Saraswati : The Lost River

Triveni Sangam is a Sanskrit word for confluence of three rivers. In Allahabad, there is one such Triveni Sangam. It is one of the most sacred holy places of India. It is believed by many that a bath here flushes away all of one's sins. But surprisingly, only two rivers meet here and they are Ganga and Yamuna. Question arises, which is the third river. “Saraswati, the invisible.” they reply.

Artistic representation of Goddess Saraswati

Where is Saraswati?

Saraswati is mentioned many times in Rig Veda. Initially the word refers to the Saraswati River. It is then described as a river deity.
Best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, SaraswatÄ«.– Rigveda 2.41.16
In Vedas composed after Rig Veda, the meaning of word evolves from “water that purifies” to “knowledge that purifies”.
Hence, Saraswati remained significant as a goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, learning and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person.

Later Vedic texts mentions that the river dried up in a desert (Thar Desert). Saraswati as the river lost its material form but it is believed that it flows beneath the surface and joins Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag, Allahabad.

At present, there is only one river that fits the description mentioned in the Vedas, the Ghaggar. Ghaggar River is known as the dead river in Rajasthan that flows only during the monsoon season.  Although its river bed stands dry today, the ground surveys and satellite clearly indicates that it was once a huge river.

But, identification of Saraswati with the Ghaggar River is also not acceptable. Since the Ghaggar-Hakra is mentioned separately in the Rig Veda. Also it is described as having dried-up by the time of the composition of the Vedas and Hindu epics.

As none of the existing rivers in modern India fits the description of Saraswati, often historians calls it just a figment of poetic imagination. 
But, is it really a myth or was there really a river called Saraswati remains a mystery. 

I believe Saraswati flows in all of us. For some it is knowledge,  for the rest of us it is art. Some finds tranquility in books while some find it in music. And that's completely okay. Peace is foremost, in whatever form you perceive it. I hope it sets you free of all your sins.
What is Saraswati to you? 

I'd love to check on your comments.


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