Saraswati: A Ceremony to Goddess of Knowledge

May 26, 2020

Bali has lots of ceremonial traditions and offerings that are identical to Bali itself. Bali, without all of them, Bali wouldn’t be called Bali. The collaboration between traditions, cultures, and offerings are strongly related to the Hindu religion. 

Almost everything in Bali has its celebration, such as ceremonial for humans, pets, buildings, vehicles, nature, and many more. Every celebration has its unique offerings. Even science in Bali has a ceremonial. This ceremony is called Saraswati which identical with Goddess Saraswati. Have you ever heard about this? You may listen to Saraswati as the name of someone you know, but just read this until the end and get something that impresses you.


Gebogan on knowledge day in Bali Photo source: Artem Beliaikin

What is Saraswati?

Sarawati derived from the words of Sanskrit; Sara means ‘she/he who gives essence/meaning’; Swa means ‘herself/himself,’ and Thi says ‘she/he who knows.’ Saraswati also comes from the word of Saras means ‘flowing,’ and Wati means ‘possess.’ Saraswati means the one who continually flows knowledge, which will give wealth and enlightenment to those who are willing to earn or study. It is celebrated every six months or 210 days, precisely on the day of Saniscara Wuku Watugunung. 


Goddess Saraswati Photo source: Sandeep Handa

Goddess Saraswati and The Meaning of The Symbols

Saraswati day is an essential day for Hinduism, especially for students, education practitioners, and for all people in general as we should learn in a lifetime. Hindus believe that Saraswati is the day of science that comes down to earth for prosperity, progress, peace, and increasing human civilization. 

Saraswati is the Goddess of a protective/abundance of knowledge, awareness, and literature. Goddess Saraswati is symbolized as a beautiful Goddess in white that sitting down on a lotus and riding a goose. Goddess Saraswati has four hands that hold music instruments and holy scriptures. All of them have a different meaning that relates to each other. 

A Beautiful Woman

A beautiful woman symbolizes the strength that is beautiful, attractive, gentle, and noble. The beautiful woman describes the Goddess Saraswati and explains how impressive the knowledge is. 

Rosary Beads

Rosary beads symbolize eternity and the extensive knowledge that will never run out to be learned. Rosary beads, which are used to do Japa Mantra (chanting the spells continuously), mean that science/knowledge is vast and learned consistently both in formal and informal education. 

Holy Scriptures

Holy Scriptures symbolize that science/knowledge is sacred and represents how knowledge can lead humans to the enlightenment.


Lotus symbolizes the purity of God.


Goose symbolizes wisdom. When foraging, geese can distinguish between food and mud. Therefore, knowledge helps humans to differentiate between the good and the bad ones. 

Music Instruments

Music instruments symbolize culture. Art is an amusement of a distracted mind, so do the science/knowledge. Science/knowledge is a long-lasting beauty or entertainment that can be enjoyed for a long lifetime.


People activities on Saraswati Day

What did People do On Saraswati Day?

The day before Saraswati, people are making offerings like canang, gebogan, and another particular offering for Saraswati day. Students in schools are doing this kind of thing. They are also making penjor and decorating their school temple. On Saraswati day, people are praying at home, at school, office, and temples. The worship is held in the morning till before midday. During this moment, people are not allowed to read and write spells. They put the offerings on their books, holy scriptures, and other things they use during the study. 

People are used to praying to one temple to other temples around Bali all day long. In the night of Saraswati, people meditate all night long. Some people are only reading holy scriptures until dawn to get enlightenment from Sang Hyang Aji Saraswati (Goddess Saraswati). Both meditating and reading holy scriptures could be done in the temple or at home. 


The meaning of Saraswati Photo source: Pier Francesco Grizi

What is the Meaning of Saraswati?

Saraswati day has some meanings that are to thank God for conferring science, intelligence, and enlightenment that make humans exempt from stupidity. On the other side, we as a human should learn to be wise, and create a balance between secular knowledge and spirituality.

If you are into Bali, you might want to know more about this celebration. And consider yourself lucky if you can celebrate Saraswati day in Bali. One essential thing to do is making sure you have a comfortable place to stay in Bali. Find the one that suits your needs at Ubud Villas Rental by Red Lotus Property. There are lots of villas in Ubud and in Saba that you can choose. Ubud Villas Rental has the most comfortable villas that you can enjoy to the most luxury villas that you ever see. Book directly right now at Ubud Villas Rental.