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Tuesday 31 January 2012

Hindu Deity Statues

When looking for Hindu deity statues, especially of goddess Saraswati you must make sure that the statue is beautiful and has the grace that the goddess embodies. After all, according to the Matsya Purana, goddess Saraswati is said to be so enchanting that even the god from whom she evolved fell under her spell and pursued her. The Purana says that the goddess rose from lord Brahma’s mouth and once she realized his intentions, she fled in many different directions. It is said that in whatever directions she ran, the lord developed a head. This is the reason lord Brahma has five heads. The moon and lotus flower associated with goddess Saraswati are considered as eternal symbols of womanhood in Hinduism; hence it is most important that you choose a statue that is feminine and exquisitely crafted.

Another story that comes to mind is of how the goddess saved the world from Lord Shiva’s third eye and complete destruction of life. The tale goes something like this: Lord Shiva was once awakened from his deep meditation. When he looked around, he discovered that the world was on the brink of corruption and people had started being unsalvageable. He was angered and decided it was time to destroy the world and wipe the slate clean. He opened his world destroying third eye and out came a great fire that was so enormous and destructive that it threatened all existence. Everybody, including the gods in heaven started to panic but goddess Saraswati kept her calm. She proclaimed that the lord’s fire can burn only that which is impure and corrupt, and took the form of a colossal river. She then picked up the dreaded fire from the lord’s third eye with her pure waters and within the folds of the river carried it far away from the earth to the bottom of the ocean. Here the fire transformed into a fire breathing mare called Badavagni, the beast that will bring doom to the world. She then wisely foretold that “So long as the world is pure and the man is wise, the terrible Badavagni will remain on the bottom of the sea, far from the world. But when wisdom is abandoned and man corrupts the world, this creature will come out of its resting place and destroy the universe”.

Hence, when buying Hindu deity statues of goddess Saraswati, look for an idol that embodies beauty, wisdom and grace. Also look for symbols that depict the goddess. For instance, it may be wise to look for an idol carrying the musical instrument ‘veena’ in her hands, or sitting on a lotus flower. In some idols the goddess may also be sitting on a peacock.

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