You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1998

Sarasvati Puja question

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Fri Aug 07 1998 - 10:16:55 PDT

Dear Bhaktas,

I was looking at the Bahudhanya Samvatsara calendar
that Anand had posted earlier:

In it he has written this paragraph:

>  4. Kindly note that Vaishnava Saraswati PoojA falls on Sep 30th. Sri
>VaishnavAs don't celebrate this as a function (not even be a vyAjA for
>performing a special HayagrIva ArAdhanA that day ). 

and the source cited is Sri U.Ve. V.N. GopAla DesikAchAryA. 

I specifically asked my acharya Sri Rangapriya Svami about
the status of Sarasvati, and specifically whether the Goddess
of Learning should be thought of as "anya-devatA". 
Rangapriya Svami very clearly said, "illai; anya devatA anRu, appadi 
ninaikka koodaadhu."  He asked a sishya to bring a paTham of b
Lord Hayagriva seated on a white lotus (pundarIkam). [This paTham 
should be familiar to many, particularly Karnataka Sri Vaishnavas,
as it has been distributed for many years by sri parakAla maTham.]

Rangapriya Svami then said that the goddess sitting on
Hayagriva's lap, dressed in white, was none other than
Sarasvati -- i.e., he said that Sarasvati should be
thought of as none other than Lakshmi.

This cleared up many doubts for me, since I had also seen
a Sarasvati paTham in the sannidhi of my grandfather, a
very devout Sri Vaishnava and close associate of Uttamur
Viraraghavachariar Svami.  Subsequent to receiving upadesam
from Sri Rangapriya Svami, I also visited the home of my
wife's grandfather in Madras, also a ati-vIra-Vaishnava,
and I noticed a Sarasvati paTham in his sannidhi as well.

Could it be that some Sri Vaishnava families view
Sarasvati in a different light? Of course, one should always
follow one's own family tradition, guided by the dictates
of one's acharya, but I am posing the question to get
more information from fellow readers.

Thanking you,
adiyEn Mani