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Saraswati - The Goddess Of Knowledge

Saraswati – The Goddess Of Knowledge

Lord Brahma created the universe and created Goddess Saraswati to bring order into this universe. She became his source of wisdom and guiding light. Rigveda has the mention of Goddess Saraswati before any other scriptures. They say that Goddess Saraswati was a river goddess initially as mentioned in the texts of Rigveda. She is considered as the symbol of purity and a personification of the river Sarasvati. She has four hands and is shown holding a Pustaka (book), a Mala (rosary), a water pot and Vina (musical instrument). She dresses up in a white saree and is seated peacefully on a Shweta padmasana (white lotus).

She is extensively followed and worshipped by children who are in their early years of education. In Hindu culture, it is believed that any material that provides us education, enlightenment, knowledge and becomes a medium of our growth is Saraswati. Kids are taught to not leave their books on the floor or not touch their books with feet as they are a source of knowledge and in turn, are an embodiment of Saraswati Devi herself.

For a dancer, ghungroo is considered as a form of Saraswati, for a musician, their instrument is equivalent to a Saraswati. Accordingly, every person has some form of material that is worshipped as a form of Saraswati herself. She is the knowledge giver and bestower of art, music, wisdom and learning apart from knowledge. Saraswati, Parvati and Lakshmi collectively form the trinity known as Tridevi. They maintain the cosmic balance and bring order to the universe from time to time.

Hindus celebrate this goddess on the days of Vasant Panchami when kids learn to write their first alphabet. A Saraswati yantra is drawn on a black slate using chalk and is considered to be auspicious writing. On the occasion of Dussehra, many households worship study books, instruments, laptops, mobiles as a practice of worshipping everything that brings them closer to the goddess. They wish to pay respects to every belonging that gives them knowledge in some way or the other.

People use Haldi and kumkum along with Bauhinia Racemosa leaves more popularly known as Apta Tree leaves. This is done to wish good luck and prosperity to the person you are giving the leaves.

Saraswati is said to give speech, knowledge and wisdom in abundance just like a flow of a river. Her knowledge giving is continuous and hence she is known as someone who possesses abundant speech and knowledge. Goddess Benzaiten has a very similar form to our goddess Saraswati. As Saraswati holds a veena and is seated on a lotus, Benzaiten is seen holding a Biwa (a traditional Japanese lute) and is seated on a lotus. Saraswati’s vehicle is a swan or a peacock while as per Japanese culture and their importance to the dragon, goddess Benzaiten is seen sitting on a dragon.

Devi Saraswati is celebrated as a goddess with healing and purifying powers probably from the history of her being the river goddess. She is also known as Sharada, Vani, Vagdevi and Brahmani.

Click here to read about other goddesses of Hinduism.

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