Saraswati - The Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom

Updated: Apr 17


Hindu Trinity from the feminine side comprises of three main Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati). These three goddesses are married to the masculine side of the Trinity (Brahma and Vishnu and Mahesh). Together they create sustain and regenerate the entire Cosmos. Goddess Saraswati is the part of Hindu Trivedi and the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom. She is the eternal companion of Lord Brahma and is the source of creativity for him. In short she is the mother of all creation in this Universe. She is always shown wearing a white saree with minimal ornaments. The color white signifies purity and wisdom. She is shown carrying a Veena (musical instrument) which signifies that she the Goddess of Music as well. Her simplistic divine look without any ornaments signifies that she is above the worldly pursuits. She is often seeing sitting on a Swan. The Swan as her vehicle signifies pure consciousness which is pure and not adulterated with false ego. She is mentioned in Rig Veda as well which mentions her as the Goddess of creativity.wisdom, music, speech and divine knowledge of everything that exists in Universe Goddess Saraswati is said to be born from Lord Brahma’s mouth. As per the legends, when Brahma started his work of creating the Universe, he was able to create everything however was not successful in bringing order. Everything existed in a chaotic fluid state. He was anxious and thought about how he could organize the Cosmos. That is when a voice emerged from his mouth which said that only Knowledge could organize everything in this Cosmos. The voice manifested itself into a beautiful Goddess. She was the divine Saraswati. She began to give directions to Brahma to create order. Hence after which the divine order was created. The sun would rise and set every day, so would the moon, the seasons would come and go. All this order was through her wisdom. Hence Brahma announced her as the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom. Only after she intervened, Brahma was able to think, create and communicate effectively. Hence she also referred to as Vagdevi – Goddess of speech. She also created several Mantras. The sound of these mantras created energy and life in this Cosmos. Brahma was completely smitten by the beauty of Saraswati. He simply could not stop looking at her. This made the Goddess uncomfortable and she started to hide from him. However Brahma created multiple heads so that he could look at her from any direction. This is when Saraswati took the form of a cow to hide from him. Brahma also took the form of a bull and started chasing her. Then she turned herself into a mare but Brahma turned himself into a horse. Whichever feminine form she took, Brahma would become the masculine form of it. This is the reason why Sarawati is also known as Shatrupa. Finally Lord Shiva intervened and cut one of Brahma’s head to teach him a lesson. He also cursed him that due to this bad behavior of his, he shall never be worshipped. Brahma realized his mistake. He was full of shame and guilt. He did strict penance to cleanse himself of the crime he did. This is when Saraswati forgave him and they reconciled as husband and wife. Other legends show her as the daughter of Shiva and AdiShakti. However in most parts of the country she is worshipped as Brahma’s consort. She is also called Druga in the Vedas as she fought a demon named Drug. Once Gandharvas (magical beings born out of flowers) decided to acquire Soma Ras. Soma Ras was magical sweet nectar extracted from the Soma plant which induced ecstasy and experience of Nirvana. The Gandharvas stole it from the Devas or Gods. The Gods went to Brahma to seek help. This is when Saraswati came forward to help the Gods. She went to the garden planet of Gandharvas and started playing her Veena there. The Gandharvas were so fascinated with the music that they became intoxicated with the music. When Saraswati stopped playing her Veena, it became unbearable for Gandharvas. They asked her to teach them how to play music. Saraswati agreed to teach in exchange for Soma Ras and they agreed. Saraswati taught them the knowledge of music and ragas. These Gandhavas later became the Divine celestial musicians of the Cosmos. Even today before any concert or musical event the musicians worship Goddess Saraswati for her blessings Goddess Saraswati is also regarded as a river Goddess in some scriptures. The Goddess took the form of a river to save the Cosmos from burning. Once there was a fierce battle between Bhargavas and Hehayas clan. With this fight emerged an all-consuming fire called Vadavagini. This fire if not controlled would have destroyed the whole Universe. This is when the Gods requested Goddess Saraswati to help and hence she took a form of a river and submerged the fire into her waters. Once there was an argument between the Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi and Goddess of knowledge Saraswati over superiority. Lakshmi said "Wealth fills one empty stomach and knowledge doesn’t". Responding to this Saraswati said "Yes indeed wealth feeds one and keeps him alive but without knowledge, there is no purpose of life". Hence both Lakshmi and Saraswati are required to sustain the Universe. It is believed that after death Goddess Saraswati helps the deceased souls to acquire true knowledge of one’s self and attain Moksha. She is also known as the mother of Vedas and her four hands signify the four Vedas. Vasant Panchami is a festival dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. On this day devotees wear yellow (the color of spring) to honor her. Young children are taught how to write alphabets and books and pens are worshipped in her honor. Saraswati is also worshipped during Navaratri as one of the nine divine forms of the Supreme Feminine force.

Art Credit - DeviantArt

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