Today is Saraswati Pooja.
It is one of the most important annual events of India going back centuries – a wonderful festival of art, learning & education that can awaken the higher consciousness and creativity within us.
Maa Saraswati is the goddess of Art, Knowledge, Music, Wisdom and Learning. The Goddess is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan- the colour of Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight & wisdom.
Goddess Saraswati’s four hands hold items with symbolic meaning –
• A Pustaka (book or script)
• A mala (Rosary or garland)
• A water Pot
• A musical instrument (Veena)
☆ The book she holds symbolizes the VEDAS representing the Universal Divine, Eternal and True Knowledge as well as all forms of learning.
☆A Mala of Crystal represents the Power of Meditation, Inner reflection and Spirituality.
☆ A pot of water represents the purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from unclean, and the essence from the inessential. Also the pot of water symbolizes Soma, Amrut, Nectar- the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge.
☆ The most famous feature of Maa is a musical instrument called Veena which represents all creative arts, and Sciences, and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.
☆ Maa Saraswati is also associated with true expression of feelings and emotions in Speech or Music.
☆ Saraswati is also referred to as HAMSAVAHINI whoch means “She who has a Swan as her vehicle”. The Swan is also a symbol for spiritual perfection, transendence and Moksha.
A Peacock is shown besides her which symbolizes colourful splendor, celebration of dance and – as the devourer of snakes – the alchemical ability to transmute the serpent poison of self into the radiant plumage of enlightenment.
She is usually depicted near a flowing river, which is a reference to her as a river goddess – The Saraswati River.
Today is Basant Panchami too, which falls on the fifth day of Spring. This is the celebration of Harvest, Kites and the yellow Mustard Fields. People wear shades of yellow today and prepare sweet yellow rice as prasad.
Happy Saraswati Pooja & Basant Panchami to all of you.