Prayers to Sarasvatī
Ṛg Veda RV 1.3.10
पावका नः सरस्वती वाजेभिर्वाजिनीवती । यज्ञं वष्टु धियावसुः
pāvakā ǀ naḥ ǀ sarasvatī ǀ vājebhiḥ ǀ vājinī-vatī ǀ yajñam ǀ vaṣṭu ǀ dhiyā-vasuḥ ǁ
Sarasvatī is the queen of the words. She grants us her boon through words. Let pure Sarasvatī, providing us with most auspicious words, be satisfied with our prayers, bringing goods through her insight.
चोदयित्री सूनृतानां चेतन्ती सुमतीनाम् । यज्ञं दधे सरस्वती
codayitrī ǀ sūnṛtānām ǀ cetantī ǀ su-matīnām ǀ yajñam ǀ dadhe ǀ sarasvatī ǁ
Sarasvatī grants the motivation for true speech and blesses us with the ability to understand. May Sarasvatī accept our prayers.
महो अर्णः सरस्वती प्र चेतयति केतुना । धियो विश्वा वि राजति
mahaḥ ǀ arṇaḥ ǀ sarasvatī ǀ pra ǀ cetayati ǀ ketunā ǀ dhiyaḥ ǀ viśvāḥ ǀ vi ǀ rājati ǁ
Sarasvatī awakens the vast knowledge merely with her glance! She is the soul behind all the noble speech.
Athārva Veda AV 7.68.3
शिवा नः शंतमा भव सुमृडीका सरस्वति । मा ते युयोम संदृशः
śivā́ naḥ śáṃtamā bʰava sumr̥ḍīkā́ sarasvati / mā́ te yuyoma saṃdŕ̥śaḥ
Be kind and most auspicious, be gracious to us, Sarasvati, May we be ever in thy sight.
Ṛg Veda 10.17.7
सरस्वतीं देवयन्तो हवन्ते सरस्वतीमध्वरे तायमाने ।
सरस्वतीं सुकृतो अह्वयन्त सरस्वती दाशुषे वार्यं दात्
sarasvatīm ǀ deva-yantaḥ ǀ havante ǀ sarasvatīm ǀ adhvare ǀ tāyamāne ǀ
sarasvatīm ǀ su-kṛtaḥ ǀ ahvayanta ǀ sarasvatī ǀ dāśuṣe ǀ vāryam ǀ dāt ǁ
All other Gods prays to Sarasvatī when the auspicious ceremonies begin. All men of good action have been praying to Sarasvatī. Those who invoke Sarasvatī, she opens for them with an abundant storehouse of knowledge.
Prayers from Vedas
Prayer for a healthy life (RV 1.89.8)
भद्रं कर्णेभिः शृणुयाम देवा भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः ।
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्टुवांसस्तनूभिर्व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः
bhadram ǀ karṇebhiḥ ǀ śṛṇuyāma ǀ devāḥ ǀ bhadram ǀ paśyema ǀ akṣa-bhiḥ ǀ yajatrāḥ ǀ
sthiraiḥ ǀ aṅgaiḥ ǀ tustu-vāṃsaḥ ǀ tanūbhiḥ ǀ vi ǀ aśema ǀ deva-hitam ǀ yat ǀ āyuḥ ǁ
Might we hear (only what is) auspicious with our ears, o gods; might we see (only what is) auspicious with our eyes, o you who are worthy of the sacrifice. Having praised (you), with sturdy limbs and bodies might we traverse the lifetime that has been established by the gods.
Prayer that we may follow the Right Path (RV 10.63.8)
य ईशिरे भुवनस्य प्रचेतसो विश्वस्य स्थातुर्जगतश्च मन्तवः ।
ते नः कृतादकृतादेनसस्पर्यद्या देवासः पिपृता स्वस्तये
ye ǀ īśire ǀ bhuvanasya ǀ pra-cetasaḥ ǀ viśvasya ǀ sthātuḥ ǀ jagataḥ ǀ ca ǀ mantavaḥ ǀ
te ǀ naḥ ǀ kṛtāt ǀ akṛtāt ǀ enasaḥ ǀ pari ǀ adya ǀ devāsaḥ ǀ pipṛta ǀ svastaye ǁ
The forethoughtful counsellors who are masters of the world, of everything stationary and moving—o gods, rescue us today from transgression done or not done—for well-being.
Prayers for becoming free from fear (AV19.15.6)
अभयं मित्रादभयममित्रादभयं ज्ञातादभयं पुरो यः ।
अभयं नक्तमभयं दिवा नः सर्वा आशा मम मित्रं भवन्तु
ábhayaṃ mitrā́d ábhayam amítrād ábhayaṃ jñātā́d ábhayaṃ puró yáḥ
ábhayaṃ náktam ábhayaṃ divā naḥ sárvā ā́śā máma mitráṃ bhavantu
Safety be ours from friend and from the unfriendly, safety from what we know and what we know not. Safety be ours by night and in the day-time! friendly to me be all my hopes and wishes!
Concerning Regulations for Students:
Dharmasūtras lay down the rules and regulations for the students. I have taken important and pragmatic points here for your benefit.
- The student should follow Brahmacarya which means refrain from having sexual
activities with others and with himself! (Gautama Dharmasūtra (GD)1.2.11 उक्तं ब्रह्मचर्यम्)
- He should not tell a lie (GD 1.2.13 सत्यवचनम्)
- He should avoid eating honey and meat, wearing perfumes and necklaces, sleeping in
the daytime. Further, lust, anger, greed, perplexity, and squabbling, playing musical
instruments GD 1.2.19
Healthy food was an important aspect of Vedic society.
Prayers were recited before taking these (RV 1.187. 2)
स्वादो पितो मधो पितो वयं त्वा ववृमहे ।अस्माकमविता भव
It is interesting to note that the above-mentioned hymn does not praise meat.
Food was taken in a seated posture (see Sāyaṇa’s commentary to RV 6.60.3)
यथा ते भोजनार्थं नैश्चल्येनासते तथेत्यर्थः
Barley (yava) is mentioned as an important food grain in the Rig Veda Samhita. Furthermore, milk and dairy products constitute an important ingredient of the Ṛg Vedic food. There are also indications of consumptions of fruits (see RV 3.45.4).
Food that is juicy and fresh should be eaten. Avoid dry and stale food as a student!