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Πέμπτη, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2013

The Divine Mother Saraswati

The Saraswati order
Saraswati is also one of the highest traditions, because Saraswati is the goddess of learning and wisdom.

The Divine Mother Saraswati. Saraswati Ma is the Goddess of learning, knowledge and Wisdom of the highest spiritual kind. She is also the Goddess of fine arts and speech.
As a compound word, ‘Saraswati’ consists of ‘sar’ and ‘swa’; 'sar' meaning the essence (Essential Nature) and 'swa' the Self (the Higher Self).

Love is Saraswati's river
flowing through our lands.
She will feed the rice fields,
She will accept our woven offerings.

She will bear our ashes
and the fires of Kintamani
to the sea.

Formless, she neither takes nor gives;
we impose these significances
upon the flowers we cast in her.

From birth to death,
Saraswati's river sustains us to the sea.

Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of the arts, of beauty, truth and embodies knowledge in all its forms. From her rivers flow inspiration, benevolence and nourishment for body and soul. The Sanskrit word 'sara' means "essence" and swa means "self." Thus Saraswati means "the essence of the self." She is known as "the one who flows. Saraswati is represented in Hindu mythology as the divine consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator of the universe.

In the Sanskrit writings of the Rig-Veda, Saraswati is credited, in association with Indra, with killing the serpentine being Vritraasura, a demon that hoarded all of the earth's water and so represents drought, darkness, and chaos. In the Hindu tradition, since knowledge is necessary for creation, Saraswati symbolizes the creative power of Brahma. All persons interested in learning, especially students, teachers, scholars, and scientists, worship goddess Saraswati. As the embodiment of speech, Saraswati is present wherever speech exists and so it is that She is pre-eminently associated with the best in human culture: poetry, literature, sacred rituals, and rational communication between individuals. Public speakers, politicians, poets and all those wishing their words to be heard invoke her name. Even today, when a new baby arrives, grandmothers draw a five-pointed star - called "Saraswati-sign" on the newborn's tongue with honey. The tongue, the organ of speech, is thus "hitched to Saraswati's star" early. The Rigvedic hymns dedicated to Saraswati mention her as a mighty river with creative, purifying, and nourishing properties and as the river flows, acquisition of knowledge flows into her followers perhaps allowing their liberation from reincarnation.

In the images of the goddess, Saraswati is depicted with four arms, wearing a white sari and seated on a white lotus. She holds a book, the sacred Vedas, representing the universal, divine, eternal and true knowledge as well as her perfection of the sciences and the scriptures.
She also holds a rosary akshamala of white pearls, representing the power of meditation and spirituality in her rear two hands, while the front two hands are engaged in the playing of a veena lute. Playing her veena, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. In some representations she carries a pot of sacred water, representing creative and purificatory powers. She is usually depicted near a flowing river, which may be related to her early history as a water goddess. Her right leg is shown slightly pushing against her left leg. She uses a swan as Her vehicle. There is a peacock by her side gazing up at her and representing the futility of its arrogance and pride over its beauty.

The white sari that the goddess is wearing denotes that she is the embodiment of pure knowledge. The four arms denote her omnipresence and omnipotence. The two front arms indicate her activity in the physical world and the two back arms signify her presence in the spiritual world. The four hands represent the four elements of the inner personality. The mind (manas) is represented by the front right hand, the intellect (Buddhi) by the front left hand, the conditioned consciousness (chitta) by the rear left hand, and the ego (ahankara) by the rear right hand. A book in the rear left hand signifies that knowledge acquired must be used with love and kindness to promote prosperity of mankind. Saraswati's dress is modest representing her preference of knowledge over the worldly and material.

A white swan is depicted on the left side of the Goddess. A swan is said to have a sensitive beak that enables it to distinguish pure milk from a mixture of milk and water. A swan symbolizes the power of discrimination. Saraswati uses the swan as Her carrier. This indicates that one must acquire and apply knowledge with discrimination for the good of mankind and that knowledge that is dominated by ego can destroy the world.

I am Sarasvati, the graceful flowing of the waters of divine poetry
I cause the river of inspiration to enter the artist in joyous swirls and fountains
I cause the waves of bliss to take form within the heart, and emerge as tales of love.
My holy places on earth are small grottoes of strong light and shade
Where the poet may sit and glide off into blue skies
Overgrown banks of streams, full with grass and wild flowers
The moss-covered rocks beneath the waterfall
Small places where the body may be left
While the soul flies into the heavens.

I am seen in art nouveau waters, and the golden lakes on Japanese screens
The scroll whose hidden treasure lies in a small cove
The beautiful place in the middle of a field, where a cluster of white flowers grows
Where birds and animals flock by nature, to rest in the warm breezes and dewdrops.

To those on the winding path of the spirit I say:
I am no guide to the top of the snowy mountains
My home is amid peace and beauty, the swirling of water and music
I work with those who wish to give to the world
Who return from the heights or who have not begun their journey
Who give their love to the world and not to distant gods?

To them I give the gift
Of lovely speech and beautiful voice
Ideas, which do no hesitate, but dance out into the world
Waves of creativity which have only need of media for expression
Music and dance, which occur spontaneously and are perfect

I give patience to the potter, a keen eye to the artist
I form the words of affection in the mouth of the lover
I give rhythm and melody to the musician, so that he does not play
But acts as a channel for the music of the universe.

I have no taste for bickering gods who rule the skies
Nor those so high that they do not wish to communicate
My love is grace and beauty, the joys of creation
I flow in the river, and down the waterfall
Rushing in whirlpools, and rising slowly in shining bubbles
To alight besides a lone musician
To fill him with the love and grace of the universe.

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