Saraswati; the goddess of learning and the Saraswati river ...

Growing up listening to Greek mythological stories was a bed time favourite (especially Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales and The Wonder book ) and they never cease to cause wonder and delight to me.

One of the delightful things encountering yoga and the Hindu tradition is the abundance of colourful mythological stories there are ...

What is mythology ?

Mythology is a compilation of traditional stories and tales from a culture or country. It contains characters made up of gods, demigods, or supernatural humans. The myths represent ideals that people are inspired and refer to be guided by. They also represent dangers to avoid. Some times many versions of the same myth that differ from source to source and are made up all of its variants ... (also a fun way to get to know a place when travelling if none there is always art, music and lit)

For inspiration on the months of learning to come in our lives and, our asana practice and beyond here is a sneak peak at one of the deities from the Hindu tradition (where yoga branches out from) I thought we’d start of by introducing the goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning; Saraswati ...

Her four arms express the four forms of the human personality in learning: mind , intellect, alertness and ego and believed to give humans the power of speech, wisdom and learning.

Her name means elegant, pooling flowing as the waters that run through the river that she has been deified as. The river runs from the edge of the Himalayas south through India. It is considered a source of purification, fertility, and good fortune for those that bathe in her waters.

The festival of Sarasvati Puja or Vasant Panchami is performed on the preparation of the arrival of Spring in honour of the goddess. Her fans wear yellow which is associated with wisdom and prosperity. Books, pens and musical blessings are prayed for. She is prayed to by musicians, schools pray and begin classes on this day ... maybe she’ll shine through all of us this year !

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