The name SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words... is a combination of two Sanskrit words, ‘Sara’ meaning essence and ‘Sava’ meaning oneself, therefore Saraswati helps in finding the ‘essence of oneself’ or the ‘essence of self-knowledge’. Saraswati is also seen as a significant river and her name also suggests the same as it also means ‘one with plenty of water’. Like a river, she is believed to be having healing and purifying powers for the body and as the deity she bestows knowledge that purifies one’s mind. She breaks the dawn of darkness and ignorance in one’s soul and can help one attain ‘moksha’ (salvation) through knowledge. Without her, there is only chaos and confusion.
Other names that are associated with her are Brahmani, She is a benevolent aspect of Shakti who is majorly worshipped in Rajasthan and Gujarat. She is considered the female counterpart of Brahma and is believed to provide him with his power of creation the Goddess of science, Varnesvari, the Goddess of letters and Bharadi, the Goddess of History etc. She is also known by different names in different parts of India, like in Andhra Pradesh she is called Chaduvula Thalli, in Goa her names are Veenapni and Vidyadayini and in Tamil Nadu she is Vaani and Bharathi. Her importance is not only limited to India, she is worshiped in other countries too as Thurathadi in Burma, Benzaiten in Japan and Saratsawadi in Thailand.
Legend of Birth and Marriage
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... (one of the Supreme God of Hindus, also known as the Creator), created Saraswati from his throat as soon as he uttered the primordial sound ‘Om’. The purpose of creating her was to bring order in the universe through knowledge, to give the cosmos a well-defined structure. She thus is the energy and creative power of Brahma. She is also the mother of eloquent speech (Vak Devi), music, and any other creative art forms. She is considered as the main muse of every artist. She represents wisdom and consciousness.
Saraswati is depicted with four arms, always wearing a white saree, sitting on a white lotus and playing a musical instrument called Veena. The lotus symbolizes pure supreme knowledge. The white color of her saree and lotus stands for purity and truth. The same purity, wisdom, and insight are presented by her vehicle, the white swan. Swan is believed to have the power of discriminating milk from water thus also leading on the righteous path by discriminating good from bad. She holds a book in one hand symbolizing knowledge and a rosary in another denoting the power of meditation and concentration. It is also a symbol of union with God thus denoting spirituality. She also holds a pot of water that bestows the power of distinguishing clean from unclean. It helps in generating pure thoughts and thus in gaining knowledge, away from the impurities of the world.
Her veena associates her with creativity and artistic forms. She has love for music and the harmony it brings along. Her four arms means that she is omnipresent and omniscient. Sometimes Saraswati is depicted with a peacock on her side. Peacock is known for its unpredictable behavior which changes with the weather thus it stands for mundane knowledge or fickle mindedness. One needs to keep worldly desires and ignorant activities aside to acquire true knowledge.
‘Saraswati Vandana’ (a hymn in the name of Saraswati) is often sung by students before starting their day in school or before exams in order to ask for guidance from Saraswati, leading them to learn to perform good in their education.
Vasant Panchami is celebrated in the honor of Saraswati on the 5th day of the month Magha (January-February), according to the Hindu calendar. It is considered as her birthday and devotees sing hymns and prayers to gain knowledge. People also help kids to write alphabets, introducing them to education.