remove my Ignorance completely.


प्रणो देवी सरस्वती वाजेभिर्वजिनीवती धीनाम वित्रयवतु।

praṇo devī sarasvatī vājebhirvajinīvatī dhīnāma vitrayavatu|

Rigveda mantra 5.43.11 Luminous with Clarity

आ नो॑ दि॒वो बृ॑ह॒तः पर्व॑ता॒दा सर॑स्वती यज॒ता ग॑न्तु य॒ज्ञम् । हवं॑ दे॒वी जु॑जुषा॒णा घृ॒ताची॑ श॒ग्मां नो॒ वाच॑मुश॒ती शृ॑णोतु ॥
आ नो दिवो बृहतः पर्वतादा सरस्वती यजता गन्तु यज्ञम् । हवं देवी जुजुषाणा घृताची शग्मां नो वाचमुशती शृणोतु ॥
ā no divo bṛhataḥ parvatād ā sarasvatī yajatā gantu yajñam | havaṃ devī jujuṣāṇā ghṛtācī śagmāṃ no vācam uśatī śṛṇotu ||

May the Goddess Sarasvati come to our sacred yajña, from the vast heaven or from the midworld;
May the Goddess who is luminous with clarity, accepting our call, hear with delight our words with power