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A Few Saraswathee Suktam Mantras and Some Stotrams

The painting to the left is by the famous Ravi Verma renowned for his artist works on the Gods and Goddesses. This has the peacock and the one on the right the swan. http://www.eprarthana.com/images/gallery/others/saraswathi_01.jpg

Om Vaag-devyai ca vidmahe Brahma-patnyai ca dheemahi l TannO VaaNee pracodayaat ll l ll

Dear All: The following Vedic mantras are from the Saraswathi Sooktham which we used to chant in our Sanskrit classes (six days a week, except Sundays, each day!) In the following "ee" is used to denote deergha swara (elongated vowel sound) and single "i" for hrasva. The numbers are the mantra numbers from the Saraswathi Suktam. Om PraNo Devee Sarasvatee vaajE-nirvaajinee vatee l Dheenaam avitryavatu ll 4 ll

l ll ll
Codayitree sunrutaanaam cetantee sumateenaam l Yajnam dadhE Sarasvatee ll 31 ll

l ll ll
MahOarNah Sarasvatee pracetayati ketunaa l DhiyO vishwaa viraajatee ll 32 ll

l ll ll
AsatO maa sad-gamaya tamasO maa jyothir-gamaya l MruthyOr maa amrutam gamaya ll

l ll
ll Om Shantih Shantih Shantihee ll

ll ll

****************************************************************** Following the above we used to chant the following Sarawathee Stotram slokaas Tad divyam avyayam dhaama Saarasvatam upaasmahe l Yat prasaadaat praleeyante mohaandha tamasac-chaTaahaa ll

l ll
Sharadaa Shaaradaamboja vadanaa vadanaambhuje l Sarvadaa sarvadaasmaakam samnidhim samnidhim kriyaat ll

l ll
SharaNam karvaaNi sharmadam te charNam Vani caraacarOpajivyam l

l
Shuklaam Brahma viccaara saara paramaam adyaam jagad-vyaapineem l VeeNaa pustaka dhaariNeem abhayadaam jaaDyaandhakaaraapahaam ll Haste sphaaTika malikaam vidadhateem PadmaasanE samsthitaam l Vande taam Parameshwareem Bhagavateem Buddhipradaam Sharadaam ll 1 ll

l ll l ll ll

Yaa Kundendu-tushaara-haara-dhawalaa yaa shubhra-vastraavrutaa l Yaa VeeNaavara-danDa-maNDita-karaa yaa Shweta-padmaasanaa ll Yaa Brahmaacyuta Shankara prabhrutibhi Devaih sadaa vanditaa l Saa maam paatu Saraswathee Bhagavatee nish-shesha jaaDyaapahaa ll 2 ll

l ll l ll ll
Sarvetra sukhinah santu sarve santu niraamayaahaa l Sarve bhadraaNi pashyantu maa kashcid dhuhkhaa-bhaag bhavet ll 3 ll

S l ll ll
ll Om Shantih Shantih Shaantihee ll

ll ll
Very sincerely V. Laxmanan October 22, 2012 ******************************************************************

Dear All: I have uploaded the Saraswati Suktam Mantras and a few of the Stotrams as a public document, see link given below. This also has the Sanskrit version which I generated using the Google transliteration tool. http://www.scribd.com/doc/110703424/A-Few-Saraswathee-Suktam-Mantras-andSome-Stotrams Please note that while using Google transliteration tools, one has to be very careful. For example, I have typed "Saraswati" above. We use "w" quite often in this spelling. But, if this is used in the Google transliteration, it produces the WRONG Sanskrit text. The same goes for the spelling Saraswathi, which Tamil or Malayalam speakers like to use (see the extensive work by one scholar named P. R. Ramachander). The extra "h" must be added for the peculiarities of Tamil pronunciation when using Google transliteration to convert the sounds to Tamil fonts. But the same "h" cannot be added if we wish to convert to Devanagari (Sanskrit) text. The correct spelling for Google translitertion into Sanskrit is "Sarasvatee". The "ee" is used since the sound is "deergham" (elongated vowel), not a "hrasva" (short vowel) sound. During our chanting I try to emphasize this sometimes (but got a few "stares" for creating disturbance in the rhythm, so will definitely try to avoid this in the future). There is a BIG difference in the meaning between Devee and Devi. The problem lies in how the "ee" and "i" sounds are used in many Indian languages. In Tamil, there are actually three "i" sounds which adds to the confusion of pronunciation. In Sanskrit, "Devee" with the deergha sound is the nominative case -- used when we are just naming or listing qualities, say in VeeNaa-pustaka-dhaariNee, which means One who holds the Veena in one hand and a book (symbolizing the Vedas) in the other. This compound word provides a description of Goddess Saraswati and

in English this belongs to what we call the nominative case. Devi on the other hand is "sambodhanam", where the devotee is directly addressing the Goddess and actually calling upon Her to do something, as in Paahi maam, which means "Protect me", or bhikshaam dehi, which means "Give me bhikshaa, or alms". This is a direct demand, or a conversation with Devee. In the entire Mahalakshmi Ashtakam, it is "Devi" not "Devee". Indra (and we) are directly talking to and addressing Mahalakshmi and asking Her to do something for us. All the "e" sounds in that Stotram are 'hrasva" sounds, except at the very very end. Mahalakshmee bhaven-nityam prasanna varadaa shubhaa. Here it is the "nominative" case and so the sound is "deergham". I have taken the time to call attention to this NOT with the intent to put my scholarship on display here but because I am very very saddened to see how Google transliteration is being thoroughly abused by those who do not seem to either know Sanskrit, Tamil, or other languages into which the computer is being used for transliteration. In particular, I was very saddened to see Mahishasura mardini Stotram in one of the website, in Tamil fonts, where throughout the "Ta" sound as in "ghata" was being used instead of the 'ta' sound that we must have for 'nandita' and 'nandanute'. I have also seen the opposite being done. People who do not know Sanskrit trying to convert slokas from their language into Sanskrit lipi using the Google transliteration. I actually contacted one of them to point out the mistake since it came during the course of an important announcement by one of the Jeeyars. The bottom line is -- please do not trust the computer blindly. Educate yourself first. As they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Let us remember this as we pray to Saraswathee during the next two days to endow us with both wisdom and knowledge. True knowledge is NOT just knowing all that is in the books. Krishna defines knowledge very beautifully in chapter 13, slokas 7 to 11. What is knowledge? Krishna starts by listing a number of "qualities". The first in

the list is "Amaanitvam" which means "humility", or literally "Not thinking too highly of oneself". In Krishna's book, an arrogant person is NOT considered to be a knowledgeable, or wise, person. The first step to knowledge is developing humility. The list goes on from there. It is a long list. Real knowledge has nothing to do with knowing the theory of relativity, or quantum physics, or biology, or chemistry, or being able to solve difficult mathematical equations. Krishna makes such a list on at least two other occasions in the Gita. Om Vaagdevyai ca vidmahe Brahma-patnyai ca dheemahi l Taano VaaNee pracodayaat ll Please also forgive me if anything here is offensive in any way. Since we are so interested in developing our spiritual pursuits, I felt, this should be pointed out here ---- Yesterday, I was reminded that once we finish chapter 12 of the Gita next week, we will actually be starting the third section which is called Jnana yoga. Chapter 13 starts with the definition of what constitutes jnanam which has been mentioned above. May be we can use some "humility" in our inter-personal relations - the first step in knowledge. Again, with my humble apologies for any offenses committed, knowingly (as in above) or unknowingly. Very sincerely V. Laxmanan October 22, 2012