Terms

sarasvatI

sarasvatI sarasvatI f. (of {sarasvat} q.v. under%{saras}) a region abounding in pools and lakes N. of a river (celebrated in RV. and held to be a goddess whose identity is much disputed ; most authorities hold that the name Sarasvati is identical with the Avestan Haraquaiti river in Afghanistan , but that it usually means the Indus in the RV. , and only occasionally the small sacred rivers in Madhya-desa [see below] the river-goddess has seven sisters and is herself sevenfold , she is called the mother of streams , the best of mothers , of rivers , and of goddesses ; the Rishis always recognize the connection of the goddess with the river , and invoke her to descend from the sky , to bestow vitality , renown , and riches ; elsewhere she is described as moving along a golden path and as destroying Vritra &c. ; as a goddess she is often connected with other deities e.g. with Pushan , Indra , the Maruts and the As3vins [1182,3] ; in the Apri hymns she forms a triad with the sacrificial goddesses Ida and Bhatrati ; accord. to a myth told in the VS. xix , 12 , Sarasvati through speech [{vAcA}] communicated vigour to Indra ; in the BrShmanas she is identified with {vAc} , Speech , and in later times becomes goddess of eloquence see below) RV. &c. &c. ; N. of a well-known small river (held very sacred by the Hindu1s ; identified with the modern Sursooty , at , d formerly marking with the Drishadvat1 one of the boundaries of the region Arya-desa and of the sacred district called Brahmavarta [see Mn. ii , 17] in RV. vii , 95 , 2 , this river is represented as flowing into the sea , although later legends make it disappear underground and join the Ganges and Jumna at Allahibad ; see {tri-veNI} , {prayAga}) ib. N. of various rivers (esp. of rivers which in sacredness are equal to Sarasvati and which are three accord. to AV. vi , 101 , and seven accord. to MBh. ix , 2188) any river N. of the goddess of eloquence and learning (cf. above ; she is opposed to Sri or Lakshmi [cf. Vikr. v , 24] , and sometimes considered as the daughter and also wife of Beahma , the proper wife of that god being rather Savitri or Gayatri ; she is also identified with Durga , or even with the wife of Vishnu and of Manu , and held to be the daughter of Daksha) Mn. MBh. &c. ; speech or the power of speech , eloquence , learning wisdom a celestial or oracular voice a cow an excellent woman (= {strI-ratna}) N. of various plants (Cardiospermum Halicacabum , Egle Marmelos , Ruta Graveolens N. of a twoyear-old girl representing Durga at her festival of a poetess of various other women (esp. of the wives of Dadhica , Samkaracarya , Mandanamisra &c. of one of the ten mendicant orders traced back to Sarnkaracarya (whose members add the word {sarasvatI} to their names).
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