YOGA TEACHER TRAINING | YOGA HOLIDAYS | THERAPIES | REVIEWS

HOME | ABOUT | ARTICLES | LINKS | CONTACT

Saraswati

SPIRIT BODY YOGA has chosen SARASWATI as its presiding deity. Or perhaps SARASWATI does the choosing! As students of life, seeking to know the true nature of Self and tap into the beauty our world offers, we may receive her grace, guidance and inspiration.

Originally the name Saraswati belonged to a sacred river in India, considered to be the “Mother of all Rivers.” Her waters were endowed with the power of purification, inner and outer, and in ancient times rituals with fire were performed along the banks of the river. With time this process of purification through ritual has become internalized; instead of a sacrificial fire, now one may make a “personal sacrifice” in order to obtain knowledge and ultimately liberation or “Moksha.” We can become liberated through disciplines of the body, breathing and mind.

Saraswati has become the goddess of knowledge and learning, music and speech. The fluidity of the Vedic Saraswati River is personified in the flow of all water, speech, thought, music and poetry. Sounds, such as OM, and mantras have taken precedence over the ancient practice of “sacrifice.”

The imagery of Saraswati is rich in symbolism. The river represents a quest in which the spiritual pilgrim undergoes a transition or rebirth; a migration from a world of ignorance or bondage to a place of enlightenment and freedom.

Saraswati, being female, embodies the feminine qualities recognized in vedic tradition; among them are tolerance as well as moral and spiritual strength. Her four arms represent the four directions, showing that she is all-pervading. The front arms represent the manifest world, and the back arms the subjective world. These also demonstrate the four aspects of the personality or the four functions of the mind—mana, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara. Mana is the sensory or processing mind, Buddhi is discrimination, Chitta is memory, and Ahamkara is the ego. An aspirant should understand these aspects individually and coordinate them with one another. The book is knowledge. The rosary or “mala” symbolizes the meditative process. The swan is the discriminatory power between right and wrong, as well as the real and unreal. The message here is “be in the world, but not possessed by it;” we are reminded of this by the process of inhaling and exhaling. The lotus flower at her feet represents supreme knowledge. It rises up from its roots in the mud, through water and up into the light. The Veena is a stringed instrument that embodies the element of sound and has a vocal quality that awakens the inner senses. Divinity itself is said to speak through the flow of music. The Veena is considered as the human spinal cord; its musical expression invokes inner knowledge and relates our collective human sound (thoughts and actions) to the music of the cosmos.

SPIRIT BODY YOGA understands Yoga to be an art as well as a science. Human culture involves artistic creation as well as knowledge of the sciences and when these are integrated the world is precious and beautiful.

Saraswati indicates our creative and cognitive potential, as well as giving us the keys to that potential. She is the source of inspiration and purity that we emulate in our striving towards artistic, intellectual and spiritual enlightenment.

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING | YOGA HOLIDAYS | THERAPIES | REVIEWS

HOME | ABOUT | ARTICLES | LINKS | CONTACT