There are many gods and goddesses in hindu mythology, and each one represents an aspect of reality. Brahma, for example, represents the creative principle–the god who created the world. Vishnu is the conserver; he weaves past, present and future together into the infinite narration of existence…and Shiva is the destroyer who through cosmic cataclysms transforms the old back into the new.
These are all male gods with very energetic roles–creator, conserver, transformer. It takes a-lot of power for these gods to sustain the universe in the palm of their hands.
The goddesses, however, are different. Their power is subtle, softer, more intangible… but equally strong in its own way. There could not have been a creation without the feminine principle in existence, as Brahma well knew when he made a goddess out of himself in order to reproduce the world. She later became known as Sarasvati, goddess of Wisdom, Poetry and Speech.
For indian artists, all art originates in Sarasvati. She is the patron of anything that can portray meaning–and truth–through beauty. Poetry, literature, music… she rules over them all. Back in ancient India, only men were allowed to practice yoga, and yet Sarasvati is one of the few goddesses who is a yogini (a female practitioner of yoga). It isn’t a stretch to imagine women gathering in secret to practice their art with a statue of Sarasvati quietly positioned at their side.
Sarasvati is certainly an accomplished individual, to say the least. And even though I cannot help but identify with her, that’s not necessarily the reason I like her.
The reason I like Sarasvati is that her real strength lies in Communication. It’s a subtle strength, yet incredibly powerful. Where would we be in the world if we couldn’t communicate with each other? Trapped inside ourselves, unable to build bridges to our surroundings and to others. It would be chaos. Sarasvati provides an order through her attributes of Wisdom, Poetry, and Speech.
In order to effectively communicate, you have to be wise enough to know what you mean and what you’re saying. When you match the two up, you’re being truthful, and also communicating the concept inside your head to another person successfully. When you conceal what you mean through words, you’re either lying, or you’re not expressing yourself appropriately. Both can be remedied.
Sarasvati helps the truthful, and grants wisdom to expression…and through wisdom there is coherence, and even poetry, and also the refinement of speech. It’s a highly valuable commodity, and one that is vital for peaceful coexistence.
Sarasvati is also associated with the 5th chakra, the throat chakra, in sanskrit Vishuddha. This chakra flows freely when we are able to express ourselves truly and communicate our thoughts and feelings appropriately to the world.
This, I feel, is Sarasvati’s greatest asset. And while the power of Right Speech may not seem as fancy as Shiva’s Big Bang, Vishnu’s History of Creation, or Brahma’s galaxies, it certainly is as important to the human race as all these things, and also lies closer to our essence, to who we really are.
Because in the end, aren’t we all just yearning for a connection? And this is the power of the feminine, this is what it can offer if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to accept it. Connection, understanding, and peace.
If you liked this post and are interested in esoteric hinduism, you might like the post: The Bhagavad-Gita chapter 1, an in-depth explanation of the first chapter of the hindu sacred book.