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Saraswati : Devi of River as Devi of Knowledge

Om Saraswati Maha devi Veena Pustak Dharini Hans Vahini kshma yodha Vidhya Daan karo Maa

Who Is Devi Saraswati?

Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and aesthetics. She is also famous as Bharati, Shatarupa, Vedamata, Brahmi, Sarada, Vagisvari, and putkari. Saraswati first appears in the Rigveda and later Religious texts. She is the inventor of Sanskrit and, appropriately, gives Ganesha the gifts of pen and inks. She is also a patron of the arts and sciences.

Saraswati the goddess of knowledge who is praised by the wise, who is the wife of the creator, may she reside on the tip of my tongue.

Origin And Existence Of Devi Saraswati

Like her presence, her origin holds great importance in the balance and creation of the world. According to the Hindu texts, after creating the universe, Brahma looked over what was made and realized it was unformed and utterly lacking in concept. To help him with this monumental task of creating a form, Brahma decided to create the embodiment of knowledge. So from his mouth emerged the Devi Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Saraswati emerged from Brahma. She began to give him direction on how to create order in the cosmos i.e., the sun, moon, and stars all came into being. She later became the bride of Brahma, as their matching created the order we see today.

What is the relationship between Saraswati and Brahma? - Quora


“Knowledge helps a man find possibilities where once he saw problems.” Said the goddess Saraswati. Under her tutelage, Brahma acquired the ability to sense, think, comprehend and communicate. He began looking upon chaos with eyes of wisdom and thus saw the beautiful potential that lay therein.

Devi Of River Into Devi Of Knowledge

As Saraswati’s name means ‘elegant’, flowing and ‘watery’, this indicates her status as one of the early Aryan boundary River. The Saraswati River just like the Ganges River flows from the Himalayas. Bathing in the river brings good fortune. It is a sacred source of purification, fertility. Over time, Saraswati moves away from being a representation of intellectual outpouring.

The River as history progresses is not the physical or Geographical River of Vedic times but a psychological River of the arts of Puranic times.

Not only Hindus but also Buddhists and Jains follow this idea

The earliest image of Saraswati came from a Jain temple in the Mathura region, dating to around the 2nd century AD. The image is the earliest representation of a goddess. It depicts a goddess with a book in her hand. Therefore, Shruta-Devi is another name in Jainism.

In Buddhism, too, the Goddess Saraswati becomes important, with the rise of Maha-Yana Buddhism which gave greater value to women than men. The earliest Buddhist iconography of Tara comes to us from the Ellora Caves in the 7th century. We, here also find the image of Maya-Mayuri with a dancing peacock by her side and a student working on a desk.

Hindu iconography becomes big from the 5th century onwards. The time when Puranas centered them as Hindu trinity, moreover, the male trinity, each with a female consort, for the sake of symmetry. Lord Brahma, the creator, co-existed with Saraswati, the embodiment of knowledge. The divine goddess features holding memory beads, a book, a pen, and an inkpot, and the lute (veena).



According to Michael Witzel, a German – American scholar and the wales professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, the Vedic Saraswati River is the heavenly River, Milky way is considered as a Road to immortality and a heavenly afterlife. Saraswati is celebrated as a feminine deity with healing, purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters in Book 10 of Rigveda, as follows:
  1.  अपो अस्मान मातरः शुन्धयन्तु घर्तेन नो घर्तप्वः पुनन्तु |
  2.  विश्वं हि रिप्रं परवहन्ति देविरुदिदाभ्यः शुचिरापूत एमि ||
  3.  – Rigveda 10.17[18]
  4.  May the waters, the mothers, cleanse us,
  5.  May they who purify with butter, purify us with butter,
  6. For these goddesses bear away defilement,
  7.  I come up out of them pure and cleansed.

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