I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
Learning, Music & Poetry
This Goddess, Saraswati, takes us to India. In the by far most common religion of the subcontinent (and some surrounding areas), Hinduism has hundreds, if not thousands of different deities, many being regional or local deities only. But there are some main ones, even though they might go by different names in different languages, of which India has 22 major ones, although there are 720 dialects and 13 different scripts. Hindi and English are the official national languages.
As varied and colourful this country is, so are its traditional and ritualistic religious practices, although there are some major similarities that are recognised by almost all Hindus. The advent of film and TV have also supported this development. Hindu actually only means “Indian” and Hinduism is, therefore, a broad term of the worship of deities in a polytheistic belief structure.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Saraswati (or, alternatively spelt Sarasvati), who is the Indian Hindu Goddess of learning and music, who was first mentioned in the Rigveda, but has maintained a prominent place in religious worship to this day. She is also the deity of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, philosophy, creativity and nature. There is a female divine trinity of which she is part, together with Parvati (goddess of fertility, love and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power) and Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity).
In the Hindu religion, symbolism is an important part of the doctrine and description of deities. Thus, Saraswati sits on a lotus flower, the symbol of immortality and infinity. She is also associated with the Swan, a very auspicious bird, in Hinduism often identified with the Supreme Spirit, Ultimate Reality or Brahman, the breath of life, and the Peacock’s feathers, representing clarity and clear sight.
Your Own Essence
Saraswati’s name is a fusion of sara, meaning essence or flow, and sva oneself. The combined meaning is, therefore, Essence of Oneself. In regards to flow, Saraswati is also mentioned as a river. Water stands for purification and the flow of a river symbolises the unhampered flow of life force energy which is free from the restraint of any blockages. Thus, Sarasvati is the personification of your essence, the divine feminine within you that knows, creates and beautifies through nature and art. Saraswati is the divine principle of feminine wisdom. She is the heart that sings and the mind that craves for knowledge, clarity and understanding. Wikipedia states:
“Saraswati is known by many names in ancient Hindu literature. Some examples of synonyms for Saraswati include Brahmani (power of Brahma), Brahmi (goddess of sciences), Bharadi (goddess of history), Vani and Vachi (both referring to the flow of music/song, melodious speech, eloquent speaking respectively), Varnesvari (goddess of letters), Kavijihvagravasini (one who dwells on the tongue of poets).
Goddess Saraswati is also known as Vidyadatri (Goddess who provides knowledge), Veenavadini (Goddess who plays veena, the musical instrument held by Goddess Saraswati), Pustakdharini (Goddess carrying book with herself), Veenapani (Goddess carrying veena in her hands), Hansavahini (Goddess who sits on swan) and Vagdevi (Goddess of speech).”
Saraswati represents the lake of the still and peaceful mind, on which the lotuses of meditation open. Saraswati is Rasavati, or the One Who Holds the Rasa, the inner essence of delight. She directs to look behind the outer forms of the world to the inner message of bliss. In Hindu thought, the entire universe arises from, dwells in and returns to Ananda, bliss. The image of Saraswati reminds us that the pursuit of Ananda is the highest form of culture and the real purpose of physical human existence.