Sunday, October 12, 2008

The path of Saraswati

Part of my experience at Ananda included a bout of diarrhea, a bacterial infection delivered to me most probably through H20. I made the mistake of drinking the center's filtered water, which I found out only later was not boiled, and ended up having to visit the Nepal International Clinic for an appropriate dose of antibiotics.

It was there I had the chance to meet Dr Rishi Bashnyat, the American-trained son of the Clinic's founding physician, and the one who related a bit of Hindu folklore. Rishi shares an interest in thangka painting and was impressed with my decision to choose a financially under-rewarding path. Among Nepali Hindus, he explained, we are taught to worship Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom and Learning. If we choose to worship her sister Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, we may get rich, but we will likely never become wise. That is because Saraswati knows the way of the world. She knows that those seduced by acquisitiveness rarely search for wisdom and so she leaves them be. She does not chase after them. Laxmi, though, is quite a jealous goddess and those who choose to follow Saraswati will most always be pursued by Laxmi. Perhaps you see the point – follow the path of wisdom and money will follow.

During my free time at Ananda I was painting a yantra, a kind of Hindu mandala. Quite coincidentally, I was painting a Saraswati Yantra.



Post a Comment