Laxmi & Saraswati

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 20 01:03:50 UTC 1999

Jon Skarpeid <jon.skarpeid at HINT.NO> wrote:

>Veena of Saraswati
>Since Saraswati is debated, can anybody tell me why she is playing
>Veena? Is there any popular story which focus upon the this
instrument of
>the Goddess?

The term Veena simply refers to any stringed instrument, irrespective
of whether it is a kind of lute or a zither. One must distinguish
among literary references to Sarasvati's Veena, older sculptural
depictions of Sarasvati's Veena and contemporary color jobs. Most
literary references are simply meant to depict the Goddess as the
patron of the musical arts. Sculptures present a huge variety of
instruments, which are not necessarily precursors of what is called
the Veena today. Contemporary depictions also show a huge regional
variation. In the south, Sarasvati plays the south Indian Veena, but
in the north, Sarasvati plays not the Been, but the Sitar! And quite
often, a peacock is shown by the side, although the prescribed vehicle
is the swan.


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