Saraswati Maha Vidya - Queen of Knowledge MantraSep 08, 2022
Her name Saraswati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras (सरस्) meaning "pooling water", but also sometimes translated as "speech"; and vati (वती) meaning "she who possesses". Originally associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination, therefore, means "she who has ponds, lakes, and pooling water" or occasionally "she who possesses speech". It is also a Sanskrit composite word of surasa-vati (सरसु+अति) which means "one with plenty of water".
I wanted to share and discuss my observations and feelings about this beautiful and powerful mantra which I have come to adore practicing with and reciting. This mantra, a collection of 25 consecutive Bija seed sounds has no immediately discernible literal meaning that we can point too and say it is exactly this in words. Like so many mantras even ones that have well documented and well known '' meanings'' there are in some respects, an infinite array of understandings and explanations that can be learnt from their recitation.
Labels aside, as a Druid sound healer I find it extremely interesting to explore the sounds of this mantra on a variety of levels. The world over across many cultures finds that water is often associated with the sacred feminine principle. The qualities of flowing like a graceful and beautiful dance, can easily symbolise the divine feminine spirit which goes beyond gender and is present within all. In Britain here the ancestors often regarded many rivers and lakes and streams as Goddesses, like Coventina being one example, and Saraswati is associated with the modern day river in India known as the Sarsuti. The mighty Danube in Europe perhaps after the goddess Danu and so on etc.
So as the Wikipedia link at the top of the article explains, in the origin of her name we have this elemental quality that comes very strongly through. In my language we might talk of a pooling of knowledge, which implies various sources or individuals bringing together wisdom streams into a pool of togetherness. Collective intelligence and open sharing cultivates a foundation of potency.
This has some merit perhaps, for explaining why we throw coins and make a wish into wells, lakes and ponds - as a form of appeal through a gift of our own physical wealth to receive the blessings of the water or water goddess. In the Tibetan teachings we often liken the union of female and male to the togetherness and partnership of wisdom and method that are inseparable and of immeasurable value. So for me this mantra is very much about this. The sounds help to gather wisdom streams which are then drawn with the blessings of totality, into the pool of knowledge and thereby also multiplying abundances like heart treasures.
Another aspect I would like to reflect on as we gaze lovingly into the mirror like waters of knowledge, is the water itself as a repository of understanding. A literal life force often thought, perceived and felt to hold and transmit information. Many believe that water holds memory and other encodings of consciousness, DNA and a sentient life all of its own.
To us and all beings here on earth water is a transmitter of life, and nutrients for our minds bodies and souls. This is one of the reasons we sit by water to think clearer, to experience relaxation, inner peace and a rejuvenation of our being.
Another meaning of her name is : '' she who possesses speech ''...… this is music, this is instrument, this is the transmitting and transmuting of the knowledge of all of the life force, the divine. It flows like water and collects and accumulates and is pooled together. This togetherness symbolises the union and wholeness of all, the inseparability, the interconnected and the fullness of emptiness.
For when we remember that we are walking instruments playing into the world and improvising with it, like one big orchestra or symphonia, doing everyday life becomes in of itself an act of profound healing and transformation. A natural self arising blessing.
In our approach to being creative, to expressing/ talking and communicating and learning science - I think we utterly want to be like water - to flow and have that sense of flexibility and to be a storehouse of knowledge that can be accumulated and shared.
We are water and our world is roughly 75 percent water too. Now more than ever we need to pool our wisdoms and knowledge to teach and learn how we can look after our inner and outer world, so we can make this beauty sustainable for future generations and all beings and creatures.
Water is associated with purification which is why we wash and bathe with it and use it ritually to cleanse ourselves. More symbology arrives with this in a myriad of ways, for when we gain understanding and apply its wisdom, this in turn has the capacity to purify our existence, and the negative patterns of our perceptions and projections. The mantra also teaches us about our journey and how to navigate this by using, adopting and embodying the flowing principle, and for us to express that with the hearts essence and intelligence.
So when practicing this mantra I suggest to try doing it by a water source, a lake or stream or pond or even in a bath, or perhaps a glass of water before you drink it. Reflect and absorb, moisten your soul with the wetness of knowledge that flows through all divinity, all creation. Allow that fertile beauty to feed the seedlings of your understanding, and nurture them into trees of togetherness and love.
This for me is what this mantra is about and what it means. Who needs words when you can listen, when you can feel and taste. My pronunciation is not perfect in this improvised recitation- so for any native speakers please forgive my sounds and joy for this beautiful mantra. I encourage people to do their own research and learn about this goddess. Read as much and learn as much as you can to inform your understandings and appreciation. Above all practice and taste.
Eim Hrim Srim Klim Sauh Klim Hrim Eim Blum Strim Nilatari Saraswati Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah Eim Hrim Srim Klim Sauh Sauh Hrim Swaha
अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति
— Rigveda 2.41.16
Best of mothers, the best of rivers, best of goddesses, Sarasvatī.
I have included a video of the mantra at the top which is an improvised recitation for your practice and inspiration which you are free to download and share as you want. If you would like to learn more about sound healing - please feel free to browse all of my services that I offer. I teach online courses, group classes and coach 1:1 students both on and offline.
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