The story goes that in the beginning Brahma, the creator, asked "How do I bring order to this chaos?"
Saraswati answered "With knowledge. Knowledge helps man find possibilities where once he saw problems." What I didn't know is that Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge. "She is the river of consciousness that enlivens creation."
That story struck home for me because my life has felt like complete and total chaos for the last couple of years. I recently went to talk to a counselor who basically said the same thing to me. Her advice was "Knowledge is power." She set me on track to find the information that I needed to bring order to the chaos I was facing. It was quite empowering.
Saraswati is creativity. She is inspiration. She governs over our speech. Her energy embodies the power of discernment. It's said that if you were to pour milk into the lake, Saraswati's swan could separate the milk from the water and only drink the milk. It is her gift of discernment that allows us the ability to separate truth from untruth.
Honestly, while I was reading, I was surprised at how powerfully I was drawn to her.
Goddess, Lakshmi, is about using the senses to enjoy all the beauty in life, Saraswati is more simple, clear, pure. She's more interested in meditation, higher learning, wisdom.
"The question arose: who did Vishnu, the preserver, need more? Lakshmi or Saraswati? Wealth or Knowledge?......Vishnu replies... "I need both knowledge and wealth to sustain the cosmos. Without knowledge, I cannot plan. Without wealth, I cannot implement a plan. Wealth sustains life; the arts give value to life. Thus both Saraswati and Lakshmi are needed to live a full life." ~ Devi, Devdutt Pattanaik
Again, this is powerful for me personally. I tend to appreciate practicality over beauty. I look at something beautiful and while I can appreciate it's beauty I do not always see the value in it. My mind doesn't see the value in something that has no practical, useful purpose. This is a mental pattern that I'm working to change. I look at some shinny, beautiful thing and I immediately ask "What's it's purpose?" Instead of passing it by when I can't think of a useful purpose I try to remember that "beautifying my environment" is it's purpose.
Both Saraswati and Lakshmi are needed to live a full life. I have a feeling I'll be writing more about Saraswati in the future but for now here's her mantra.
OM AIM HRIM SARAWATYAI NAMAHA
Om, I bow to the flowing one whose essence is wisdom and the power to manifest
Use her mantra when you need some inspiration, when you are learning something new, when you need to give an important talk or speech. Invoke her energy when you need help finding a solution to a problem or when you're making music or art.
~Awakening Shakti, Sally Kempton