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Paintings > Large > An Ever-Flowing Grace
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An Ever-Flowing Grace

An Ever-Flowing Grace

An Ever-Flowing Grace

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Water Color On Silk

1.2 ft X 1.7 ft
Item Code:
WB07
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In the RigVeda Saraswati is often referred to as a river. Metaphysically she is a mighty yet far from ordinary river, an ever flowing grace from heavens which purifies and fertilizes the earth. Her most profound characteristic is her purity which is emphasized here by her milky-white, graceful, flowing sari. Indeed Saraswati differs from Lakshmi and Durga in this respect. The latter two are almost always shown resplendent in magnificent, rich and luxurious attires.

Saraswati is the patron deity of poetry (signified by the book); music (symbolized by the vina); and spiritual practices (rosary). The artist has expressed Saraswati's fertilizing attributes by emphasizing her femininity, including the ample bosom encased in a red choli, and her sturdy elephant-trunk like thighs.

She wears an elaborate crown topped with the feather of a peacock, who also stands near her. The goddess is known to use the peacock as her vehicle. The peacock has a spiritual significance and is believed to transport to heaven the soul of the dead. Many a funerary Indus pottery has painted on it the images of peacock bearing the figure of man in its abdomen. As Saraswati too brings salvation to the soul her association with this beautiful bird is quite natural.

Further description by Renu Rana

Goddess Saraswati is the consort of Brahma, the creator. Reference to her appears in the Vedas and she is honoured by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. She is one of the few goddesses from the Vedas who remains significant in modern Hinduism. In the early Vedas she is clearly associated with the river, praised for her cleansing and fertilizing power. Later Vedic literature associated Saraswati with the spoken word and she becomes known as the goddess of speech.

Here, Saraswati is seated, playing veena, a musical instrument. Dressed in all white, it reflects her transcendent nature. The artist has painted her blouse red and the waist cloth green to lend brightness to the painting. She wears an elaborate crown with a peacock feather at the pinnacle, and numerous necklaces and other jewellery. As she plays the veena with the front two hands, the rear hands hold a book and a rosary each. Her attributes represent poetry, music and all intellectual pursuits.

In South India, the peacock in believed to have helped Saraswati compose the first note of the musical cord on her veena. While she played the divine music, the peacock danced to its melody. Here too, the artist has placed it on the left corner, as it looks upon the goddess in awe.


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