Mahaa Saraswathi Amman :
Saraswathi , the goddess of learning and Arts has always been the
one i love the most.Her vehicle swan itself makes us understand
that a human being must learn to seperate between good and bad things
as the swan has ability to drink milk alone from a vessel mixed
with pure milk and water.
It also represents that though many good and bad thoughts gets
into our heart from the external world, we must learn to keep our
Many perceive saraswathi only as Goddess of learning .The true
devotees of saraswathi alone can feel her powers to alter ones life
to gain fame and fortune by here mere grace.
Its my long time wish to go Koothanur as it is the only historic
temple dedicated for saraswathi in south india.( india too, i hope
) click for Goddess
Koothanur Saraswathi photos
My saraswathi experience :
From march 14th 2005 , i had been thinking about Goddess saraswathi
and came around the dhuni in saibaba temple reciting a saraswathi
mantram for hours. I had felt sarswathi deep in me as a friend with
whom i can talk.Its my usual habit to perceive goddess as my friend
.It made me realize the powers of super natural being.
The way i prayed saraswathi :
Every day i lit 8 lamps at home ,recited mantra and came around
dhuni in saibaba temple for hours thinking about saraswathi. The
act of thinking about saraswathi itself makes ones mind calm &
pure which will help in controlling our unwanted desires and work
productively to serve oneself and others.
Travelling to koothanur :
After about 138 days of prayers , i decided to place my offerings
to goddess saraswathi. I took the train to Tajavur and from there
took the bus to thiruvaarur. It was about 10.30 pm when i finally
got a lodge in thiruvaarur, the staff there were very friendly who
helped me know the route to reach koothanur. It is situated on the
highway between thiruvaarur - miyilaadudhurai , a kilometer from
a village called poonthotam.
Journey to koothanur :
Bus to poonthottam -
I woke up early in the morning, recited all mantra almost with
a feeling of a saint as i dint had a second thoughts other than
having a look at goddess saraswathi and doing all what i love to
do like offering white lotus garland, lighting lamps and giving
beautiful saraswathi photographs to all the people who come to temple
on that day.
I took the mayiladuthurai bus at 6.15 am,along with me were many
villagers who bought vegetables and fruits from thiruvaarur to sell
those in the markets of villages far from town. Trying hard to catch
the window seat was worth it as i had a beautiful senenary of the
villages covered with vast agricultural land.The sun already was
shining giving a twinkle on the water that was flowing to the crops
from pump set. two old men helped me by saying that poonthottam
has arrived where i got down.
Temple will be open at 7.30 Am :
I was in hurry to see goddess saraswathi , took a auto , reached
koothanur in just 5 minutes from poonthootam. I was shocked a lot
since the temple was too small compared to what i imagined. Whats
more disappointing was that the front wooden door was locked with
only a small opening.I thought a temple so famous will be opened
early at 6 am ,so i just took a saibaba poster from my bag and gave
it to the auto driver who left with a smile.
There were little shops on wooden stands selling note books, pen,
pencils,White lotus, lamps , saraswathi photographs and beautiful
saraswathi statues.One can feel the atmosphere of village with a
feeling of divinity as soon as they reach koothanur.I felt really
happy as i was the first devotee of that day to enter the temple
along with few women who went in to sweep and clean the temple.
Giving habit :
I have a habit of giving photographs , money and food to people
i feel like giving. I had about 100 photos of saraswathi, murugan,laxmi
and shirdi saibaba. The inside door which leads to the main saraswathi
statue was still closed, coming around the small hall ,i saw a women
sweeping the temple and gave her Rs.20 along with a baba photo.She
is a teacher in a near by school who had come there to sweep the
temple as a service.
I gave money to few other old men and women who were sweeping and
cleaning the temple along with photographs of saraswathi and murugan.
I came outside and decided to purchase all items for offerings
in the first shop close to temple. There was a boy working there
who asked me if i wish to do the abishekam for that day.He took
me to the main priest sankaran who said all the offerings like sandal,honey,milk
and few other wil be made for 300 rupees .I saw a little kid in
his house , smiled at her came back to shop. I asked them to prepare
150 ghee lamps ,bought few pens to give to the kids who were living
in that village .
The best thing was when i heared the cost of one white lotus is
only Rs 2 ,with which they can also make a garland. I asked them
to make a garland with 108 white Lotus, Never had a idea how a lotus
garland would look like.
Eternal Love for saraswathi :
Old , poor, torn dress and a beautiful heart :
walking through the side muddy road, i saw a very very old man
who must be above 80 years old. I went to toilet , came out and
saw him standing with a long sweeper , the one used to clean muddy
streets.He asked me stritly RS.2
for having used the toilet room. I smiled at him , took 20 rupees
which he got with a gesture which made me feel he is trying to bless
me but he never opened his mouth.
When he was about to turn , i asked him to wait , took a saraswathi
photo from my bag to gave him. As soon as i gave the photo,the old
man kissed goddess saraswathi as if he were in love with her. Immediately
he said in tamil that you will get all that you wish by grace of
The reason i wanna mention this incident is that it made me understand
love towards goddess must not come based on the benefits we derive
from prayers. Love of god is eternal ,It must come from the deepest
feeling that araises in heart no matter what one gains from prayers.
The old man was wearing just a piece of cloth around his hip ,
he is so poor , he would have not learnt much.He might have worked
in saraswathi temple, always cleaning the places , streets around
the temple. Though he was just making a living serving in the temple,
he still showed his over affection on Goddess saraswathi by kissing
the photo as soon as i gave it to him , just by grabbing it with
a force that almost could tear the poster. All which made me feel
a real representation of Love towards Goddess saraswathi. I really
felt satisfied for meeting such human being in a world seeking benefits
and profits for every bit of offering and prayers they do.
Pure thoughts and actions gets you saraswathis grace
The old man might be poor and wearing torn dress but he had a beautiful
heart and saraswathi in herself blesses her true devotees not just
with the ability to learn and excel in studies and arts but also
to have a heart that has pure thoughts and acts accordingly.
My first view of Goddess saraswathi :
I stood near a small statue of swan , the bird of saraswathi and
was so happy internally to have my first glimpse of goddess saraswathi.
I went once inside the main door to keep flowers , lamps to a pillayaar
and murugan statue as it was kaarthigai day( 30th july 2005 ). I
felt so good for standing in same place where lengendry Tamil poets
of past would have offered their prayers to saraswathi.
My Love for lighting lamps :
Lighting lamps is all i love to do when ever i go to a new temple.I
do it contineously , lit so many lamps ,enjoy the twinkle , glow
that happens after i lit hundreds of lamps.
The boy from the shop was helpful in bringing me the ghee lamps
, i arranged it in the place kept especially for lighting lamps
It took hours for me to light all the 150 lamps. By this time few
devotees started coming in to temple in cars and jeep.All were looking
at the lamps as it was so beautiful to see hundreds of lamps togather.I
gave saraswathi photo to many kids from near by villages.Some kids
went out running with such a happiness in their face as they got
a photo. soon i was surrounded by many many kids who had come to
temple learning that someone is giving pen and photos. I had to
purchase more pens to give to these kids and make sure i had enough
cash to get back home.
I remember one old lady who asked me to give a pen to her grandchild
, it was such a happiest day in my life as i got opportunity to
give pens to kids in saraswathi temple.
Abishekam for saraswathi :
By the time i finished lighting lamps , the priest called me to
sit close to the main karpagraham. He did all abishekam which really
was such a wonderful experience to see and feel. The smell,beauty
of the sandal and honey flowing over saraswathi, the arathi ,everything
made me feel that i am offering all that i can to show my love on
soon it was getting crowded in the temple.The priest pulled in
the screen for dressing saraswathi with saree and flowers. The boy
from shop came with a huge plate over which he had placed the Garland
of 108 white lotus.It was a wonder to see how they had made lotus
I gave a hero pen to a little boy sitting near me along with his
mom.I was reciting mantra in my heart with a feeling that i alone
know as it was my dream to offer all that i could to goddess saraswathi.
Etched in my heart forever :
As the screen opened , i saw goddess saraswathi with a beautiful
white saree ,a big orange border, sandal paste over her face with
red lips ( kungumam ) and dark eyes.The long 108 white lotus garland
was decorating like a arch around the statue.
The priest sang a song and showed arathi with many lamps in it.It
was a sight that had enough force to bring tears in my eyes.I closed
my eyes and said saraswathi many times as if i could feel her presence
in real.It was a moment and sight that will be etched in my heart
A White lotus from saraswathi's holy feet :
The priest kept my small Mini Dv camera and note book under saraswathi's
sacred legs and gave it to me along with a beatel leaves inside
which there was some thing which i ate and kungumam.He also gave
me a white lotus which made me feel as if i got the blessings i
had been waiting years to get.A single white lotus from goddess
saraswathis feet made me feel so happy which i alone knew.
More lamps and Food for few :
I asked the boy from shop if i can give annadhaanam .We arranged
to give food to about 20 people and mean while i asked them to make
another 70 ghee lamps which i was lighting contineously. I asked
permission from the priest to light a lamp near the brahma statue
as he is saraswathis husband.I gave lemon rice and curd rice to
few people ,Took my Dv cam and shoot few clips behind the temple
along with the shop boy.
I thanked the girl working in temple and another guy who was doing
service there.The priest blessed me with good words and i moved
after spending more than 6 hours with my lovely goddess saraswathi
- Venkat Raman
( July 30th 2005 ) * Article
is written earlier by me in Starsai.com koothanur saraswathi temple
click for Goddess
Koothanur Maha Saraswathi Amman photos
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