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Home > All About Bali > Calencer > Saraswati
Saraswati Day in Bali, which is the special day of gratitude for the bequest of knowledge, a time for making offerings to books especially the sacred lontar palm leaf books. It is celebrated every 210-days on Saniscara Umanis Wuku Watugunung based on the Pawukon (Balinese almanac) system and the Saniscara (seven day cycle).

Saraswati, the wife of Brahma, is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom. The Sanskrit word sara means "essence" and swa means "self". Hence Saraswati means "the essence of the self." Goddess Saraswati is generally portrayed with four arms, wearing a white sari and seated on a white lotus. She holds a book and a rosary in her rear two hands, while the front two hands are playing a musical instrument (sitar). She uses a swan as her vehicle.

This depiction illustrates the following spiritual ideas:
White lotus is a symbol of the supreme knowledge. By sitting on a white lotus, Saraswati symbolizes supreme knowledge. The white color represents purity and knowledge. The white sari that Saraswati is wearing signifies that she is the personification of pure knowledge.
The four hands represent the four fundamentals of the inner character. The front right represents the mind (manas), the front left hand signifies the intellect (buddhi), the rear left hand represents the accustomed awareness (chitta), and the rear right hand signifies the ego (ahankara).
A book in the rear left hand signifies that knowledge acquired must be used with love and kindness to promote prosperity of mankind.
A rosary in the rear right hand represents concentration and meditation which leads to unification with God (samadhi).
A musical instrument (sitar) in her front hands signifies mind and intellect. This symbol indicates that one must tune his mind and intellect in order to live in perfect harmony with the world for the welfare of all mankind.
A swan symbolizes the ability to discriminate between right and wrong or good and bad. Saraswati uses the swan as her vehicle. This conveys that one must acquire and apply knowledge for the good of mankind.
On Saraswati Day, from morning to evening, Balinese people perform ceremonies to worship Goddess Saraswati who has delivered knowledge to human beings for the sake of their prosperity and happiness.

People bring offerings to their holy books in their houses, while students celebrate it at school, usually in the morning, and the office-workers in their office. Some people would not sleep all night. They would perform some activities that have correlation with Saraswati Day, like singing holy songs and meditation.
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