Saraswati: Divine Feminine Knowledge, Imagination and Understanding
At UMA, we celebrate the beauty of womanhood in all its forms. As part of that celebration, we’re honoring our ancient Ayurvedic roots and spotlighting the stories of famous goddesses in Indian mythology. If you’re curious, you can read our blog posts on the goddess of Uma and the divine feminine energy of shakti.
Today, we’re featuring the goddess of Saraswati, a very important figure in Hindu tradition who serves as the embodiment of knowledge and imagination. Her wisdom knowledge drives the unity and cohesion of the universe. She represents a celebration of divine feminine wisdom, something we celebrate as we meditate upon a womanhood driven by internal beauty, kindness, love and intelligence.
The Story and Symbolism of Saraswati
After creating the universe, Brahma realized that what he had created needed conceptual unity. As a result, he created Saraswati to represent knowledge and wisdom. Also serving as Brahma’s wife, Saraswati guided Brahma on how to order the cosmos and bring cohesion to the universe. Thanks to her higher vision, the universe gained order and beauty.
Typically, Saraswati is depicted sitting in a lotus position and wearing white. She is also sometimes portrayed as a swan, which represents her elegance, grace and purity. She has four arms, which represent the mind, reason, the imagination and self-understanding; these four arms also represent the four Vedas. In each of her hands, she holds the stringed musical instrument of the veena, which signifies her perfect imagination and ability in the arts; crystal malas or prayer beads, which represent meditation; a pot of water, which represents creativity and purification; and a book of the Vedas. At times, she is depicted sitting upon a rock, symbolizing the difficulty of attaining true wisdom.
Saraswati is a highly revered and extremely important goddess in Hinduism because of her powerful representation of knowledge. In the Vedas, the river Saraswati is the most important and most frequently mentioned river. She is also regarded as the inventor of the Sanskrit language. She is worshipped every spring, and her divinity is also invoked by artists and performers, and by students at examination times. In short, her presence holds a deep cultural grip, both in ancient times and today.
A powerful feminine model of wisdom, elegance and grace, Saraswati represents profound qualities that are not only worth celebrating, but also worth cultivating within ourselves, too.