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Saraswati Goddess Atop the Golden Swan Figure from Burma known as Thurathadi Dewi
- Saraswati Goddess Atop the Golden Swan Figure from Burma known as Thurathadi Dewi
- Measure approx. 8 3/4" tall x 7" wide x 3 1/2" deep
- Ca. Mid 20th century.
- Materials: Inventive Polychrome and Gold Leaf on an elaborately hand carved wooden figure
- In Buddhist Arts of Burma, She is called Thurathadi Dewi.
- Students in Burma pray for Her blessings before their exams. She is also believed to be, in Mahayana pantheon of Burma, the Protector of Buddhist Scriptures.
- Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Music, Art, Wisdom and Learning worshipped throughout Nepal and India. She is a part of the Trinity (Tridevi) of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three Manifestations help the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively.
- The goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white, the color symbolizing Sattwa Guna or Purity, Discrimination for True Knowledge, Insight and Wisdom.
- She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror Her husband Brahma's four heads, representing Manas (mind, sense), Buddhi (intellect, reasoning), Citta (imagination, creativity) and Ahamkāra (self consciousness, ego). Brahma represents the abstract, while She represents action and reality.
- The four hands hold items with symbolic meaning — a Pustaka (book or script), a Mālā (rosary, garland), a Water Pot and a Musical Instrument (vīnā). The book She holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the Universal, Divine, Eternal, and True Knowledge as well as all forms of Learning. A Mālā of crystals, representing the power of meditation, inner reflection and spirituality. A pot of water represents the purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from the unclean, and essence from the inessential. In some texts, the pot of water is symbolism for Soma - the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge. The most famous feature on Saraswati is a musical instrument called a Veena, which represents all creative arts and sciences, and Her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony. Saraswati is also associated with Anurāga, the love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speech or music.
- A Hamsa or Swan is often located next to Her feet. In Hindu Mythology, the Hamsa is a sacred bird, which if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. It thus symbolizes the ability to discriminate between good and evil, essence from outward show and the eternal from the evanescent
- She is often depicted near a flowing river or other body of water, which depiction may constitute a reference to Her early history as a river goddess.
- Saraswati is also worshipped outside the Indian subcontinent, in nations such as Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Burma.
- Some Hindus celebrate the Festival of Vasant Panchami (the fifth day of spring, and also known as Saraswati Puja in many parts of India in Her honor. The Celebration is marked by helping young children learn how to write alphabets on that day. The Goddess is also revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India, as well as some Buddhist sects throughout South East Asia.
- Sarasvati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras, meaning "pooling water", but also sometimes translated as "speech"; and vati meaning "She who posesses" (also found in the name of Parvati, "She who has Wings"). Originally associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination therefore means "She who has ponds, lakes, and pooling water" or occasionally "She who possesses speech".