In Hinduism, Saraswathi is the Goddess of Learning and Knowledge. She is the wife of the Creator Brahma and is often picturised dressed in white symbolising purity of knowledge.
She is also often picturised with four arms which represent the four vedas (rig, yajur, sama and atharvana). In her four arms, she is show carrying the following:
The veena, a musical instrument that represents that she is also the Goddess of all arts and sciences.
A book representing the Vedas and knowledge.
A mālā / garland with crystal beads, representing the power of meditation and spirituality.
A pot of sacred water, representing creative and purification powers.
It is believed that praying to the Goddess Saraswathi will provide her blessings for excellence in academics, arts and sciences.
The 9th day of Navarathri is celebrated to pray to Goddess Saraswathi. In the South of India, on this day, people place books, musical instruments etc at altar after praying to the Goddess. These are covered by cloth and the custom is to not read anything after the prayers are done. Again on the Vijayadasami day, the Goddess is worshipped again and propitiated and then the books are removed and each person in the household refreshes their knowledge of various subjects. It is also an auspicious day to start learning a new art or craft or have very young children start school. It is also a sacred day for teaching children to write for the first time.
Sarasvati Namastubhyam Varade Kaamarupini
Vidyarambam Karishyami Siddhir Bhavatu Me Sadaa
Oh Goddess Sarasvati, I Salute you, please grant me all boons as your very form represents fulfilment of wishes. I would like to start my learning today. Please let me be successful in all such ventures.
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