Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom. The Sanskrit word ‘Sara’ means ‘essence’ and ‘Swa’ means ‘self’, thus Saraswathi means “the essence of the self”. Goddess Saraswati is represented in Hindu mythology as the “Mother of all Vedas” and the consort of Lord Brahma - the creator of the Universe. Since knowledge is necessary for creation, Saraswati symbolizes the creative power of God Brahma. The goddess is also called ‘Vak Devi’, the Goddess of Speech.
Om Aim Sarasvatyai Svaha
Appearance of Goddess Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati is usually symbolized in white sari she adorns reflects her essential purity. In her popular images and pictures, Goddess Sarasvati is depicted with four arms wearing a white saree and seated on a white lotus. Her four arms represent the four aspects of human personality in learning which are mind, intellect, alertness and ego. It is also believed that these four arms represent four Vedas which is the primary sacred books of Hindus. The Vedas represent poetry, prose and music which are the three main forms of literature. The book in one hand represents the prose which is the divine true knowledge and also her perfection of the sciences and scriptures. A rosary or a garland of crystals on the other hand represents poetry which is the power of meditation and spirituality.
Goddess Saraswati Devi is also seen playing a musical instrument called Veena in her front hands which represents her perfection of all arts and sciences. The pot of sacred water represents creative and purification powers. A hamsa or swan is often seen near her feet. It is offered a mixture of milk and water to symbolize the discrimination between the good and the bad. This is why she is also called ‘Hamsavahini’. In some images a peacock is shown beside the goddess representing the arrogance and pride over its beauty.
Saraswati Jayanti is the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. The festival is celebrated as Vasant Panchami every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha month (January - February) with great glory in goddess temples, educational institutions, and houses.
The eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa considers Godess Saraswathy to be the daughter of Goddess Durga along with her sister Goddess Lakshmi and her brothers Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. Rig Veda explains Saraswati as a river and in the post Vedic age she was increasingly associated with literature, arts and music. In Skanda Purana, she is the daughter of Lord Shiva.
How Goddess Saraswati is worshipped
Saraswati Puja is conducted during the nine days Navaratri Festival. The festival celebrates the power of the feminine aspect of divinity or Goddess Shakti. The last three days are dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati. On the ninth day of the Navratri festival which is called Mahanavami day, books and all musical instruments are kept in front of the goddess early at dawn and worshipped with special prayers. It is believed that the goddess herself is blessing the books and the instruments and so no studies or any other performances are carried out on that day.
Special pujas are done on the tenth day of Navaratri Festival which is called the Vijayadashami day before taking the books and the musical instruments. It is customary to start the study in fresh way which is called Vidyarambham. This is the reason why when a person’s foot accidentally touches a book or any written material or another person’s leg, an apology in the form of the person touching the object with the finger tips and then the forehead or chest.
Kollur Mookambika Temple