Yaa Kunde (Saraswati Prayer)

Goddess Saraswati is universally recognized in Hinduism as the Goddess of learning and knowledge. Students in any and all fields of learning pray to Saraswati for sucess in completion of their studies. Saraswati is the companion of Lord Brahma (the creator). She represents speech (Vach), the mechanism or divine energy with which Brahma created the universe. The importance of Goddess Saraswati (saras = fluid, wati = easily, i.e. easily flowing energy) is her ability to bring into manifestation the concept of Creation thought by Brahma in his thoughts. The words (or Vach) spoken by Brahma to create the universe is indeed Sarswati! The Goddess Gayatri is synonymous with Goddess Saraswati in the sense that Gayatri is another form of Saraswati. Hence, the Gayatri Mantra is indeed the best invocation for Goddess Saraswati. Legend has it that Saraswati appeared as Gayatri in order to assist Brahma in the completion of an important yagna being conducted in homage to the Sun God (Surya Devataa).

An invocation to Goddess Saraswati is as follows – she who holds the (musical instrument) veena in her hands and opens the channels of learning for her disciples. Saraswati is also revered as the Goddess of music and creative (particularly, the spoken) arts.

The Prayer

Yaa Kunde Tushaarahaara Dhavalaa
Yaa Shubhra Vastraavritaa
Yaa Veenaa Varadanda Manditakaraa
Yaa Shveta Padmaasanaa
Yaa Brahmaachyuta Shankara Prabhritibihi
Devaih Sadaa Vanditaa
Saa Maam Pattu Saraswati Bhagavatee
Nihshesha Jaadyaapahaa.

The Meaning

Salutations to the supreme Goddess Saraswati…whose face is fair as a jasmine flower, luminiscient like the moon and delicate as a snow flake ; who is dressed in brilliant white (shubhra-) garments (vastraA-). She holds the musical instrument (vINA-) in her hands to bestow boons (varada.nDa-) to her disciples as she sits on her white (shveta-) lotus (padma-) throne (aasanA-).

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