Sarasvati Stotram

Recited by the music ensemble in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
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sarasvati Stotram

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Invoking the Goddess of Knowledge Within

by Radhika Kapur

For me, the most captivating of goddesses has always been Sarasvati, who grants the blessing of all blessings—knowledge. Shri Sarasvati is the deity of learning, speech, and the arts. Her name, which is found in India’s ancient Rig Veda, was invoked by the rishis, or seers, of the Vedas for blessings as they engaged in sacred rites of worship. Just as the rishis entreated Sarasvati, we can call upon the goddess Sarasvati’s grace by singing the invocation from the Sarasvati Stotram on this page.

This shloka, or verse, describes the goddess’s divine form and asks her to protect us from the darkness and delusion of ignorance. Sarasvati is envisioned draped in a sari, white like kunda flowers, which is a variety of fragrant jasmine that peeps through the trees. She is seated on a serene white lotus, evoking a mind refined through meditation. In her hands, she holds the grand veena, a melodious stringed instrument, representing her mastery of the arts.

Recently, I have been singing this shloka before beginning my work as a writer. When I invoke Sarasvati, I open my heart to her. The sound of the sacred mantras draws me to the awareness of her immense creative power within. We can recite this verse at any time during the day—before engaging in spiritual practice or beginning any endeavor that we want to approach with new inspiration and skill. You may experience Sarasvati’s grace as creative inspiration, as fluent speech that is authentic and uplifting, or as deep-seated intuition—the profound knowing within your heart. By calling upon Sarasvati with this verse, Siddha Yogis can come to know her as the creative aspect of our own awakened sacred power, Kundalini Shakti.

On the Siddha Yoga path, one of the ways we learn to make good use of Sarasvati’s boons is by consciously tapping into our own creativity in order to refresh and readjust how we live, work, connect with loved ones, and perform our sadhana in response to life’s ever-changing circumstances. As we continually put forth sweet effort with the aid of an intellect illumined by Sarasvati’s grace, we receive practical support along with the highest knowledge, the recognition of our own divinity and that of all creation. I find it fascinating that Sarasvati’s name can be understood to mean “the flowing one,” for when I feel aligned to inner Truth, everything seems to flow naturally. There’s an effortlessness to my actions.

As a child growing up in India, I felt myself supported in my studies by the goddess Sarasvati. One of the treasures on my puja is a tiny silver statue of this goddess, which my mother gave to me when I was a student and which my grandmother gave to my mother when she was a student. As a young girl away from home at boarding school, my mother would pray to Sarasvati for assistance and would experience her prayers being answered. For this reason, the statue has always felt alive with Sarasvati’s grace. On Vasant Panchami, the holiday celebrating the coming of spring, schools and colleges throughout the country worship Sarasvati with prayers, dance, and music, and honor the blooming of knowledge in young minds and hearts.

There is a phrase in Hindi, Aapki jeebh par Sarasvati baithi ho, which is usually translated as “May Sarasvati be sitting on the tip of your tongue.” When someone says something particularly auspicious, we hope their words may prove to be prophetic through the grace of Sarasvati. Why just the tongue, I wonder? As you listen to and sing this invocation along with the recording, may Sarasvati’s blessings cascade through your entire being and enliven every aspect of your life.

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