Saraswathi is the Hindu Goddess portrayed playing the veena and sitting on a white lotus. She is revered as the goddess of learning and today Hindus all over the world offer special prayers and rituals in her worship. My earliest recollection of this day was that I didn’t have to study. Our writing implements and anything to do with learning had to be placed in front of the deity for the whole day. Let us look at some songs that praise this goddess of the arts.
Carnatic – Shri Saraswathi Namosthuthe in raga Aarabhi composed by Muthuswami Dikshithar and Maamavadhu Shri Saraswathi in raga Hindoilam by Mysore Vasudevacharya are the two compositions that first come to mind.
Saraswathi Dayainidhi in raga Saraswathi is a Tamil composition of Papanasam Sivan while Nalithade Yenna Naalige in raga Saraswathi is a Kannada composition of Purandaradasa Vittala. Saraswathi Namosthuthe Shaaradha in raga Saraswathi composed by G.N.Balasubramanium is a delightful piece. Here is the rendition by Ranjani Gayathri.
Veena Pustaka Dhaarini is a slow-moving composition of Dikshithar in raga Vegavahini. Listen to M.S.Subbalakshmi singing this song.
Raga Saraswathi is a derivative of the 64th mela raga Vachaspathi and the scale reads as follows. SR2M2PD2S SN2D2PM2R2S
Hindustani – Raag Saraswathi (evening raga) is believed to be an import from the Carnatic school with the same notes. Here is a beautiful rendition of raag Saraswathi followed by a song by Ustad Rashid Khan.
Here is an lovely bhajan in this raag by Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra.
Bhajan – Sur ki devi Saraswathi is an evocative bhajan by Anup Jalota. The lyrics are poignant for musicians in particular as it entreats the Goddess for a good voice (sur ka deep jalado – light the lamp of the voice)