Monday, March 2, 2009
Saraswati, Hindu Goddess of the Arts
"Hindus believe that Saraswati (pronounced sarasvatī) is the goddess of knowledge, music and the arts. Saraswati has been identified with the Vedic Saraswati River. She is considered as consort of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Thus, with the goddesses Lakshmi and Parvati or Durga, she forms the Tridevi ("three goddesses"), who are consorts of the male trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, respectively. Saraswati's children are the Vedas, which are the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism.
She is generally shown to have four arms, which represent the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. Alternatively, these four arms also represent the 4 vedas, the primary sacred books for Hindus. The vedas, in turn, represent the 3 forms of literature:
* Poetry — the Rigveda contains hymns, representing poetry
* Prose — Yajurveda contains prose
* Music — Samaveda represents music.
The four hands also depict this thusly — prose is represented by the book in one hand, poetry by the garland of crystal, music by the veena. The pot of sacred water represents purity in all of these three, or their power to purify human thought.
She is shown to hold the following in her hands:
* A mala (rosary) of crystals, representing the power of meditation and spirituality.
* A pot of sacred water, representing creative and purificatory powers.
* A book, which is the sacred Vedas, representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as her perfection of the sciences and the scriptures.
* The vina, a musical instrument that represents her perfection of all arts and sciences. Saraswati is also associated with anurāga, the love for and rhythm of music which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speech or music. It is believed that children born with that name will prove to be very lucky in their studies. Anurag is a great believer in Maa Saraswati.
A white swan is often located next to her feet. The sacred swan, if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. The swan thus symbolizes discrimination between the good and the bad or the eternal and the evanescent. Due to her association with the swan, Goddess Saraswati is also referred to as Hamsa-vahini, which means "she who has a swan as her vehicle".
She is usually depicted near a flowing river, which may be related to her early history as a river goddess. The swan and her association with the lotus flower also point to her ancient origin.
Sometimes a peacock is shown beside the goddess. The peacock represents arrogance and pride over its beauty, and by having a peacock as her mount, the Goddess teaches Hindus not to be concerned with external appearance and to be wise regarding the eternal truth.
Saraswati patronizes and champions the arts of literature, music, sculpture, painting, et al.
Sreeshti is a cultural, social and sporting organization based in New Jersey. To celebrate Saraswati, the SARASWATI PUJA was celebrated on January 31, 2009 at Edison V.F.W with gala cultural event. All parts from tri-state area has been attended the event to celebrate the worship of the Goddess of Literature and Education. All kids showed their ability to adapt the Indian culture. The auspiscious moment celebrated with kids' cultural event, dance program, Bengali Drama - Neem-Ketu, musical soiree. Thanks to all our attendee to make it success. (http://sreeshti.org/)
All art proceeds from inner to outer, from intangible to tangible, from etheric 'nothingness' to earthy reality. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. All gods reside in the Ether, or Akasha, which is what we mean by the word Heaven. The Word of God is the intangible beginning of things, prior to manifestation as thought-form, prior to manifestation as vocalized sound, prior to manifestation as written word, prior to manifestation as physical object of painting, sculpture, architectural structure.
The function and purpose of yoga and meditation is to connect with what is etheric, intangible, to tune in to the Word of God in its most subtle seed form because that is where the future reality is being determined. Whether our future is beautiful or ugly depends upon how well we surf on the wave arising under our feet at each moment. The beauty of surfing as an image lies in the perfection of focus and skill required to dance astride the biggest wave to glorify the wave with one's very life-force. The surfer is a performance artist!
Saraswati's name literally means "the one who flows", which apparently was applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river (in Sanskrit: "dhaara-pravaah").
Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess who facilitates the dance in our mind, heart and body. Whether the dance is in the form of actual dance or whether through surfing, writing, painting, sculpture, or knitting, the essential "flow" of etheric information and feeling into earthly elements, into a solid, real form, is the same.
Have you noticed how many times the money designated for the National Endowment for the Arts in the stimulus package has been cited by a Republican as a waste of taxpayer money? It was heartening to see, during Obama's Inauguration, a poet! How do we rehabilitate the NEA's public image? How do we enlighten the public- and especially Republicans- that the Arts are an essential part of a child's development?
Our Earth will be saved by humans who love its Beauty, by individuals who channel Saraswati's beautifying love and give it form in all they do with their words and actions, who cultivate the Garden of Eden in their own home, backyard, street, city, nation and world.