Tradition, Faith , Knowledge and The Goddess Saraswati
People say , God is omniscient , knowledge is God etc. That means we human beings have limitations in the domain of knowledge. Or the concept of God comes when we realize that limitation, and imagine an existence beyond. Our forefathers said, sometimes we must cast faith in things which are not completely within our knowledge . We have seen this universe but don’t know who created. So, we imagine that God created.
In myths and literature , we read stories of human aspirations and its outcome. In Greek mythology, Daedalus was an architect. He was also wise and powerful. In prison, he and his son Icarus created wings from feathers and wax. Daedalus advised Icarus not to fly near to the sun with the wings made of wax. Icarus didn’t obey and fell to death eventually.
In Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, Faustus, the tragic flaw of Faustus was his untamed thirst for limitless knowledge and power. Fautus sold his soul to Lucifer, the king of Hell to achieve his goal and ultimately was doomed for ever.
These two stories teach us what might be the outcome of desiring beyond out limits.
In Science , who is replaced by what. What are the matters that create this universe. Scientists aspire to know beyond and reach the impossible , so are the reason of uncounted discoveries and inventions and the progress of civilizations. But scientific journey is based on facts, not on superstitions.
Most of our traditional faiths are founded on both facts and superstitions. Traditions are handed over from generations to generations. We take with us some traditional lineage even if it becomes obsolete in many ways for us. The question arise, ‘Why?’
Believing that Goddess Saraswati will impart us knowledge is a superstition . To gather knowledge and wisdom, we must have a curious and studious mind. We have to read books and facts. Those who don’t worship also can be knowledgeable and wise. But they too have their own traditional beliefs.
If we study traditions ignoring the element of superstition , we might have an answer to the question ‘why we follow our traditions blindly’ . First, our old traditions and customs were started at a period without any scientific advancements. People’s mind was full of fear without knowledge that was related to phenomenal changes. They started imagining in a Power beyond their knowledge.
Modern people believe more in logic than in superstitions. But still they follow traditions. There is another logic behind it. Our traditions build our social and communal identity from time immemorial. For a human, this identity bears the aspect of self recognition and self esteem that is not ignorable as it is only mankind who strive for a separate identity in this universe. This striving is both individual and social.
However, whereas science find cause and effect relation in every matter, literature find denotations or inherent meaning. Usually, a mother is closer to a child and the first teacher. The Goddess Saraswati is addressed as Saraswati ma ( Mother Saraswati). We all are her children. This ‘Mother’ image, cleaning our surrounding , wearing beautiful traditional clothes, collecting flowers, lightening ‘diya’s, gathering of a people to worship the Goddess bring immense joy and elevates us spiritually. We can’t ignore this logic behind these rituals.