Saraswati is the Goddess of Wisdom, music and fine arts, she is also known as the mother of the Vedas. She is the consort and source of the Shakti (power) of Brahma, the One without qualities. Saraswati is revered in two forms: the Goddess of Wisdom and protector of the Arts and as one of the three Sacred rivers of Hindu Spirituality, The Saraswati River, named in the Vedas and in the two fundamental epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabaratha.
The supreme consciousness
As an activity of the Supreme Consciousness, Saraswati is the receiving Sphere (feminine) of the Higher Knowledge. This superior wisdom only descends in beings who have reached the levels of Intuition, which is the manifestation of knowledge without the mediation of the mind. If one stops to think, when we are immersed in art – be it music or painting etc -> all arts and creative tasks involve different levels of intuitive work. From there, she is also known as Vak Devi, goddess of speech / expression. For most Hindu artists, all new art and art tradition originates from Saraswati.
Saraswati and Brahma
When Brahma was creating the human race, he took out of himself two halves, one half man and the other woman, in the form of a woman who was to be his wife he called Gayatri, an avatar of Saraswati. Gayatri is also a mantra, the most sacred and important in Hinduism, chanted when two beings are united in marriage. In other stories, Gayatri is also associated to being the one who descended from the sun, and being his sister – God Surya (god of the sun), she fell so in love with Brahmas brilliance, that she decided to dissolve and become a sacred mantra dedicated to him.
Brahma creates Saraswati
Brahma created Saraswati as his femenine form. She is his wife. We all know that Brahma is the God of creation, Saraswati is his power of creation. Therefore, the power of creation is nothing but the knowledge, and hence she is Goddess of Knowledge.
As God Brahma is believed to create the entire universe, we all are his child. Saraswati being his creation, makes her by this logic his daughter. Brahma created his own wife, his other half.
Saraswati and her image
Pretty much all Hindu students must have worshipped Saraswati, the goddess of learning, before their exams. In fact, Saraswati is omnipresent in the entire world. She is venerated in countries like China, Japan, Burma, and Thailand. Upholder of the trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati who help in the creation and maintenance of the universe by being with Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
She is depicted as a fair-skinned, beautiful young woman, dressed in pure white clothing, with four arms sitting on a lotus, although her true vahan (vehicle) is a swan.
The color white represents the purity of knowledge, sometimes it is associated with yellow, mustard yellow in particular, which bloom in the spring time. The four arms represent the aspects of human intelligence according to Hinduism ->
- The mind (mana)
- The intellect (buddhi)
- The state of vigilance (dyaan)
- The Ego (ahankara)
Alternatively, these four arms also represent the four vedas and in turn the four forms of literature ->
- Poetry – Rigveda
- Prose – Yajur Veda
- Music – Sama Veda
- Philosophy – Atharvaveda
And her four arms ->
- A book, the Vedas, representing the universal, the vine, the eternal, and true wisdom along with his love of knowledge.
- A pearl necklace, called Sivamla “Siva’s necklace,” which serves as a rosary representing the power of meditation and spirituality.
- A sacred bowl, filled with water, representing powers of creativity and purification.
- The Veena, a musical instrument that represents his perfection in all arts and sciences. Saraswati is also associated with anuraga, love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speeches or music.
- Sometimes she offers a flower to her husband in one of her hands, at whose side she continually remains.
There are representations in which a peacock appears next to her. The peacock represents arrogance and pride over beauty, and by having a peacock as her vehicle, the goddess teaches not to be preoccupied with outward appearances and to be wise regarding eternal truth.
Yoga and Saraswati
Saraswati is also elevated in yoga, known as the Sushumna channel through which the Kundalini energy can rise upward. Through breath control, the solar and lunar energies combine into the neutral energy of the Kundalini. The lunar energy channel is symbolized as the Ganges river riding a crocodile. The channel of solar energy is the goddess and river Yamuna, while the central neutral channel is Saraswati. This confluence of the 3 rivers called Triveni Sangam takes place near the city of Allahabad. Here, every 12 years, the largest human gathering on earth takes place, known as the Maha Kumbh Mela festival.