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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s, certain jeweled ornaments worn around the neck were mainly called “lockets.” I don’t recall those pieces of memorabilia designated as “pendants.” They occupied a special sentimental place in your heart and upon your person. When you touched them, you would feel that special close contact with whomever’s picture was safely ensconced in such locket or pendant. In these lockets could be found locks of hair, pictures of your most beloved parent, sibling or other relative; or if you were especially lucky, a picture of a favorite saint. In the 1970’s I remember a friend of mine whose ashes were consecrated in a specially made locket which some of us wore around our necks to commemorate our special friendship with this man.

Nowadays deity pendants such as those displayed in Ma’s India, have similar purposes, but the picture of the beloved is on the outside for all to see. These deity pendants have multipurpose uses. Some deity pendants might be considered merely ornamental as with jewelry.

Some deity pendants are considered amulets for self-protection. The Kali Pendant Necklace is one such deity pendant. Consuming demons that represent the ego, one need not be afraid of anything with Kali.

Another deity pendant represented might be the Shiva Necklace (painted) beautifully encased in pewter. This powerful God sitting in deep meditation upon Mount Kailash sits firmly against evil and those who would distract him from a peaceful and solitary contemplation.

Another feminine deity pendant representative of a protective amulet would be the Durga Deity pendant. Durga is another representation of Kali but seen as less fierce to those who know nothing about her. In reality, she is as fierce as Kali but with a different visage to hide her true identity from those who might not take her seriously. Durga is the true Mother of all the goddesses and on her deity pendant is pictured standing supreme upon her lion above all others.

Some who wish to use the deity pendants as mere ornaments, might consider the Lakshmi Resin Deity Pendant and the Saraswati Resin Pendant, both stately in faux marble resin, although when one is a true student of the Hindu goddesses, one sees that although they are worshipped for prosperity and the arts, these goddesses are just as capable of fierceness and protection. One might also consider the colorful and feminine Painted Lakshmi Deity Pendant as another choice.

For those who wish to cultivate the attributes of Ganesh, may we suggest Ganesh Pendant Necklace in sterling silver as their deity pendant, a powerful invocation of the Great God Ganesh. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and is the fierce representation of loyalty. When one chooses Ganesh as her protector in a deity pendant, it is as if a whole army has come to her aid.

And of course, for those who wish to call upon Ganesh’s equally as fierce trusted humble ally, there is the Hanuman Necklace (painted) deity pendant, showing this representation of humility and perseverance, beautifully and stylistically encased in pewter.

For those desiring to follow the feminine Christian path in choosing a deity pendant, there is the saintly St. Therese of Avila Necklace who in 1970 was finally honored for her work in founding a convent and order of nuns and the Guadalupe Pendant beautifully rendered in faux white resin marble.

Whatever deity pendant you choose, there can be no mistake if one follows the yearnings of the heart.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Om, Let me meditate on the goddess of speech,
Oh, wife of Lord Brahma, give me higher intellect,
And let Goddess Vani (Saraswati) illuminate my mind.
This is the mantra of the great Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and knowledge. She is the one to call upon if you need help in your studies or completion of them. Saraswati is that Goddess to whom you might address your prayers. This Sterling Silver Mantra Bracelet in Ma’s India is ever reminiscent of this mantra.
Saraswati is the companion of Lord Brahma, the creator. She represents speech and without whom Brahma could not impart his knowledge. Saraswati is the divine energy through which Brahma is able to confer his wisdom upon humanity and the mechanism through which he creates the universe. In short, Saraswati, which means “easily flowing energy,” is a vehicle for Brahma.

Saraswati is always depicted as a consort of beauty personified. No mere personification of intellect for mere adornment, This Statue of Saraswati epitomizes a female manifestation that can be powerful, beautiful and intelligent. 

Clad sometimes in white or yellow, reflecting purity and intellect, with her front two hands Saraswati is seen playing a lute, a stringed instrument upon which she plays about life and love. In her back hands, she has sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus, the symbol of true knowledge, in the other. Thus, Saraswati always sings of God.

One or two swans are depicted on the left side of the Goddess Saraswati. A swan is said to have a sensitive beak that enables it to distinguish pure milk from an ersatz mixture of milk and water. A swan, therefore, symbolizes the power of discrimination, the ability to discriminate between right and wrong or good and bad. Saraswati is shown seated on and using the swan as her carrier. This indicates that one must acquire and apply knowledge with discrimination for the good of mankind. Knowledge that is dominated by ego can only destroy the world.

There is a peacock by her side gazing at her. A peacock has unpredictable behavior; its moods influenced by the gunas or the weather. That is why Saraswati uses the swan as her vehicle and not the peacock. This symbolizes that one must overcome fear, indecision and variableness to acquire true knowledge. Other depictions of Saraswati show her wielding in her hands a bell, trident, ploughshare, conch, pestle, discus, bow and arrow. Thus we see that Saraswati is not a one-dimensional goddess, but a fierce and able goddess, communing with humanity through the ploughshare and showing her fierceness through the bow and arrow. Saraswati is prepared for any eventuality.
In fact, wisdom would not be known without the manifestation of Saraswati. A wonderful saying of Saraswati is that “she sits in the mind of the intellectual, dances on the tongue of the wise and resides in the heart of the devoted.” Thus, Saraswati is worshipped by persons interested in knowledge, especially students, teachers, scholars and scientists Of course, those interested in the musical arts are also drawn to Saraswati. In addition, Saraswati is revered as the dispeller of chaos and confusion. In the Vedas, Saraswati is primarily a river, but in the hymns she is celebrated both as a river and a deity. As a river, Saraswati is lauded for the fertilizing and purifying power of her waters. The Rig Veda does not specifically mention her as the goddess of speech, but she is clearly given this status in the Mahabarata. When one makes an offering to this great Goddess Saraswati, it is believed that she will endow one with the power of speech, wisdom and learning, three great gifts. Om Sri Saraswati, Swaha!

Find more statues and other images of the Goddess Saraswati at Ma’s India Spiritual Giftstore.

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