f.Name of a river (celebrated in and held to be a goddess whose identity is much disputed;most authorities hold that the name sarasvatī- is identical with the Avestan Haraquaiti river in Afghanistan, but that it usually means the Indus in the , and only occasionally the small sacred rivers in madhya-deśa- [see below];the river-goddess has seven sisters and is herself sevenfold, she is called the mother of streams, the best of mothers, of rivers, and of goddesses;the ṛṣi-s always recognize the connection of the goddess with the river, and invoke her to descend from the sky, to bestow vitality, renown, and riches;elsewhere she is described as moving along a golden path and as destroying vṛtra- etc.;as a goddess she is often connected with other deities exempli gratia, 'for example' with pūṣan-, indra-, the marut-s and the aśvin-s;in the āprī- hymns she forms a triad with the sacrificial goddesses iḍā- and bhāratī-; according to to a myth told in the , sarasvatī- through speech[ vācā-]communicated vigour to indra-;in the brāhmaṇa-s she is identified with vāc-,"Speech", and in later times becomes goddess of eloquenceSee below) etc.
f.Name of a well-known small river (held very sacred by the Hindus;identified with the modern Sursooty, and formerly marking with the dṛṣadvatī- one of the boundaries of the region ārya-deṣa- and of the sacred district called brahmāvarta- [see ] in ,this river is represented as flowing into the sea, although later legends make it disappear underground and join the Ganges and Jumna at Allahabad;Seetri-veṇī-, prayāga-)
f.Name of the goddess of eloquence and learning (see above;she is opposed to śrī- or lakṣmī-[ see ] , and sometimes considered as the daughter and also wife of brahmā-, the proper wife of that god being rather sāvitri- or gāyatrī-;she is also identified with durgā-, or even with the wife of viṣṇu- and of manu-, and held to be the daughter of dakṣa-) etc.
f. the worship of sarasvatī- (observed as a holiday on the fifth of the light half of the month māgha- and therefore also called vasanta-pañcamī-, on which day books and writing implements are held sacred and not allowed to be used)
n. the worship of sarasvatī- (observed as a holiday on the fifth of the light half of the month māgha- and therefore also called vasanta-pañcamī-, on which day books and writing implements are held sacred and not allowed to be used)
सरस्वती 1 N. of the goddess of speech and learning, and represented as the wife of Brahman; परस्पर- विरोधिन्योरेकसंश्रयदुर्लभम् । संगतं श्रीसरस्वत्योर्भूतये$स्तु सदा सताम् ॥ V.5.24. -2 Speech, voice, words; इति देहविमुक्तये स्थितां रतिमाकाशभवा सरस्वती ... अन्वकम्पयत् Ku.4.39,43; R. 15.46. -3 N. of a river (which is lost in the sands of the great desert). -4 A river in general. -5 A cow; ŚB. on MS.1.3.49; Vāj.8.43. -6 An excellent woman. -7 N. of Durgā. -8 N. of a female divinity peculiar to the Buddhists. -9 The Soma plant. -1 The plant called ज्योतिष्मती.
Is the name of a river frequently mentioned in the Rigveda and later. In many passages of the later texts it is certain the river meant is the modern Sarasvatī, which loses itself in the sands of Patiala (see Vinaśana). Even Roth admits that this river is intended in some passages of the Rigveda. With the Drṣadvatī it formed the western boundary of Brahmāvarta (see Madhyadeśa). It is the holy stream of early Vedic India. The Sūtras mention sacrifices held on its banks as of great importance and sanctity. In many other passages of the Rigveda, and even later, Roth held that another river, the Sindhu (Indus), was really meant: only thus could it be explained why the Sarasvatī is called the ‘foremost of rivers’ (nadītamā), is said to go to the ocean, and is referred to as a large river, on the banks of which many kings, and, indeed, the five tribes, were located. This view is accepted by Zimmer and others. On the other hand, Lassen and Max Muller maintain the identity of the Vedic Sarasvatī with the later Sarasvatī. The latter is of opinion that in Vedic times the Sarasvatī was as large a stream as the Sutlej, and that it actually reached the sea either after union with the Indus or not, being the 'iron citadel,’ as the last boundary on the west, a frontier of the Panjab against the rest of India. There is no conclusive evidence of there having been any great change in the size or course of the Sarasvatī, though it would be impossible to deny that the river may easily have diminished in size. But there are strong reasons to accept the identification of the later and the earlier Sarasvatī throughout. The insistence on the divine character of the river is seen in the very hymn which refers to it as the support of the five tribes, and corresponds well with its later sacredness. Moreover, that hymn alludes to the Pārāvatas, a people shown by the later evidence of the Pañcavimśa Brāhmaṇa to have been in the east, a very long way from their original home, if Sarasvatī means the Indus. Again, the Pūrus, who were settled on the Sarasvatī, could with great difficulty be located in the far west. Moreover, the five tribes might easily be held to be on the Sarasvatī, when they were, as they seem to have been, the western neighbours of the Bharatas in Kurukçetra, and the Sarasvatī could easily be regarded as the boundary of the Panjab in that sense. Again, the ‘seven rivers’ in one passage clearly designate a district: it is most probable that they are not the five rivers with the Indus and the Kubhā (Cabul river), but the five rivers, the Indus and the Sarasvatī. Nor is it difficult to see why the river is said to flow to the sea: either the Vedic poet had never followed the course of the river to its end, or the river did actually penetrate the desert either completely or for a long distance, and only in the Brāhmaṇa period was its disappear ance in the desert found out. It is said, indeed, in the Vājasaneyi Samhitā21 that the five rivers go to the Sarasvatī, but this passage is not only late (as the use of the word Deśa shows), but it does not say that the five rivers meant are those of the Panjab. Moreover, the passage has neither a parallel in the other Samhitās, nor can it possibly be regarded as an early production; if it is late it must refer to the later Sarasvatī. Hillebrandt,22 on the whole, adopts this view of the Saras¬vatī,23 but he also sees in it, besides the designation of a mythical stream, the later Vaitaraṇī,24 as well as the name of the Arghandab in Arachosia.25 This opinion depends essentially on his theory that the sixth Mandala of the Rigveda places the scene of its action in Iranian lands, as opposed to the seventh Maṇdala: it is as untenable as that theory itself. Brunn-hofer at one time accepted the Iranian identification, but later decided for the Oxus, which is quite out of the question. See also Plakṣa Prāsravaṇa.
noun (feminine) a celestial or oracular voice (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
a cow (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
a region abounding in pools and lakes (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
an excellent woman (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
Cardiospermum Halicacabum (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
Egle Marmelos (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
eloquence (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
learning wisdom (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a poetess (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a river (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a twoyear-old girl representing Durgā at her festival (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of a well-known small river (held very sacred by the Hindūs) (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of the goddess of eloquence and learning (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of various other women (esp. of the wives of Dadhica) (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
name of various rivers (esp. of rivers which in sacredness are equal to Sarasvatī) (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
Ruta Graveolens (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
speech or the power of speech (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988))
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