The saraswati pooja celebrated in India has not just a cultural significance, but also a logical and scientific significance. The vedas and upanishads synchronize everything involved in life from birth to death with the forces of Universe and its evolution of intelligence.
One example is the Vaastu Saastra, which tries to synchronize the place of dwelling with the Universe and its direction of evolution. I will write about how a scientific vaastu saastra has been mis-interpreted and implemented and what its original meanings are in another blog.
Saraswati Pooja is one such festival which has a logical bearing though it seems highly religious as the scientific/logical bearing has been lost.
In one of my my previous blogs, I had written on Navaratri. The Universe evolved from the desire of the ‘SELF’ to realize itself though evolution of intelligence according to Nasadiya Suktam. It is given here.
The Universe evolved in the order of Energy, Matter and Intellect. The nine-days of Navaratri represent the evolution of forces as the Universe emerged from the hidden unknown hill that is described in Nasadiya Suktam. From this hidden unknown hill came energy and then matter and then intellect that rode on energy and matter to evolve intelligence.
Intellect is nothing but understanding of birth, death and eight levels of activities in Universe. The eight levels are activity that happens in sub-atomic scales, activity that happens in cosmic scale, activity that happens in small numbers/mass, activity that happens in huge numbers/mass, activity that happens across time-scales, activity that evolves different forms of life, ability to control emotions and intellect to control other beings, development of intellect with which control of entire universe (including matter and energy) is possible.
Any biological life requires health symbolized by energy, wealth symbolized by matter and knowledge symbolized by intellect. Health is the basic requirement for human life. Wealth is the next requirement. Wealth means resources to live. But with health and wealth, any being can live. But if it has to evolve, it has to evolve in knowledge. Hence evolution of intellect to understand birth, death and eight levels of activities happening in Universe is the hall-mark of a biological being. More, it is the unique identity of human being.
This is the reason why the ten days of Navratri are dedicated to Energy, Wealth and Knowledge in that order.
Saraswat is a word that is used to indicate the one that keeps moving fast or flows abundantly. The root word saras means freely flowing or moving. Saraswati is a feminine form of the one that moves fast or flows freely.
This intellect development is possible only when free flowing thoughts are possible. This free flowing thoughts is achieved by the mechanism of Education which enables free flow of thoughts from Guru (teacher) to Sishya (student), Sishya (student) to Sishya (student) and infact from anyone to anyone.
Thus this free flow of thoughts called Education is represented by Sarasvati, which is a feminine representation of the one that is freely flowing or moving fast. Feminine form is used in Sanskrit, when the subject undergoes change in itself. Masculine form is used when it changes others. Since Education, which is nothing but free flow of thoughts undergoes changes in itself, it is represented in feminine form and becomes known as Goddess Saraswati. (This is why rivers are also named after Saraswati)
On the day of Saraswati Pooja, we are supposed to close all our books and submit it before the idol of Goddess. Any idea, why..?
It is simply because Saraswati is all about free flow of thoughts, which means having an open mind to receive all the thoughts. So on the day of Saraswati pooja we are supposed to keep our minds open by closing all our books, giving rest to our mind and meditating on ways to receive the education or ways of keeping our mind open to facilitate the flow of thoughts.
Scientifically or logically speaking the day of Saraswati pooja is all about how to keep our mind open to facilitate flow of thoughts. One way to keep it open is to rest and open our minds and interact with people rather than books and words.
Saraswati is also called Padmasani or PadmaNilaya etc. Padma means that is open-ended. It is applied to lotus, as fully blossomed lotus is open-ended. Saraswati (free flow of thoughts) is supposed to reside in Padma (open-ended mind). This is how Saraswati is typically visualized as the one who resides in lotus.
But the real meaning is that free flow of thoughts (Sarawati) resides in Open mindedness (Padma). Though the visualization of Saraswati as one who resides in Lotus would have helped strengthen the idea that free flow of thoughts reside in open minds, the core idea was lost (as the language underwent changes) and visualization has stood the test of times.
On the day of Saraswati Pooja, this Saraswati, which helps in free flow of thoughts, which resides in open minds, is invoked and extolled in the Idol of a Goddess, so that formal education which is about free flow of thoughts can be started on the next day of Vijayadasami.
Let’s not just worship Saraswati the one who resides in Lotus. Let’s practice free flow of thoughts (Saraswati) by keeping our minds open (padma).