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Saraswati’s Gift

July 9, 2015 1 Comment

Saraswati

Saraswati

The Hindu goddess Saraswati represents creativity and artful expression.  Her role as an educator in the arts is combined with her inspirational qualities.  She once was a river in India, so her fluidity is natural.  Art turns emotional states into keen statements.  She is a guide to bring artfulness to all aspects of living.  Her inventive spirit sheds new light on the creative process.  She is popular in India today.  I enjoy seeing all the ways she is depicted.  She rides a swan and plays music.  Her influence is uplifting and encouraging, helping you to locate your muse.  You can invite her into your dreams and meditation in subtle ways.  I like to use a visualization which is a combination of some of my favorite techniques rolled into one:

  • I imagine a hill with a stairway that I climb.  The length of the climb varies each time I do the meditation.  My stairs are always spiraling around the hill, and I am usually on an island where I can see the surf.  Your own details will be different from mine.
  • At the top of the stairs is a temple with pillars and special light. It feels like a sanctuary built just for me.  I stand in the center of the round temple and observe the doorways through which I can exit.  I ask Saraswati to join me in the center.
  • When she has arrived she guides me to a door and leads me down a hallway to a room with a skylight made of stained glass.  This room is even more personal and specific to my needs than the outer temple.  I sit in here to meditate.
  • Before leaving I ask Saraswati for a gift to take back to my regular life.  This mysterious part of the visualization is the heart of the matter.  She gifts me with symbolic items that are designed to spur my intuition, imagination, and creativity.  Initially the items may seem to have no pertinence, but if you let the images soak in you will find meaning in them.
  • I thank her and start walking back the way I came, back into my waking reality.

This exercise does not need to include Hindu deities if that disturbs your sensibilities.  It may be too much for you to think of hanging out with a goddess riding a swan.  This same sequence will work well if you go to the temple and choose any entity, alive or dead, to join you and give you a gift.  In reality you are both yourself and the gift giver in this program. The insight comes when you grasp the meaning of the gift and are able to use it to be more inventive and artful.

 

Saraswati, Goddess of Knowledge, Art, and Music

January 26, 2013 5 Comments

The Hindu goddess Saraswati is associated with wisdom and teaching. She is the essence of eloquence, with a particular talent for music. She is a water goddess representing a river flowing freely. She expresses herself in words, images, and all musical composition. She is depicted riding swans, playing a stringed instrument. She is the embodiment of knowledge and the ultimate patron of the arts. She is symbolic of the power of learning.

This year in the Hindu calendar her puja this year is Feb. 15, 2013. It is a custom to honor her by wearing yellow and teaching children to write their first letter on that day. Art supplies, musical instruments, and writing implements are used to honor her. Her sacred temples include libraries and schools. She represents wisdom and science in a pure form. She is the mother of the Vedas, the sacred texts at the heart of Hindu literature. She is the feminine aspect of Brahma. She rode her swans right out of his mouth, not completely unlike being formed from a rib. He was overwhelmed with darkness and chaos thinking, “How can I deal with all this formless mess?” (not so unlike Adam) then, BAM..Saraswati rides out of his mouth on her swans, knowing everything!!! What a stoke of luck! She was able to sort everything out with her wisdom.

On February 15 you may want to remember her with something artful and beautiful . Find something that is essentially the most creative part of you, no matter what medium is used.   She is a mighty discerning art critic, appreciating the magic in the making. You can honor her with a little ditty, a dance, or a fingerprinting…she knows the joy of capturing emotion in art. She can teach you this secret if you give her some time and attention. Everyone has artistic talents, some hidden. Artistic expression is a gateway to truth and open communication.  Saraswati invites you to discover the artist in you.

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