Saraswati – Awesome Voice of Thunder, Voice of Heaven…

In the Hindu pantheon, Saraswati (or Sarasvati), referred to as the Mother, is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom; of learning; of words and expression. Only her blessings can give one the gift of language and knowledge. She is a peaceful aspect of Adya Shakti, the Primal Mother, the Ancient Creatress. In her currently worshipped form, Saraswati holds the symbols of learning in her hands (including a musical instrument, Veena, and the Vedas), wears white and rides a white swan. She is also often depicted with a peacock.

Modern popular depiction of Ma Sarawati

Modern popular depiction of Ma Sarawati

In the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, she is a celestial river – one of the seven sister rivers (sapta-sindhu). She is ‘horrendous in her vehemence … her impact knows no end, roaring, she moves on … [the] daughter of lightning, the voice of thunder …she… rules over all intuition.’[1] 

‘Sarasvati, a flowing onrush of creative power, is a form of the great goddess. She pours out from the source, full-fledged. She is the ineluctable impetus of creative intuition, awesome voice of thunder, the voice of Heaven. She is all movement, the vehement river of creative thought.’[2]

Her slightly different manifestation is the Vedic goddess Vak or Vac (literally, word or speech). In Sanskrit, Vak literally means ‘speech.’ Called the ‘Mother of the Vedas (the most ancient Hindu scriptures),’ Vak is also described as fierce and commanding; she strides and carries with her the other gods; wind is her breath. And most surprisingly she is described as the mother of her own father.

‘…she is the Great Goddess, exceeding axis of the cosmos, creator of the Father in Heaven, her own father, up on high. … “The heavenly oceans flowed from her and then the Word, the Aksara, the creative syllable”’[3]

'The Commander' by Freydoon Rassouli*

Artist: Freydoon Rassouli*

In the Rig Veda, Vak declares –

‘I am the sovereign power (over all the worlds … and the first among those to whom sacrificial homage is to be offered; the gods in all places worship but me, who am diverse and permeate everything. … I pervade heaven and earth. I give birth to the infinite expanse overspreading the earth.’ [4]

She is celebrated and worshipped all over modern India in homes, schools, colleges and universities. Saraswati’s blessings is still sought after by every seeker of knowledge and wisdom.


[1] Stella Kramrisch, ‘The Indian Great Goddess’ (1975) 14 History of Religions, pages 235, 246
[2] same as above
[3] same as above, page 247
[4] Kartikeya C Patel, ‘Women, Earth and the Goddess: A Shakta-Hindu interpretation of Embodied Religion’ (1994) 9 Hypatia, pages 69, 75
* Title of featured artwork: ‘The Commander’ by Freydoon Rassouli. For more paintings by Rassouli, visit www.rassouli.com
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3 thoughts on “Saraswati – Awesome Voice of Thunder, Voice of Heaven…

  1. What a beautiful entry. Thank you. And such lovely artwork too. Definitely inspired by Goddess Saraswati Herself!

    IMPETUOUS SARASWATI

    Narrow stream of the foothills, you are all that remains
    of the magnificent impetuous Saraswati
    that flowed from Himalayan peaks
    across the plains to the sea, on whose banks
    a great civilization grew that worshipped feminine
    as well as masculine—a goddess of a river
    that produced a mighty stream of knowledge,
    language, learning, art and grace.

    Oh sublime Goddess still revered today—
    with your book and lute, water jug and white dress—
    subtle Goddess we can never forget—
    for we adore You above all others
    for the joy that courses through our daily lives,
    thanks, oh Goddess, oh Beauty, to You!

    JANINE CANAN
    JanineCanan.com

  2. .:.

    Avé Sarasvati

    .:.

    You who are as dazzling white
    as a garland of jasmine
    in full blossom

    You who are as luminous
    as the silver crescent
    of the new moon

    You who are as translucent
    as a sparkling vision
    of freshly fallen snow

    Your incandescent sari
    shines brighter
    than the feathers
    of a milk-white swan

    Your gentle fingers dance
    upon the boon-giving stem
    of a sacred veena

    while You sit enthroned
    upon a pure-white lotus
    that opens her petals
    only to the night

    Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
    and every God
    that is a God

    each one of them
    is profoundly moved
    to worship You forever

    O Great Goddess
    please protect me

    Sarasvati
    Bhagavati

    free me from my lethargy and my ignorance
    release me from the burden
    of my inertia

    .:.

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