Indian Culture · Indian Religion · Inner View · Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Saras, That Which Flows: Let the Inspiration Flow

So much is constantly happening in the life and the world around us. There is so much darkness, so much falsehood, so much ignorance, so much suffering. Within us. All around us. It is so easy to be sucked in by all that. So easy to forget that there is a whole other way of being.

No, not to be unconcerned. But to be concerned in the right way, in a truthful way, in a disinterested way, in an inspired way. This is the way of constantly striving to walk toward light, truth, right knowledge, and bliss. 

This is no easy walk. Too many distractions on the way. Too many ‘wanderlust’ moments. 

Perhaps that’s why our ancients knew we will need constant reminders. For re-focusing. For inward turning. For detaching. For self-giving and offering. For seeking true inspiration. For invoking and inviting the gods to help us in the arduous yajña. 

For a dedicated sadhak, each day can be a pilgrimage to the worlds of gods, inside and above; each act an act of self-giving. For the strugglers, the majority, special days come as reminders for re-dedication and re-affirmation. For renewed and rekindled prayer. 

Basant Panchami, another day to invoke the Goddess Saraswati

 Saraswati is…

“the Word, the inspiration…that comes from the Ritam, the Truth-consciousness”

“the impeller of happy truths”

“an awakener of the consciousness to right thinkings or right states of mind” 

“represents the truth-audition, śruti, which gives the inspired word”

gnana-saraswati-gangaikondacholapuram
Gnana Saraswati at Gangaikonda cholapuram, photo by Suhas

“Saraswati,…that power of the Truth which we call inspiration. Inspiration from the Truth purifies by getting rid of all falsehood, for all sin according to the Indian idea is merely falsehood, wrongly inspired emotion, wrongly directed will and action. The central idea of life and ourselves from which we start is a falsehood and all else is falsified by it. Truth comes to us as a light, a voice, compelling a change of thought, imposing a new discernment of ourselves and all around us. Truth of thought creates truth of vision and truth of vision forms in us truth of being, and out of truth of being (satyam) flows naturally truth of emotion, will and action. This is indeed the central notion of the Veda.

“Saraswati, the inspiration, is full of her luminous plenitudes, rich in substance of thought. She upholds the Sacrifice, the offering of the mortal being’s activities to the divine by awakening his consciousness so that it assumes right states of emotion and right movements of thought in accordance with the Truth from which she pours her illuminations and by impelling in it the rise of those truths which, according to the Vedic Rishis, liberate the life and being from falsehood, weakness and limitation and open to it the doors of the supreme felicity.”

~ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, pp. 100-101

*****

“That is the work of Mahasaraswati to move between the higher consciousness and the heart and through them establish the rule of the Truth in all details of the mind and life and physical nature.” 

~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother and Letters on the Mother, p. 72


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23 thoughts on “Saras, That Which Flows: Let the Inspiration Flow

  1. something to think of for sure BUT when we say there is so much falsehood.. isn’t that OUR interpretation.. what is False for us Might be the Truth for the other 🙂

    I have this little theory that I beleive in I feel that in this world No one is good and No one is Bad.. Everyone is Good and everyone is bad 🙂 because I may be good for someone but on the same side I am bad for others tooo.. I have done some wrong things tooo as much as I might have done the right things …

    almost all our scriptures and gods goddesses have taught us that God resides in us all.. So if we hurt another person we are hurting God ..

    have i confused you enough now 🙂

    1. Hello Bikram,
      Will you be unhappy if I say that no, you haven’t confused me? 🙂
      But seriously speaking, I think this kind of relativism that there is nothing really good or bad, nothing really true or false in this world (which is relative in its expression/manifestation, to begin with) is not something I can agree to. Why? Because once upon a time, long long ago I also used to think this way! And then thankfully, age happened, experiences happened, life happened, and well…a few other things happened that I would rather not speak here on this public forum. A question that I feel we all must ask is – where does this postmodernist relativism lead us? Morally, ethically, intellectually? And how does it help us decide what action to take in our lives?
      Another point is that if you notice, I am using small “t” for truth, not T in my comment here. And that is because there can be many relative truths – relevant for the time being, for the particular context, for a particular person/group. But are all those truths, relative as they are, the big Truth with T?
      If we go this route of analysis and take this logic to extreme, then we will have to accept all the evil that ISIS is doing in the world as also something on the side of “their/terrorists'” truth? Should we accept it? ABSOLUTELY NOT! This may be an extreme example, but I am using it to make a point.
      We have to figure out (and since as you say and I agree with it that God resides in all of us, ALL) using the mind given to us by that Divine within us to figure out on which side of things should we put our mind to? Not all that goes on in the world around us (or in our own lives) is on the side of the Truth.
      To put it very simply, all movements – outer and inner – that lead us to division, conflict, mindless violence (but this doesn’t mean that ALL violence is bad – bad is something mind attaches to a certain act but here we are talking of something beyond mind, e.g. to kill a terrorist also you have to use violence, don’t you?) can be seen as Falsehood. And all those things that lead us – individually and collectively – to greater harmony, inner and outer peace, unity etc can be seen as Truth. I am not saying that this is the only way to see it. But this can be one way. It is actually the same debate people have when they discuss Dharma. All of us who have some association or background in any of the Dharmic traditions – Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, etc – know that there is no single or simple way to define/describe Dharma. And yet there is something subtle by which we know what can be seen as Dharmic and what A-dharmic. Don’t we know that? How? Because there is a faculty that we use which is other than mind. Same is the case here. The more we develop these faculties to perceive what is true, right, good, beautiful, the more we will walk away from falsehood, darkness, etc.
      Sorry if I have made this into a lecture of sorts 😀 But somehow the genuineness and sincerity of your comment encouraged me to say all that i have said. You can tell me frankly if I have been too preachy and next time I will be more careful! I mean it.
      Love and best wishes. And as always, good to hear from you and interact with you.

      1. ☺☺ no I won’t be unhappy.. at least I found one person who does not get confused at what I am trying to say.

        Yes experience age and life teach us a lot. . But again those are our views ..I know you took the example of issis. .yes they are doing wrong..and are spreading evil.. but to their own their family or their children they are still good maybe….
        And yes true not all that goes around the world is truth.. there are a lot of lies too.. I am sure I am part of that too. .I have probably lied many a times myself.

        And yes totally agree that I need to change .. need to develop myself to perceive .. to see what is TRUTH and what is false ..

        I am not a big fan of religion because I feel religion is the one reason why millions have died in spite of religion teaching us otherwise.. Every religion in its name has had innocent people killed ..and I totally disagree that it was people who did it.. maybe religion should have been more clearer to leave all these doubts etc in the mind of people..

        Beloo mam it is always a pleasure to interact .. so thank you so much..

      2. I feel a younger brother in you, which makes it all the more delightful to have an exchange with you. Will talk at length about religion etc. some other time, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities for that 🙂 Take care!

  2. Your posts make me think so hard, Beloo..Often I’m left wondering and have to reevaluate my stance on things..I’m not even sure I can add anything more valuable after reading a balanced post by you…..am I making any sense? Sorry, if I am not!

    1. Thank you, thank you! I am so happy that you find some of my posts thought-provoking. For some time now, writing is really becoming a way for me to figure out and to be sure of where I stand on certain things, things that are important to me at this point in my life journey. So it is always gratifying to hear when some of these posts also provoke readers to introspect, reevaluate 🙂

  3. Let the day be the guiding light for some of us to improve…if not for eternity, at least for the day!

    We need these reminders, for we live in this detached world where materialism has taken over!

    1. Yes! And wouldn’t that be some progress, if we sincerely try to improve just today, just a little bit. Every long journey begins with first step, as the wise say 🙂
      Thanks Alok for reading and for your comment. Appreciate your stopping by!

  4. On this day, at least, let us hope that people know that you are being false to yourself when you parrot or form rigid opinions and tout them as facts while you know that you do not know enough to formulate a considered opinion – that IS being false even if what you do say IS really true, since YOU had no reason be sure that it IS the truth. No amount of pseudo-intellectual claptrap can cover up the other falsehood of parroting what you have no conviction about merely because it is expected to earn you popularity – a form of virulent falsehood that is endemic to Social media.

    1. This is exactly what I would have imagined you saying. I have no idea why people keep saying there is no good or bad. Are they trying to excuse the others, or finding alibis for themselves?

      In the same instance, for the same event/ situation, from the same perspective- and the same observer, an event cannot be good as well as bad. Unless you’re straddling the fence. In which case, of course, everything goes.

      Damn you make me think! And shoot first.

    2. Absolutely! All this postmodernist, absolute-faith-in-relativism (an oxymoron, if there is one) and intellectual laziness or unwillingness to closely and clearly discern and discriminate between what right and wrong, between good and bad, between falsehood and truth is dangerous road to walk on. Both for an individual and a society. I agree, there is a lot of that happening on social media. But sometimes I feel that the virtual is not separate from the real. Virtual world is only one manifestation of what is inside us. So the root lies within us. Does this make sense? I hope it does 🙂
      Thank you for saying just the right thing, and saying it so well. Always wonderful to hear from you, Suresh. Your perspective adds so much to the post. Grateful for that.

      1. ‘In Vino Veritas’ they used to say, Beloo! Wine reduces your inhibitions and makes you speak your heart, or so they thought. Social Media is like wine. Forget inhibitions, people do not even bother to consider their ignorance before they spout 🙂 Yes, the Virtual World is only a manifestation of what is inside you – the point I make is that people express in the virtual world a lot of things that they would hesitate to do in the real world.

      2. 🙂 Now what can I say to that? Except that you are very correct.
        And this wine analogy is making me thirsty! But I need to finish something else before my next sip at FB 🙂

      3. Suresh has a way of looking at things beyond the words and coming up with his views that always add to the post. He has done it time and again on my posts 🙂

  5. I enjoyed that read, dear Beloo… Bit challenging for me. Saraswathi was always my favorite godess – remember we had her in the school where I worked- very positive and calming energy I felt…

    1. Thanks Eli! Glad you enjoyed this post. Your comment made me remember what I once heard in a class I took on Vedas. Did you know that Saraswati was seen as a goddess of the Divine Word, the Inspiration in the Vedas. And only later, in Puranic lore, she became a goddess of learning? I find that to be a thoroughly interesting and a mysteriously beautiful fact about the evolutionary march of Indian religion and spirituality. Happy to hear that you also had a special connect with Ma Saraswati.

  6. Sri Aurobindo’s words are so soothing and uplifting. Such amazing clarity of thought.

    Thank you for this Beloo. I really needed to read this today. Why? Oh, for various reasons. Even the staunchest faith needs a shot in the arm sometimes. 😀

  7. First of all, the image of Saraswati is so divine — as it is meant to be. I couldn’t help thinking of another one, but won’t profane this space mentioning it. I am sure you know which one I am referring to. This post is revealing in more ways than one. Truth and education are so interwoven with each other. Unless one is educated (not in the bookish sense) one can’t think, or differentiate between good and bad, truth and falsehood. Loved your reply to Bikram as it extended the scope of the post and made it a lot clearer to me 🙂

    1. Thanks Zephyr. I know what image you are referring to. Someday I might share/reblog here a wonderful critique of that artist’s work, written by someone else 🙂 Glad you enjoyed my reply to Bikram!

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