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A person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvati. The power of speaking is called Sarasvati, or the goddess of learning, and the birthplace of the goddess of learning is the mouth of Brahma.

The Goddess Durga has four famous children: two daughters--the goddess of fortune, Laksmi, and the goddess of learning, Sarasvati--and two famous sons, Lord Ganesa and Lord Karttikeya. They are all considered to be demigods and goddesses.

The goddess of learning, Sarasvati, worshiped Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His victory over the scholar who had conquered all the world.

Lord Nrsimhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing to His chest the goddess of fortune. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself.

Vina-panih is called Sarasvati. Vina means that stringed instrument which is carried by Narada and also Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. Sarasvati. Students, they worship Sarasvati for getting learning, material knowledge. And we Vaisnavas, we also... He is also Sarasvati. Narada is also Sarasvati.

The honor offered to the spiritual master is transferred to Vyasadeva because Vyasadeva is the original guru. Therefore it is stated, devim sarasvatim vyasam. Sarasvati-devi, knowledge, or the goddess of education, devim sarasvatim vyasam tato jayam udirayet. After offering respects to Narayana, then Vyasadeva, Sarasvati-devi.

One who has learned the classical art of music, who engages in its culture, and who has become expert and completely aloof from material attachment is called Sarasvati. Sarasvati is the goddess of music and learning, and in one hand she holds a musical instrument called a vina. A sannyasi who is always engaged in music for spiritual elevation is called Sarasvati. One who has become completely educated and is freed from all kinds of ignorance and who is never unhappy, even in a distressed condition, is called Bharati. One who has become very expert in absolute knowledge, who is situated in the Absolute Truth, and who always discusses the Absolute Truth is called Puri.

It is stated in the Bhakti-ratnakara that Kesava Kasmiri was a favorite devotee of mother Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. By her grace he was an extremely influential scholar. Srimad-bhagavatam states that while traveling to Navadvipa, Kesava Kasmiri met Nimai Pandita (Lord Caitanya) on the banks of the Ganges. Kesava Kasmiri composed a Sanskrit verse in praise of the Ganges, and Nimai Pandita eruditely pointed out his literary mistakes. In a dear, Kesava Kasmiri was then ordered by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, to submit to the Lord, and thus the Kashmir pandita became a follower of the Lord.

The goddess of learning, Sarasvati, used the irregular words of a Brahmana Bengali poet to offer her prayers to the Supreme Lord: Svarupa Damodara Gosvami informed a Brahmana Bengali poet, 'Because of your ignorance and your leaning toward Mayavada philosophy, you cannot distinguish the difference between the Mayavada and Vaisnava philosophies. Therefore the process you have adopted to praise Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Jagannatha does not follow the proper system; indeed, it is irregular and offensive. Fortunately, however, through your words, the goddess of learning, mother Sarasvati, has tactfully offered her prayers to her master, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.' In that way, although your verse is blasphemous according to your meaning, mother Sarasvati has taken advantage of it to offer prayers to the Lord.

On coming out of the lotus, Brahma, being guided by the divine potency tuned his mind to the act of creation under the impulse of previous impressions. But he could see nothing but darkness in every direction. Then the goddess of learning Sarasvati, the divine consort of the Supreme Lord, said thus to Brahma who saw nothing but gloom in all directions, "O Brahma, this mantra, viz., klim krsnaya govindaya gopi-jana-vallabhaya svaha, will assuredly fulfill your heart's desire."

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from various sources, including text and Purport of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Painting is from the collection of St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies.