Saraswathi is the Goddess of learning and knowledge. She is described as dwelling in the tongue of her consort, Brahma, the Creator. She is therefore called Vaagiswari, the deity governing vaak or speech, and all intellectual activities, literature, poetry and the 64 arts in general. She is also called Shaaradha, and Vaani. Knowledge is often spoken as pure light and all white. Saraswathi is pure white, wears white garments and white jewels and seated on a white lotus. The white swan is her vehicle.
Saraswathi Namasthubhyam Varadhe Kaama Roopini
Vidhya-Arambham Karishyaami Siddhir Bhavathu Me Sadhaa
Salutations to you, Saraswathi, the giver of boons and who is delightful in form. (With your blessings) I start studying and may success always crown my efforts.
SARASWATHI AT SSVT
Saraswathi, in Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, represents Shaaradha the presiding deity at Sringeri. The shrine is built in Pallava style architecture. She carries a kamandala, a japamala, and a book. Her fourth hand with the thumb and forefinger joined in the chinmudhra, proclaims the eternal truth about identity of the Divine and the human soul.
AUSPICIOUS DAYS AND FESTIVALS
As Saraswathi is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom we should pray to Her every morning. Wednesdays and Fridays are important to Saraswathi. Saraswathi Puja and Vijaya Dasami are celebrated during Navarathri. The last 3 days of Navarathri are dedicated to Saraswathi. These days are dedicated for prayers to Saraswathi for success in all pursuits of knowledge and for success in one’s chosen profession.
Abishekams and special decorations with turmeric powder and beads are offered to Saraswathi. A variety of preparations made of boiled lentils, paayasam and vada are given as special offerings during the puja. The function to initiate children to the learning process is called Vidhyaarambam. This is performed by praying to Saraswathi and making children write the first alphabet in their mother tongue in rice.
Maha Dhevyai Cha Vidmahe Brahma Pathnai Cha Dheemahi
Thanno Vaani Prachodayaath
We worship the Supreme Goddess; Salutations to the consort of Brahma. May that Goddess Vaani stimulate our intellectual faculties.