What Do You Know (About Saraswati)?

30 Days of Devotion
Day 9: Common Misconceptions

I have yet to come across any inaccurate information about Saraswati, actually. She’s been a very popular goddess for several centuries – millennia even. She’s had millions if not billions of worshippers. Her cultus is exceedingly well documented. It’s very hard to get the facts wrong, even if you first encountered her as I did, in a blurb inside a travel book.

Indeed, I’d say one would have to be wilfully ignorant to be misinformed about who Saraswati is. Sure, it’s fairly easy for a westerner to be uninformed, but to obtain information that is actually incorrect would I dare say require deliberate effort on the seeker’s part.

The problem with the information presented to Westerners is that it is invariably too shallow. In fact, it is so shallow that it’s hard for it to not fit. Saraswati is mostly called the goddess of wisdom and/or learning in popular texts. And she is. But shoehorning her role into that one line obviously leaves out so much, as it does when any deity with a rich and complex cultural history is assigned to a “portfolio”. Life isn’t Dungeons and Dragons, and the gods aren’t vending machines!

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