Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha
Rough Translation: ‘Om and salutations to that feminine energy which informs all artistic and scholastic endeavor, and for which Eim (pronounced I’m) is the seed.’
Eim is a seed sound for the feminine principle known as Saraswati. This principle governs spiritual knowledge as well as the material pursuits of education, science, art, music, and spiritual discipline.
Saraswati holds a musical instrument, the vina, in one hand and a rosary in another hand. She spans the world of mundane knowledge and spiritual understanding. Those pursuing any artistic or educational endeavor whatsoever will gain greatly from the practice of this mantra.
“Its mysticism apart, the Rig-Veda seems to have a dual perception of Saraswati, one as the sacred river, and the other, as the deity pervading all three worlds. Most scholars assert that it is only as river that the Rig-Veda has alluded to Saraswati and what of it seems to pervade all three worlds is its celestial character. They argue that the term Saraswati, a combination of ‘sara’ or ‘svara’, meaning ‘to go’, and ‘swati’, meaning ‘tending’ or ‘inclining’, that is, one that has the tendency of going or moving, is more characteristic of a river.
They however concede that the Rig-Vedic Saraswati, with its origin in Heaven, could have been a celestial flood, not a terrestrial stream. Invoked by sages to redeem them from drought it descended on the earth across vast aerial region pervading it, and hence its all-pervasive character.
In similar vein they interpret Saraswati’s other Rig-Vedic attributions. Her long arms by which Saraswati carves her path are interpreted as her long banks through which she had her course. To them, Saraswati’s form as the deity is a mere apotheosis of the river of that name.”
Saraswati From Vedas To Our Altar, from Exotic India
Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha.
We begin in stillness. We take our seat and straighten the spine and attempt to still the mind. The body continues, however, silently, all the energy pathways, or prana vayus alive within us, nerves and blood vessels flowing with life-force.
We become aware of the breath. We notice whether or not there’s any tendency to “sit on” the breath and prohibit its movement, in or out. It needs to flow freely, and if it doesn’t, we feel it, either consciously or not-so-consciously. We are, in effect, being breathed, rather than breathing… it just happens. We cannot not breathe and live.
So it is with the mind. Thoughts move. The yogis recommend “taking the witness seat” and observing our thoughts as they come and go, as if we were simply sitting on the banks of a river. In this way, we become aware of the transient nature of all things. Everything comes and goes. Peace results from acceptance of this fact.
This is all fine for meditation. But the asana practice is synonymous with purpose. We move because we must. As creative beings, we sit and become still so that we can see and then! It becomes time to jump into the river and work with our energy; express ourselves as the gods we are. We listen and keep on paying attention as we leave the seat and see what form this energy takes. We choose to shape the body into postures and we must find the center of these in order to experience them fully, breath flowing all the while.
Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha.
Ah, Saraswati! I always tell the students that they mustn’t worry about worshipping of unfamiliar deities. As in the case of all the rest, when I call upon the energy of this goddess, it’s about acknowledging, honoring, and inviting those aspects of self that she represents to spring to life within me and to come to fruition through my actions.
I’ve ridden the river of the changes I put in motion and find myself BLESSED. Here I know I can rediscover the best of what I have to offer on all levels, because my energy has been set free. Thank heaven!! Now, even though I may not know exactly how it will unfold, I understand that embodying the practice of finding both stillness and movement will enable me to create again: as a director, actress, writer, teacher, woman, mother, and friend.
©2011 Annette Romano