Hello everyone,

I am wishing to dive deeper into Hare Krishna and was wondering if anyone could help me out.

What is the significance of Saraswati?

How could I explainit to non Hare Krishna followers?

Thank you for your replies

Dwayne Douglas Johnson

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  • Hare Krishna,

    Sara - essence/summary/saar/mul, Sva - self; Sarasva - essence of one self; Saraswati - one who leads to
    essence of self knowledge.

    Saraswati is also known by many names such as:

    - Brahmani (goddess of sciences), Brahmi (from being wife of Brahma), Varnesvari (goddess of letters), Kavijihvagravasini (one who dwells on the tongue of poets), Veenapani ( holding veena in hand), Pustaka dharini, Vidyadayini, Vaakdevi, Vagdevi etc.

    The goddess Saraswati is dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus (which represents light, knowledge and truth). Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan – the colour indicating Sattwa Guna or purity.

    She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror her husband Brahma's four heads, representing manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity) and ahamkara (ego).

    The four hands hold items ( book, mala, water pot and veena)  with symbolic meaning :

    - a pustaka (book or script) : The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning.
    - a mala (rosary, garland): representing the power of meditation, inner reflection and spirituality.
    - a water pot : represents the purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from the unclean, and essence from the inessential.
    - a musical instrument (veena): represents all creative arts and sciences and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.

    Hamsa (swan) is a sacred bird, which if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. It thus symbolizes the ability to discriminate between good and evil, essence from outward show and the eternal from the evanescent. Due to her association with the swan, Saraswati is also referred to as Hamsvahini, which means "she who has a hamsa as her vehicle". The swan is also a symbolism for spiritual perfection and transcendence.

    She is usually depicted near a flowing river or other body of water, which depiction may constitute a reference to her early history as a river goddess. 

    -Jai Shri Krishna !! Jai Bhakt Prahlad ki Jai !!

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