Saraswathi is the Hindu Goddess portrayed playing the veena and sitting on a white lotus. She is revered as the goddess of learning and special prayers are offered on the ninth day of Navaratri. Typically all scholarly and creative implements are placed in front of the deity and then used the next day on Vijayadasami.
There are many carnatic songs that describe the attributes of goddess Saraswathi. Shri Saraswathi Namosthuthe in raga Aarabhi composed by Muthuswami Dikshithar and Maamavadhu Shri Saraswathi in raga Hindoilam by Mysore Vasudevacharya are the first two compositions that students usually learn in their training.
Saraswathi Dayainidhi in raga Saraswathi is a lovely composition of Papanasam Sivan in Tamil while Nalithade Yenna Naalige in raga Saraswathi is an emotive composition of Purandaradasa Vittala in Kannada in raga Saraswathi. Saraswathi Namosthuthe Shaaradha again in raga Saraswathi composed by G.N.Balasubramanium is a delightful piece. Here is the rendition by vocalist sisters Ranjani and Gayathri.
Veena Pustaka Dhaarini is a slow-moving composition of Dikshithar in raga Vegavahini. Listen to M.S.Subbalakshmi singing this song.
Kalavati Kamalasana Yuvati, an uncommon one in raga Kalavati is a composition of Dikshithar.
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)