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Sarasvathi: Part 3( Conclusion )

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri Aug 14 1998 - 18:41:45 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

We will continue with the Vedic origin of
Sarasvathi . All the four VedAs invoke Her as 
the uniterrupted flow of divine Knowledge .

As mentioned earlier , this divine speech is 
classified as a triad , ILA or IDA , Sarasvathi and 
MahI or BhArathI . All these three Goddesses 
occupy their specific places in the Barhi ( Place of
scared Yaj~nA ), which is also performed incessantly
inside our heart , where the Lord ( Sri HayagrIvan )
resides and presides .

Of the three Speech Goddesses , Sarasvathi is the most 
fascinating from the Vedic Perspective . She is vigour ,
the cutting edge of the Vigorous ( Kavi ThArkika Simhams ):

pra NO dEvI Sarasvathi vAJEbhir VaajinivathI 
-- Rg Vedam VI.61.4   

She is the motivator/inspirer of everything that
is noble/auspicious and sacred ( pavithram ) 
and She kindles all of our mental faculties:

chOdayathrI sUnruthAnAm chEthanthI sumathInAm 
-- Rg Vedam : I.3.11

She generates the waves in the Ocean of Cosmic mind
or the mahath TatvA :

mahO arNa: SarsvathI pra chEthayathi
kEthunA dhiyO visvA virAjathi --Rg Vedam: 1.3.12 & VI.61.8

For all these reasons , She is invoked by everyone
for Her blessings : 

SarasvathIm dEvayanthO havanthE 
SarasvathIm adhvarE taayamAnE
SarasvathI sukruthO ahavyantha 
SarasvathI dhAsEshu vaarya dhAth 
-- Rig Vedam X.17.7

(meaning ) : The true seekers of divine Knowledge 
invoke the Goddess of Speech ; They worship Her
at the sacred altar. The virtuous people pray to
the Goddess of Speech . May  the Divine Goddess of
Speech bestow Her blessings upon the dedicated devotees .

SarasvathIm yAmm pitharO havanthE
DakshiNA yaj~namabhinakshamANA : 
--Rg Vedam : X.17.9

(Meaning ) : May this divine Goddess of Speech , whom our 
illustrious forefathers  have been invoking , come right 
forward to our solemn service .

This divine knowledge ( revealed knowledge) thru
SarasvathI is meant for ALL , irrespective of caste ,
creed ,race or color :

yathE maam vaacham KALYAANEEM aavadhAni JanEbhya:
Brahma RaajAnyAmyAgum SUdrAya chayyArya cha 
svayA chAraNAya --Yajur Vedam : XXVI.2 

(Meaning ) : That I (Sri HayagrIvan ) to ALL 
the people (My creation ) , address this 
invocatory speech , to the Priest ( BraahmaNA ) ,
the King ( KshathriyA ) , SudrA , AaryA , VaisyA , to 
one of our kin and to the stranger .

This is what Sri Mani VaradarAjan was referring to 
about the scope of Bhakthi list and its membership .
Universal friendliness is implied here by the VedAs 
thru its creator's words.

Sage Aurobindo of Pondichery , who has translated 
the VedAs at a non-literal level concludes that 
Sarasvathi is the word, the inspiration that comes 
from Ritham ( the truth-consciousness) . Ritham is always 
connected to Sathyam ( sathyam Jn~Anam anantham BrahmA ) .
In this context , Sage Aurobindo equates the triad 
of Satyam -Ritham-Bruhath to the three speech goddess 
triad , ILA-Sarasvathi-Mahi( Bruhath) .

According to Aurobindo , Sarasvathi represents 
the inspired word ( Sruthi) , ILA represents the dhrushti 
or inspired truth-Vision and Bharathi( Mahi-Bruhath) is 
the larger Truth-Consciousness of that word and vision . 
Altogether, the three Speech Goddesses can be connected to 
another sacred Triad , Sath-Chidh-Aanantham ( SacchidhAnantham ),
which stands for divine existence , divine consciousness
and divine bliss .

Sage Aurobindo goes on to combine the three divine 
principles of SacchidAnantham ( Sath+Chidh+Aanantham )
to three human realiites , (viz) , Mind (manas) , Life ( PrANA )
and body (SarIrA ) . So far we have got Six connected 
as a result of uniting mind et al at the INDIVIDUAL 
LEVEL TO Divine consciousness et al the SacchidhAnantham level .
They still do not hold together . A glue to hold them is 
missing . That glue is the Ritham Brihath or MahArNavam
principle , which is the cosmic intelligence of the Vedic
Texts standing as the code for Sarasvathi .The proof for 
this has been provided by two verses from Rg Vedam's 
First canto ( I.3.11-12 ) :

Manthram (Rk) 1 : 

chOdhayathrI sUnruthAnAm chEthanthi sumathInAm
Yaj~Nam dhadhE SARASVATHI (Rg vedam :I.3.11)

(Meaning ) : Sarasvathi, Oh Divine Speech ! You 
provide inspiration for those , who delight in 
truth. You instruct the diligent . Please
bless us in our efforts to perform the Yaj~nam .
The Yaj~nam here refers to the noblest act performed 
without attachment ( nishkAma Karmam )and expectation 
of fruits .This Yaj~nam is in the spirit of the defenition
of Sathpatha BrAhmaNam : Yaj~nO vai MahimA ( SB: VI.2.3.18) .

The next manthram ( Rg Vedam I.3.12 ) salutes what
Sarasvathi does thru Her blessings , when prayed to :

mahO arNa; Sarasvathi prachEtayathi kEthunA 
dhiyO visvA virAjathi 

(Meaning ) : Sarasvathi in Her role as the divine-speech
"sets in motion all the energies of the soul and intellect ".
She enlightens the wisdom of all devotees , who are 
saadhakAs ( seekers of Truth ) . 

SELECTED SALUTATIONS TO SARASVATHI FROM THE OTHER VEDAAS
*********************************************************

There are many salutations to Sarasvathi as the divine
speech in Vedams other than Rg Vedam , which we have
quoted mostly so far . 

1.Saama Vedam : UttarArchika Saaman :XIV .1

tisrO vaacha udhIrathE gAvO mimanthi dhEnava:
HarirEthi kanikradhath 

( Meaning ) : The three divine speeches ( ILA ,
Sarasvathi and Bhaarathi) urge us as the inviting 
milch-kline bending their udders for their calves.......

2. Yajur Vedam : Canto-XXVIII.8

hOthA ----hOtharyaja 

(Meaning ) : Here , the hOthA is asked to pay his
homage to the three venerable speeches , ILA ,
Sarasvathi and Bhaarathi, and cultivate them for 
gaining the boons of divine knowledge .

3.Yajur Vedam : XXIX.8

Here , the link is made between the three divine speeches
(Vaaks ) and their correlates . The prayer to ILA , Sarasvathi
and Bhaarathi as divine speeches is to place the aarAdhakan
among the Immortals ( nithya SUris ) . The correlations
are as follows :

BhArathI --the speech of AadithyAs full of Information & vigor
Sarasvathi- The Speech of RudrAs full of Divine knowledge
ILA--The speech of the Vasus full of Vedic eulogies.

There are 8 Vasus , Eleven RudrAs and twelve AadithyAs 
according to SaasthrAs .

ATHARVA VEDAM : XVIII: HYMN IV-47 (4479TH MANTHRAM )
****************************************************

Sarasvathi yaa saratham yayAthOkthai:
svadhAbhirdEvi pithrubhirmadhanthee 
sahasrArgameedE athra bhAgam
raayaspOsham yajamAnAya dEhi 

(Meaning ) : Oh Sacred Sarasvathi ( Vedic Speech )!
Thou respondeth warmly to those who eulogize You . 
Please bless these YajamAnAs , " the self-sustaining 
elders " of this world engaged in saluting You 
with thousand-fold wealth and nourishing annam 
and other riches in the form of mani-fold streams
of Knowledge .

THE MANY NAMES OF SARASVATHI 
*****************************

Bharathi --Eloquence
MahA VidyA -Transcendent Knowledge
Maha VaaNi- Transcendent Word
AaryA--The Noble and revered One
Braahmi-- The power behind the immense One 
Kaama DhEnu- The wish granting Cow 
Bija Garbhaa-- Womb of the elements of divine speech 

KarapAtri's Sri Bhagavathi Tattvam and Harsha 
CharithA give a beautiful decription of 
Sarasvathi Devi as a beautiful Goddess clad 
in white and sitting on a white lotus with
a VeeNA , Pusthakam , Japa MaalA and ankusam 
and occasionally with a conch and a bow et al 
( VishNU Chinnams in general and that Of 
Sri HayagrIvA in particular) . 

Her AarAdhanam 
***************
On the Sarasvathi PoojA day , books , Sri Sookthis
and musical instruments are dusted , placed on an
altar and She is invoked and saluted as the embodiment
of Vedic speech and Divine Knowledge by many . 

The paramikAnthins follow the direction of Swami 
Desikan and recognize Her as having the power of
Divine Speech due to the anugraham of Sri HayagrIva
BhagavAn . They perform a special AarAdhanam for
BhagavAn HayagrIvA ( VaajI vakthrA VaasydEvasya 
Moorthy: )that day .Their reasoning is that Sarasvathi ,
DakshINA Moorthy  and Sages VyaasA , ParAsarA and 
VaalmIki shine as great ones due to a small speck 
of the power of Sri HayagrIvan .

Sri HayagrIva BhagavAn  has been saluted
by Swami Desikan as possessing Manthra Mayam SarIram 
( HayagrIva Manthra SvarUpi) .This VaagIsvaran 
creates the names and forms of the prapancham 
from moola Prakruthi .BhagavAn's right hand carries 
the Jn~Ana Mudhrai; the left hand holds the Japa Maalai.
Sarasvathi dEvi carries the Japa maalai and pusthakam 
like Her anugraha dhAthA , Bhagavaan HayagrIvan .
The eulogy of BhagavAn as shown by Swami Desikan 
connects the power of Vaak or divine speech :

tvAm chinthayan tvanmayathAm prapanna:
tvaam udhgruNan SABDHAMAYENA DHAAMNAA 

Sabdha MayEna DhAmnA gets us into the enjoyment 
of the unfolding of a multimedia image that
is the effulgence(light ) in the form of manthrAm
( sound-Sabdha Mayam )of the BhagavAn , who is
the VaagIsvaran .

I will conclude  this posting with a salutation 
for Sri HayagrIvan thru the DhyAna SlOkam for
him composed endearingly by Swami Desikan :

vyaakhyA mudhrAm kara sarasijai:
  pusthakma sankha chakram 
bibrath bhinna spatika ruchirE 
  pundarIkE nishaNNa:
amlAna SrI: amrutha visadhai: amsubhi:
  plAvayan maam 
aavirbhUyaath anaga mahimA 
  maanasE VaagadhIsa :

( Meaning ) : Lord HayagrIvA has Sudarsanam 
and Paanchajanyam in two of His uplifted hands ;
In the two other hands closer to us , he holds 
a Book and Jn~Ana MudhrA . He is seated on a 
beautiful White Lotus and makes us wonder , whether 
He is a piece of white crystal (Spatikam ).
His effulgence never diminishes . There is
no limit to the auspicious glories of this Lord ,
who is free of any blemish, whatsoever. 
He is the first Lord of Divine knowledge .
May the cool nectar like nourishing white rays 
of the Lord fall on me and cool me and May 
He reside in my heart cavity always .

Sri HayagrIva Para BrahmaNE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan