*editor’s note: some edits were avoided as they might have detracted from the author’s voice and intent.*
In school days, mantras were part and parcel of our life. No, those were not religious acts, but the scientific tools to prepare us for the challenges ahead in life and shape us as into a good learner. During prayer, we used to sing Saraswati Vandana. The music teacher accompanied us on a Harmonium. Every special event in the school was inaugurated with a beautiful prayer offered to Saraswati Maa. Two girls among us were chosen to be depicted as Maa. Two because of the four hands needed for a perfect depiction of Maa! Each holding Veena, Pustak, Mala, and Water (explained as you read further).
SEE ALSO: The 10 Rules Of Dharma
Science of Mantra: Meaningful linguistic instruments of the mind
Sound has a wavelength. Sound has frequency. Sound is sacred. Sound is powerful. So are mantras.
Mantras have a distinct melody. Your language or location on the globe hardly matters. The sound of mantras, depending upon the kind, develop a feeling of relaxation and upliftment. It is so because they have a well-designed mathematical precision in their construction. Hence, whether you’re reciting or listening, mantra-power can be as influential as your favorite music!
How Maa Saraswati blesses students: Trilogy and relations
One of the most important parts of the holy trinity, comprising of Lakshmi, Parvati, and Saraswati, Maa Saraswati is the mother of all the soft skills you may wish to hone in your human incarnation. It is believed that praying to her with truthfulness and the purest emotions, you are blessed to overcome all the obstacles in your study life.
The all-comprehending mother, she is known by various names by her devotees. She is popularly known as Sakala Kaladhistatri – a goddess bestowing the gift of art and Vak Devi – the goddess of speech. Students and even experienced professionals across the world offer tributes and Chant Saraswati mantras and Vandana to bring about a positive change in their lives.
Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom
“Goddess that embodies knowledge, arts, music, melody, muse, language, rhetoric, eloquence, creative work and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person”.
Wisdom is defined as the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments. So what do you do in order to nourish your wisdom? Play SUDOKO or pop a memory pill? Or every day, try to learn something new?
With this way, you are 100% heading towards increasing your brain power. Yet, the same is not possible without the blessing hands of wisdom. That said, there is a subtle difference between earning wisdom and gaining brain power. You can’t acquire brain power if wisdom remains absent. Intelligence is the physical manifestation of your brain power.
Knowledge also comes with your ability to be tranquil. Just see and listen. What else is needed! Meditating, being still, looking, and listening can stimulate the non-conceptual intelligence within you.
If wisdom is a person, how would he or she appear?
Though an abstract noun, how will you personify wisdom? Can it be male or female?
For the gender of wisdom, I’ll go for a female body, “One who multitasks so often that needs to have four hands”, and a brain to accomplish teaching this universe along with playing the music of love. To add further, white should be the color of her attire due to the clarity of thoughts.
Imagining further seems beyond my intellectual capacities.
The imagery of Maa for meditation
We all know the form of Meditation accomplished with imagery may bring more fruition than abstract things.
White seems the most favorite color of Maa. Her attires and ornaments, all white, compliment her radiating beauty and sacredness. Usually, her depiction as a four-handed woman explains her being the expert of knowledge, art, and music. Each one of the objects, she holds in her hand has a profound symbolic significance. Just have a look:
- A book (pustak in Sanskrit) – The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning.
- A Crystal-Garland – representing the power of meditation, inner reflection, and spirituality.
- A Pot Of Water – purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from the unclean, and essence from the inessential
- Veena the Musical Instrument – The most famous feature on Saraswati is a musical instrument called a Veena, represents all creative arts and sciences, and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.
- The White Swan – Her travel companion
A white swan (Hansa) is often seen near her feet. In Hindu mythology, the Hansa is a sacred bird, when offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone leaving water behind. It thus symbolizes the ability to discriminate between good and evil,
She is the mother of language SANSKRIT as well Mother of the Vedas, texts of Hinduism.
The Saraswati Vandana mantra to miraculously enhance your wisdom
Saraswati Vandana Mantra is an important mantra that is recited for music, knowledge, and wisdom. The Saraswati Vandana Mantra is recited by her devotees every morning as obeisance to the Goddess.
या कुंदेंदु तुषार हार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रा वृता |
या वीणा वरदण्ड मंडित करा, या श्वेत पद्मासना ||
या ब्रह्मा अच्युत शंकर प्रभृतिभि: देवै: सदा वन्दिता |
सा माम् पातु सरस्वति भगवति निःशेष जाड्यापहा ||1||
शुक्लाम् ब्रह्मविचार सार परमाम् आद्याम् जगद्व्यापिनीम् |
वीणा पुस्तक धारिणीम् अभयदाम् जाड्यान्धकारापाहाम् ||
हस्ते स्फाटिक मालिकाम् विदधतीम् पद्मासने संस्थिताम् |
वन्दे ताम् परमेश्वरीम् भगवतीम् बुद्धि प्रदाम् शारदाम् ||2||
सरस्वत्यै नमो नित्यम् भद्रकाल्यै नमो नमः ।
वेद वेदान्त वेदांग विद्यास्थानेभ्यः एव च ||
सरस्वति महाभागे विद्ये कमल लोचने ।
विद्यारूपे विशालाक्षि विद्याम् देहि नमो अस्तु ते ||
वीणाधरे विपुल मंगल दान शीले भक्तार्त्तिनाशिनी विरञ्चि हरीशवन्द्ये। कीर्तिप्रदेऽखिल मनोरथदे महार्हे विद्या प्रदायिनि सरस्वति नौमि नित्यम् ।।
Listen and learn the Saraswati Mantra
Ya Kundendu Tusharahara Dhavala Ya Shubhra Vastravrita
Ya Veena Varadanda Manditakara Ya Shveta Padmasana
Ya Brahmachyuta Shankara Prabhritibihi Devaih Sada Pujita
Sa Mam Pattu Saravatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha Jadyapaha॥1॥
Shuklam Brahmavichara Sara, Parmamadyam Jagadvyapineem
Veena Pustaka Dharineema Bhayadam Jadyandhakarapaham।
Haste Sphatikamalikam Vidadhateem Padmasane Samsthitam
Vande Tam Parmeshvareem Bhagwateem Buddhipradam Sharadam॥2॥
Meaning of Saraswati Vandana in Hindi
जो विद्या की देवी भगवती सरस्वती कुन्द के फूल, चन्द्रमा, हिमराशि और मोती के हार की तरह धवल वर्ण की हैं और जो श्वेत वस्त्र धारण करती हैं, जिनके हाथ में वीणा-दण्ड शोभायमान है, जिन्होंने श्वेत कमलों पर आसन ग्रहण किया है तथा ब्रह्मा, विष्णु एवं शंकर शङ्कर आदि देवताओं द्वारा जो सदा पूजित हैं, वही सम्पूर्ण जड़ता और अज्ञान को दूर कर देने वाली माँ सरस्वती हमारी रक्षा करें।
शुक्लवर्ण वाली, सम्पूर्ण चराचर जगत् में व्याप्त, आदिशक्ति, परब्रह्म के विषय में किए गए विचार एवं चिन्तन के सार रूप परम उत्कर्ष को धारण करने वाली, सभी भयों से भयदान देने वाली, अज्ञान के अँधेरे को मिटाने वाली, हाथों में वीणा, पुस्तक और स्फटिक की माला धारण करने वाली और पद्मासन पर विराजमान् बुद्धि प्रदान करने वाली, सर्वोच्च ऐश्वर्य से अलङ्कृत, भगवती शारदा (देवी सरस्वती) की मैं वन्दना करता हूँ।
(Hindi Translation Credit: Drikpanchang.com)
English translation of Saraswati Vandana
Salutations to Devi Saraswati, Who is pure white like Jasmine, with the coolness of Moon, the brightness of Snow and shines like a pearl garland;
Whose attire is pure white, and hands are ornamented with Veena (a stringed musical instrument) and the boon-giving posture; She is seated on pure white Lotus and always adored by Lord Brahma, Lord Achyuta (Lord Vishnu), Lord Shankar and other Devas, O Goddess Saraswati, please protect me and eliminate my ignorance completely.
One Who is fair in complexion, Who is the essence of Brahman, one Who pervades the universe, with Veena in one hand and the Vedas in the other, inducer of fearlessness and eliminator of ignorance, with a Sphatik (Quartz crystal) rosary in her hand, seated on a Lotus, the source of all intellect, to that Maa Saraswati I bow down.
Thanks for reading up to here. I hope you find Saraswati Vandana useful and sacred. You may find learning and chanting of mantra a bit strenuous if you aren’t a native Hindi speaker. But by combining the translation and English pronunciation part, then listening altogether can very soon make your chanting perfect and fruitful.