Sarasvati Puja is the day that celebrates the Mother of knowledge, learning, music, the arts, and language. Sarasvati (or Saraswati) is literally “she who continuously flows,” and as Vak is the the divine voice that created the universe in the Rg Veda, the ultimate power of divine speech itself. Sarasvati was also a divine river of the Vedas that provided food, water, and sustenance. Her esoteric form is Matangi, the Mahavidya of inner knowledge and hidden wisdom. As the Mother of speech and language, she is the mother of all mantras, as she created language as a vehicle for divine power.
As “she who flows,” Sarasvati can remind us in every moment to lay aside the obstacles generated by ego, to allow pure inner wisdom to bubble up and flow. After all, it isn’t about how many mantras you know, or how much knowledge you have about any particular subject that makes you a good practitioner or devotee. It is the openness of your heart, the integrity of your character, and the passion with which you follow your chosen path, however that passion manifests itself, and whatever that path may be. Embracing the flow means embracing humility and grace, and living with compassion and discernment.
“She who flows” is also the flow of the tradition from guru to disciples, generation after generation. It is the flow of mantra, of knowledge, and the gradual realization of the permeation of all things by divinity. She is the creator of music and the arts, and is the divine essence of the music that pervades the cosmos, the vibrational essence of creation. Mantra is the purest form of manifest divinity and divine power, and it is she who gave us mantra.
Embracing the flow means embracing humility and grace, and living with compassion and discernment.
On Sarasvati Puja (celebrated on Vasant Panchami, which falls in January or February), we offer our books, computers, instruments, and lay our tools of knowledge and art at her lotus feet, but we can offer worship to her at any time. Before beginning study, before teaching, before performing music or creating art, take a moment to feel the pulse and the flow, to reach back through the generations of whatever tradition you practice, and offer appreciation to all of the gurus who have given you the grace of their wisdom and experience through their words, and through mantra. Give thanks to the source of all knowledge, the source of language, the source of the music that pervades and dances through the cosmos, to she who flows continuously through the cosmos, through us, without end.
Artwork credit: Popular print (artist unknown)