hundred and eight names of Devi Sarasvati which form the Ashttotara Shatnama of
the goddess poetically describe the transcendent imagery of the goddess of
wisdom and inventiveness. Sarasvati is called Mahamaya- the greatest of all
illusions. This Swamimalai bronze is an artist’s ode on the divine brilliance
that is goddess Sarasvati.
symbol of purity is an integral part of the physical appearance of Sarasvati.
She is padmasana- one who sits on a lotus flower, Padmakshi- one who has lotus-shaped
eyes, and Padmavaktraga- whose face is as beautiful as a lotus flower. The
great goddess who rules the sphere of unadulterated wisdom is beyond worldly
chaos. Like a lotus that blossoms in muddy water, but remains untainted,
Sarasvati while being involved in the human world, is above its triviality.
Devi Sarasvati is Chaturbhuja, four-armed, and Pustakdhrit, one who holds a
book. The book and rosary in her hands represent Gyan (knowledge) and
austerities. In her main hands, the goddess holds a veena, known as the
Sarasvati veena after her. Vidyarupa, the personification of knowledge, goddess
Sarasvati accompanied by her attributes grants boons of prodigious wisdom. The
great deity of knowledge is equally appealing in physical appearance. This
handmade Panchloha bronze has fruitfully captured the enchanting beauty of
Kamrupa- the embodiment of desires. She has a slender waist, thin limbs, and
rounded breasts. A verse from Rig Veda evokes Sarasvati by asking her to
provide nourishment through her “inexhaustible breast”. The great goddess is filled
with maternal instincts as a young maiden and revered to receive her
affectionate varada-hasta. The magnificence of goddess Sarasvati in this bronze
statue is heightened by high-rising mukut and gemmed ornaments. Sarasvati sits
in Lalitasana, the royal posture, with her right leg placed on the ground,
asylum for those seeking refuge from the illusionary world. A fiery Prabhavali with Kirtimukha on its top, surrounds the Devi, defining her presence, the aura that wraps her heavenly
form. On each side of the Prabhavali sit a swan, the vahana of Saraswati and a symbol of purity. The countenance of goddess Sarasvati emits a Shaant-bhava- the emotion of tranquillity achieved by her authority over the Ultimate Truth. In this glorious bronze
idol, the goddess Sarasvati is Triguna- the epitome of a balance of three
qualities- Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, desired by sages and kings alike.
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