Batik is an ancient art that creates visual masterpieces using wax-resist dye technique on the fabric. This goddess is symbolic of all the wisdom, knowledge, art and science that prevails in the entire universe. Saraswati here sits on this floral throne with multilayered stems of beautiful flowers emerging from either of the sides.
Veena with the two sacred globes in red rests on her lap and the long stole curled out in her hands is perfectly draped over her upper body, accompanied by the mehendi green bandhani print ankle length dhoti that falls in fine pleats. This batik composition features a characteristically vivid color palette framed in realistic orange brush strokes having hints of red and green.
The revered vehicle Hamsa (swan) sits next to this Hamsavahini (goddess with hamsa as her vehicle) as an allusion of transcendence and moksha. Devi in her lalitasana holds the divine book of Vedas in her left hand and right hand is postured in vitarka mudra; bedecked in vibrant jewels over her white plumage with the spread out multicolored spiraled crown adorned by two delicate peacocks at the top. The fiery halo pictured at the back of her head with vertical brush strokes accentuates the aura of this goddess of action and reality.
Of all the deities in the Hindu devi pantheon, Devi Sarasvati is the fairest. Her diamond-coloured skin stands out from the usual tropical olives complexion of the rest. This batik composition is no exception. She is depicted in all Her ethereal grace, as if floating amidst red silk sashes and the verdant vines. Her gleaming skin matches the colour of the body of the rajahamsa (swan) at Her feet, Her vahana.
Apart from the complexion and the vahana, another essential element of the Devi Sarasvati iconography is the veena. She is the wife of Lord Brahma, the deity that is responsible for srshti (roughly translated to ‘creation’, but closer to the import of ‘projection’). She in turn is responsible for learning and the arts, which are prerequisites to His divine process. Hence She is always shown strumming the veena, to the subtle, penetrating music of which swarm Her young devotees.
She is seated on a lotus asana, Her legs clad in green silks and gathered in a rudimentary bhadrasana. From the shringar to the crown on Her head, the style is predominantly of the eastern delta regional art, where batik paintings are a rage. Note how the richly coloured background, done with generously layered brushstrokes in complementary colours, seems to be an extension of the fiery halo behind Her head.
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