Saraswati is regarded as the Goddess
of knowlede and the arts. Saraswati represents consciousness and wisdom. Saraswati is also
regarded as Vaagdevi, the goddess of sound and speech. Saraswati is
revered as the dispeller of chaos and confusion.
Saraswati is depicted as clothed in white, seated on a white lotus
playing the instrument veena. The four vedas are considered to be her offsprings. Her
mount, the swanis said to personify pure knowledge. Any institution of learning is
regarded as Saraswati's temple. Musical instruments are also regarded as symbols of
Saraswati. Saraswati is said to be the bestower of knowledge that dispels ignorance and
Saraswati is worshipped as the consort of Bhrahma the creator. Legend has
it that Bhrahma the creator acquired the power to think and create only through the power
of Saraswati and that it was Saraswati that enabled Bhrahma to listen to the naadabhrahmam
the primordial sound which is revered as the source of all creation.
Saraswati is also referred to as Sharda
the fountainhead of knowledge who leeds seekers from darkness to light and from ignorance
to spiritual upliftment.
The now extinct river Saraswati, once an integral part of Vedic culture
is associated with Saraswati the Goddess of knowledge. Legend has it that
when Shiva opened his third eye, the flame that emanated threatened to destroy everything
in it's path. Only Saraswati the source of wisdom was unperturbed by the potence of the
flame, owing to her firm understanding that the flame would only destroy what was impure.
She then took the form of a river, carried the flame deep into the sea
and transformed it into a fire breathing mare and declared that the creature of
destruction would stay underground as long as wisdom was sought after and that it would
surface if this search was totally abandoned.
Shrines dedicated to Saraswati are commonly seen in many Saivite temples
all over south India, located to the right of Parvati's shrine. There is a lone temple
dedicated to Saraswati near
Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. There are shrines to Bhrahma and Saraswati at Uttamar Koyil near Tiruchirappalli in