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Knowledge is power, but Ma Saraswati is not given her due in this era of a race to make the most money. Here’s an open letter to the Goddess of learning.
Dear Goddess Saraswati,
Or should I say Saraswati Devi or perhaps Ma Saraswati? Truth be told we don’t quite know how to address you. For that matter we hardly know much of you. It’s rather strange – considering you had such a hand in our creation.
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You’re quite different, aren’t you, from all of your sisters? There’s Durga who once ruled the lush lands of Bengal but now has the entire country wrapped around her ten strong arms, singing, dancing and celebrating in her honour. There’s the dreaded Kali who strikes fear and yet is worshipped with far greater fervour. And of course there’s the most flamboyant, most favoured Lakshmi. What can I say about her? She even has a non-believer like me scurrying around cooking, cleaning and decorating – laying out the proverbial red carpet – when she comes visiting each Diwali.
But you, you’re different. Ethereal in your purest white, with the graceful swan for company, you choose to stay in the shadows. It is a choice I know, for I cannot believe you could be so ignored by the world had you chosen to show off even a sliver of your charisma. You are the one with the four vedas at your command, the one with knowledge and wisdom and creativity. And knowledge is power, isn’t it? Yet you choose to exercise none of it.
There was a time when you and Lakshmi were really close. She stemming from you and you gathering strength from her – knowledge was wealth. Have you noticed how she has taken a life of her own? Have you noticed how the most devout of your disciples sooner, rather than later, switches loyalties?
Truth be told, your sisters couldn’t even exist without you. Who can get to Lakshmi without your wisdom and knowledge? So then, why do you let yourself be a mere stepping-stone?
Does the money-talk not bother you at all? “Money makes the world go round!” “Daughters are Ghar-ki-Lakshmi!” Seriously? You don’t mind?
And yet, there is no better role-model for the modern woman than you. You need no consort to fulfil your existence. Brahma might have created you but you choose to stand alone, to be worshipped in your own right. You took him on and cursed him when he dared to slight you.
But then that’s how you’ve always been – proud, self-sufficient.
Brahma couldn’t have created the world without you. All was chaos before you he made you to guide him. You showed the earth, the moon, the sun and the stars their true place. But you never claim credit, as you sit peacefully strumming your Veena, secure in yourself. Your special day, Vasant Panchami, came and went; your presence was barely registered.
Perhaps that’s the way you like it, preferring to show up unexpectedly delighting and enthralling anyone who cares to notice. You are there in that blooming flower, in the rainbow stretched across the sky, in the scribbles of a child, in his lisped out rhyme, in a beautifully written book, a melodious song, a well-crafted film.
Yes, you show yourself – to those who care to see, befriending only the true and the pure, deserting them at the first whiff of betrayal.
But times are changing. You need to make your presence felt, to help sort the chaos Manu’s children have reduced your world to. Come by Ma Saraswati, we need you like never before.
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Image source: By dalbera from Paris, France (Veena de Saraswati (Berlin)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Journalist turned stay-at-home-mum to twins. Freelancer, writer, reader, book lover, amateur photographer.
Such a beautiful post – the content is thought provoking and so telling of our times…As a social scientist I find it is a very interesting observation that worship is often defined primarily as an extension of the current driving forces (and values) of a society. Trade, commerce, wealth and economy are all Supreme God today. The pursuit of knowledge itself, (as was exhorted by the wise and scriptures) is no longer seen as an end in itself; rather it is only seen as a means to an end. The end being wealth. As lone crusaders some of us will try to champion the cause of wisdom/knowledge but most of the herd will not be able to pause and introspect and change tracks…Only when the leaders change their track the herd will follow. So now we can only hope that the leaders will dwell upon this very same point that you have made so succinctly, only then will change in the right direction take place and Ma Saraswati will get a turn to have her days of glory again!!
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