Saraswati is the goddess of flow, speech, knowledge, and the arts. She personifies the great healing river. She is the lullaby that soothes a child to sleep, the om chanted in a yoga class, and the words whispered by lovers in an embrace. She is the dance on stage and in the dark. She is inspiration and the perfect word. Saraswati is the deity governing the fifth chakra, the vishuddha chakra.
Vishuddha, in Sanskrit, means purity. Better known as the throat chakra, this energy center governs speech and communication. It’s located in the throat space and its color is blue, which encourages peaceful communication. The throat chakra is important because when it is balanced, we communicate well—both with others and with ourselves.
In the beginning, Brahma, the lord of creation, sat and wondered how to turn all chaos into order. From within, a voice answered, “with knowledge.” And from Brahma’s mouth came out Saraswati, playing her lute and shimmering with gold light. As she strummed, she taught Brahma the mantras necessary to create the next world.
Everyone has experienced a moment of transition. We come to a place in our life unknowing of the next step. Like Brahma, we observe the chaos and wonder how to form a reality from our dreams. Similar to being in a fog or at a fork in the road, this can be a scary, exciting juncture. In these moments, we can look to Saraswati’s response to Brahma.
Saraswati—the goddess of knowledge, arts, and creativity—says only through our knowledge can we create. This knowledge is not external but internal. Once at a yoga teacher training, I was reminded that before I speak, I must turn inward and let the words arise from my heart. The throat chakra is a bridge connecting your heart to your brain, and it also connects your heart to the world. Our intentions move from our heart to our head, where they utter in sound and speech.
When the vishuddha chakra is blocked, we are unable to connect our mind with our heart. We are unable to listen to ourselves or to other people. When the throat chakra is excessively open, too much talking occurs. The throat becomes like a broken valve; speech comes pouring out with no ability to take in new thoughts. When the fifth chakra is balanced, however, we are able to listen, to perceive, and to articulate a response from our heart.
Saraswati is known as the artists’ goddess, but she is much more than that. She is all creation, all movement, fluidity of thought, and the power of healing. In ancient times, Saraswati was considered to be a great healing river flowing from the heavens to earth. When someone bathed in the Saraswati river, he or she would be healed from all diseases. Over time, she became associated with speech and knowledge.
Saraswati, “the flowing one,” is considered the Goddess of knowledge, intellect, and thought. But the beauty of this amazing goddess is within us all. When we embrace the Saraswati within, we realize that we are all made of water, thought, speech, intellect, and flow.
The seed sound of Saraswati is aim (ai-eem). A seed sound, or bija mantra, is the root of all its essence. Like a walnut tree will emerge from a walnut seed, all the qualities of Saraswati emerge from the sound of aim. Saraswati’s seed sound appears as a declaration, “I am.” To activate your throat chakra, close your eyes and come to a statement of declaration: I am strong. I am patient. I am lovable. Allow aim to also be the seed sound of your statement.
To embrace the qualities and energy of flow, communication, and manifestation, find yourself in a comfortable place. Place your hands on your lap, with the right hand on top of the left fingers, and touch your thumbs together. Close your eyes. Begin to repeat the sound aim. Start small by repeating Saraswati’s seed sound 12 times, eventually building your way up to 108 times.
Allow the sounds to come out of your mouth as they do—some sounds will be long, some short and staccato. Be open to your natural creative spirit without stifling or judging your voice. When you finish, sit and be in the silence. Bring your hands to your heart center and repeat your “I am” statement. Thank yourself and open your eyes.