Finding the Saraswati River & Restoring the Flow of Her Vedic Wisdom

The Goddess Saraswati,
Raja Ravi Varma, 1895.


On October 15, 2016, a seven-person committee assembled by the Government of India announced its conclusion that the Saraswati was a real river flowing in the Indus Valley in ancient times. Two weeks earlier and halfway around the world, this Vedic Goddess and River of Wisdom revealed the long-hidden significance of her eternal form to me. I presented this shocking revelation and related research via the book, Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, published in January 2018. Before discussing the nature of this revelation regarding Saraswati’s eternal form, it is worth giving a brief recap of India’s recent efforts to reestablish and restore the truth and might of this Vedic figure.   

Searching for Saraswati

In 2002 the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government of India initiated the Saraswati Heritage Project to hunt for origins of the Saraswati river which, though abundantly mentioned in the Rig Veda, appears to have dried up or disappeared underground some 4,000 years ago. This hunt was stalled in 2004 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won India’s general election; and it was revived in 2014 after the BJP-led NDA returned to power under the leadership of Narendra Modi. In 2015 the Haryana Sarasvati Heritage Development Board (HSHDB) was established with the goal of restoring the flow of the Saraswati River. In July 2015 India Today produced a news segment on this restoration project, showing video footage of workers digging into dry sandy earth in Yamunanagar, Haryana where at a depth of 8 feet, water was found. Preeti Choudhary reported: 
‘[She] is a river. She wears a white sari. She holds the vena. She sits on a lotus flanked by a swan. She is the Saraswati ‒ A Hindu deity, the Goddess of Knowledge. A river whose waters don't flow. A river modern India has never seen but debated its existence for centuries. In the eternal battle between creation and destruction there will be those living struggling for survival and those who would be resurrected out of extinction…. 
‘[W]hen the current government claims that it has been able to dig out, literally dig out Saraswati from the realms of mythology into reality you wonder, have we finally reached that moment of profoundness of historical importance, of ecological, cultural, religious importance, have we finally been in a place now where we can lay the urban legend of Saraswati to rest?’ [1]
Not all interviewed in Choudhary’s news video were convinced the water was evidence of Saraswati. One man commented that the water found could simply be groundwater that naturally exists in the area. As Choudhary noted in the video, the hunt for and restoration of the Saraswati river is politically super-charged. Many progressively-inclined Indians believe that the Saraswati river is purely mythological and that the conservative Hindu-leaning government is wasting its resources trying to revive or resurrect a ‘dead’ river when many of India’s flowing rivers are in bad shape and when much else in India needs tending to. Modi’s government firmly believes that it is in India’s national interest to reestablish the non-mythical reality, location and flow of the ancient Saraswati river. 
‘The Saraswati river is part of our rich cultural heritage and coordinated efforts are needed for its revival that would go a long way in making India Vishvaguru (world leader) once again. [The Indian Space Research Organization] has been working on Saraswati river for the last 20 years.’ ‒ Kavita Jain, Haryana Art and Cultural Affairs Minister, 2018 [2]   
‘There is enough scientific evidence on the presence of the river Saraswati in some parts of the country through which it flowed about five to six thousand years ago. Saraswati is not a myth.’  ‒ Uma Bharati, India’s Minister for Water Resources, 2014 [3] 
Opposition to this government-led Saraswati revival project can be found in the tone of a July 7, 2018 Scroll.In article announcing a 20-minute documentary film by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya entitled ‘Searching for Saraswati’, which the New York Times published via its Op-Doc video channel on July 10, 2018.  The title of the Scroll.In article reads “A documentary captures the hunt for the mythical Saraswati: ‘A gold rush for a trickle of water’”. The unnamed author of the article sums up the political nature and viewpoint of the documentary in a few sentences.
‘The filmmakers wade into the debate by interviewing believers as well as sceptics. The recent spate of policy decisions fuelled by Hindutva ideology is identified as the larger context for the Haryana government’s attempt to defy existing knowledge that questions the river’s very existence.’
When asked, ‘What fuelled the decision to make a documentary on the Haryana government’s Saraswati project?’, the film makers responded:
‘As the Bharatiya Janta Party ascended to power in 2014, we began to hear a fantastical surmising about the scientific achievements of India’s great, often undated, past. Prime Minister Modi led the charge. Addressing the inauguration of a hospital in Mumbai, he claimed that the physiognomy of Ganesh proved that ancient India was proficient in plastic surgery. The flights of fancy of the political class and its associates and allies took wing. 
‘Amusing as these hallucinatory readings were, they were worrying on many ascendant levels. They showed the lack of comprehension among the political class and its associates of India’s magnificent and imaginative achievements in astronomy, mathematics, atomic doctrines and even surgery. Consequently, it also obscured a vision of the possibilities of these disciplines, as informed by this diffused reading of the past. 
‘Further, the accumulated knowledge of this imagined past was purported to be rooted in ancient Hindu religious texts. Knowledge of science was invoked to validate the greatness of the Hindu religion.’

Finding Saraswati

In the Fall of 2016 I was not aware of the Indian government’s extensive efforts to prove and restore Saraswati’s ancient path. I was immersed in the process of writing a book uplifting the forgotten role sacred geometry plays as the foundation of the eternal wisdom (sanatana dharma) and ancient lore of Indian culture, including in the lore of Vishnu’s avatars. On October 2, 2016 my explorations of this subject took a dramatic turn towards uncovering a long-hidden and long-forgotten secret of the eternal nature of the Saraswati river-goddess, which in turn sheds great light on many other symbols and figures of the Rig Veda.

What I discovered about Saraswati in no way negates the possibility that Saraswati was the name of an actual river in the Indus Valley at the time the Vedas were written. It does, however, throw India an ancient curveball because it reveals just how little anyone, including renowned Vedic scholars and historians, has actually known about the symbolism and underlying context of the Rig Veda. I found that the basic forms and figures of sacred geometry function as keys which unlock a well-hidden secret about Saraswati’s form, presence and purpose in the Rig Veda. These geometric keys have been lying in wait to be found, not only for centuries, but for multiple millennia. They are deeply hidden in myriad symbols and hymns of the Vedas, which speak of a treasure hunt or hero’s journey leading to the finding and release of ancient rivers along with the truth of the eternal wisdom they represent. Given the notion, or some would say scientific fact that the Saraswati river disappeared or hid herself some 4,000 years ago under a dry river bed, it is notable that I came to learn of Saraswati’s long-hidden secret form while walking along and appreciating the beauty of the curves of a dry seasonal creek. 

While viewing the water-less creek I received the knowledge that the Rishis depicted the curve of the Vesica Pisces through the 360° Zodiac (i.e. through the Vedic Yajna or Sacrificial Year) as a river. I saw that the Seven Rivers of the Rig Veda are symbols of seven Vesica Piscis flowing through the circle of the Zodiac, and I saw that the seventh of these ‘rivers’, associated with Saraswati, begins at the seventh sign Libra (Tula) and ends at 0° Aquarius (Kumbha). Aquarius has long been portrayed in zodiacal lore as the Water Bearer who pours out his purifying waters of truth and clarity upon Earth from his sacred kumbha or water jar. I understood that this mythological water jar or kumbha of Aquarius was, like the Vedic symbol of Saraswati and her sister rivers, a symbol of the Vesica Piscis.

As soon as I got home from that hike I drew out the first seven Vesica Piscis of the Zodiac, stretching from 0° Aries to 0° Aquarius (across 10 signs of the Zodiac) and I began looking through various passages of the Rig Veda to see if this unexpected download of insight about the Vedic rivers was correct. I quickly came to see that not only was it correct, I could also see that the geometric form of the Rishis’ sacred river functioned as a crucial, though long-hidden key to the symbolism and gnosis of the entire Rig Veda and of many world religions and mythologies that sprung from (or devolved from) Vedic gnosis. For example, I could immediately see that the epic and apocalyptic pouring forth or release of the seven bowls or vials by the seven angels of St. John’s Revelation was a variation of the victorious finding and release of the Seven Rivers of the Rig Veda with the help of the seven Angiras Rishis. I could see that the mythological quest for the Holy Grail was a variation of the Vedic treasure hunt for the eternal truth of the purifying waters contained in the Rishis’ sacred chalice or bowl. As shown in the figure below, three ‘bowls’ of the Vesica Piscis perfectly divide the circumference of the circle into three even segments. In the following verses, the steers and wise singers are symbols of the Radius which fill and measure out the sacred vessel of the Vesica Piscis. 
‘There stand the Three Steers, splendid in their brightness, who fill the three world-bowls with genial moisture.’ ‒ Rig Veda 5.69.2, tr. R.T.H. Griffith  
‘[Wise singers] at sacrifices fix the metres, they measure out twelve chalices of Soma.’ ‒ Rig Veda 10.114.5, tr. R.T.H. Griffith
It also became clear in my research that the release of the mythological Hippocrene, ‒ a spring or fountain of Greek mythology, said to be released by the kick of the white-winged horse Pegasus, whose waters are associated with poetic inspiration ‒ was an offshoot of the mythology of Saraswati, known to be not only the Goddess of Wisdom but also the Goddess of Poetic Inspiration. In the Rig Veda the release of the Seven Rivers is depicted in various ways, including as the ‘Stallion’s Flood’, the Stallion or Horse being another symbol of the Radius. The Radius of the seventh river or Vesica Piscis of the Zodiac happens to correspond to the sign of the Horse, Sagittarius (Dhanus). Saraswati is specifically described as the seventh and best of the Seven Rivers in the Rig Veda and it became apparent that that the mythology of Saraswati as the Goddess of Wisdom conveys the crucial role that the Vesica Piscis plays in the restoration of the triadic gnosis (trayi vidya) of the Vedic Rishis in our modern world. 
‘Sarasvati who perfects our devotion, Ila divine, Bharati all surpassing ‒ Three Goddesses, with power inherent, seated, protect this [sacrificial] holy Grass, our flawless refuge!’ ‒ Rig Veda 2.3.8, R.T.H. Griffith
Saraswati is often mentioned as one of three goddesses of the sacrifice, which reflects the eternal law (or sanatana dharma) of the Vesica Piscis which perfectly marks out one-third of the 360° circle or year. Three Vesicae Piscis divide the whole circumference of the circle perfectly into three 120° segments. The lord and ruler of this circle-year is in turn the Radius, who measures out the 12 months of the Vedic sacrifice. One of the many names of this eternal or divine ray (ray + deus) in the Rig Veda is Agni, referred to as the ‘ray of intuition’. He is portrayed as the chief god, leader and hero of the Vedic sacrifice and is also known as the divine child, son and sage hidden in the womb or lap of the sacred waters, which symbolizes his position in the Vesica Piscis.
‘[It] is by the ray of intuition, ketunā, that Saraswati makes us conscious of the great waters….’ ‒ Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, CWSA, Volume 16, p. 18
In Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, I discuss the importance of the fact that the 120° arc of this Vedic ‘river’ is equivalent to 432,000ʺ (seconds of degrees of arc), which corresponds not only to the 432,000-mile measure of the Sun’s radius, but also to the 432,000 measure of the Rig Veda and the Kali Yuga. [4]

As the Vesica Piscis is always portrayed as feminine, the Radius is always portrayed as a masculine figure in the Rig Veda, including as the divine male, bull, stallion and purusha. It is the cosmic pillar (skambha). A couple examples of this are found in RV 5.69.2 and RV 10.114.5 as quoted above. The Radius is also portrayed as the singer or priest of the holy hymn or divine word. Often this Hero, by various names, is described by the Rishis as standing in, or being enrobed in waters. The Radius is often depicted as a bringer of rain or water bearer, pouring out the waters or floods of the Vesica Piscis. I came to find that both the Radius and Vesica Piscis have hundreds of symbolic names and forms in the Rig Veda. Saraswati is simply a specific position of the river or wave of the Vesica Piscis within the Vedic Yajna. In Rig Veda 6.61 Saraswati and her sister rivers (or waves) win the Vedic victory over the forces of Ignorance and Falsehood.
'[Saraswati] with her might … hath burst with her strong waves the ridges of the hills. Let us invite with songs and holy hymns for help Sarasvati who slayeth the Paravatas.…[She] hast discovered rivers for the tribes of men, and, rich in wealth, made poison flow away from them.…[T]his divine Sarasvati, terrible with her golden path, Foe-slayer, claims our eulogy. Whose limitless unbroken flood, swift-moving with a rapid rush, Comes onward with tempestuous roar. She hath spread us beyond all foes, beyond her Sisters, Holy One…. Yea, she most dear amid dear stream, Seven-sistered, graciously inclined, Sarasvati hath earned our praise.… Seven-sistered, [Sarasvati] sprung from threefold source … she must be Invoked in every deed of might. Marked out by majesty among the Mighty Ones, in glory swifter than the other rapid Streams, created vast for victory like a chariot, Sarasvati must be extolled by every sage. ‒ Rig Veda 6.61.2-13, tr. R.T.H Griffith
Saraswati appears in over 40 hymns of the Rig Veda. From the verses above, those unfamiliar with the Vedas, can at least glean some idea of why Hindus, and India’s current pro-Hindu government, believe that Saraswati has something to do with India’s rise to becoming Vishwa Guru ‒ a Dispeller of Darkness (Guru) or Bringer of Light for the world at large. In the Vedas that is exactly what Saraswati and her sister rivers (and other Vedic heroes) are tasked with doing. The problem that naturally arises for many, is the reasonable question of how can a physical river conquer Ignorance and Falsehood in our world? It is easy enough to understand how a river can help with the cleansing of the physical body, as enacted by the Hindu ritual of bathing in sacred rivers, but the Vedic imagery of a physical river, or group of seven rivers flooding and cleansing the world of its Ignorance and Darkness on a world-wide scale, does not make much rational sense. Compounded by the many symbolic hymns in the Rig Veda that, on their surface level, don’t make much sense to the modern mind, the Vedas can be (and have been) dismissed by many as the incoherent, irrational mythology and nature worship of a primitive culture. Non-religious progressively-minded Indians naturally want to advance beyond religious irrationality and superstition; and Indians who cherish their ancient religion naturally respect the Vedas as a well-spring of eternal law and unifying gnosis which demonstrates India’s ancient scientific, mathematical and spiritual knowledge. In The Secret of the Veda, Sri Aurobindo discussed the figures of the Vedas in terms of their symbolic, psychological and spiritual sense, honoring the deep and often hidden meaning of the ancient hymns. 
‘In the course of several thousands of years there have been at least three considerable attempts, entirely differing from each other in their methods and results, to fix the sense of these ancient litanies. [These attempts] present one characteristic in common, the extraordinary incoherence and poverty of sense which their results stamp upon the ancient hymns…. 
‘[If] we accept the current interpretations, whether Sayana’s or the modern theory, the whole of this sublime and sacred reputation is a colossal fiction. The hymns are, on the contrary, nothing more than the naive superstitious fancies of untaught and materialistic barbarians concerned only with the most external gains and enjoyments and ignorant of all but the most elementary moral notions or religious aspirations.… 
'[Fixing the import of Vedic terms, the sense of Vedic symbols] will explain and justify rationally the whole ancient tradition of India; for it will be found that, in sober truth … the great Indian religions do go back in their source to Vedic origins…. Incidentally, some light may be thrown on the obscurities of early cult and myth in other ancient nations. Finally, the incoherencies of the Vedic texts will at once be explained and disappear. They exist in appearance only, because the real thread of the sense is to be found in an inner meaning.’ ‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Vol. 15, pp. 1-9
Regarding Saraswati and her sister rivers, he wrote:
‘We find … that the image of the river or flowing current is used to symbolise a stream of conscious being. We find that Saraswati, one of the seven rivers, is the river of inspiration flowing from the Truth-consciousness. We have the right then to suppose that the other six rivers are also psychological symbols.’ ‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 108 
Vedic historian David Frawley suggests that in addition to referring to physical rivers of the Indus Valley, these seven rivers are symbols of seven chakras of the human body. I believe that most Vedic scholars and Hindus acknowledge that the Vedas have multiple layers of meaning, ranging from historic to symbolic. Trying to see into these layers and to decipher what the symbols of the Vedic Seers (Rishis) actually symbolize has been a long (multi-millennia) quest of historians, scholars and yogis alike. As Sri Aurobindo has suggested in his writings, most have come up short in terms of understanding the cohesive and luminous gnosis of the Rishis. Circa 1910-14, he wrote:
‘Religious movements and revolutions have come and gone or left their mark but after all and through all the Veda remains to us our Rock of the Ages, our eternal foundation…. Yet for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas.’ ‒ Sri Aurobindo, India’s Rebirth, pp. 265-66
In truth, all of the layers of the Vedas must be seen as layers of the same Oneness – the same Unified Field or Yajna – wherein the physical reality of the symbols are intimately connected to the cosmological and spiritual reality which the symbols symbolize. [5] Now it must also be seen that the geometric basis of the Vedic symbols is equally connected to the physical, cosmological and spiritual laws the Rishis have preserved and conveyed in their hymns. Ultimately it is a lost cause, with no real rewards or treasure, to try to keep separate what was not separate in the Rishis’ vision of Unity.

The cohesive Oneness which the Rishis celebrated in the Vedas does not simply live in the past in Ages gone by. It exists simultaneously in the Past, Present and Future. The experience of this cohesive Oneness – connecting all in Time and Space – is cultivated via proper knowledge and observance of the Vedic Yajna. It is from this Unified Field and from its harmonizing sacred measure that our higher consciousness is born out via multiple stages of evolutionary development. Becoming aware of this womb or field of Time and Space is a first condition of emerging as a Seer or Knower of the Divine Word in the Vedic sense. [6] 

An example of this cohesive Oneness can be found in the synchronicity between the October 15, 2016 declaration by the Indian government of the real existence and location of the Saraswati river in the ancient Indus Valley, and my October 2, 2016 discovery of Saraswati’s real geometric form and location in the ancient 12-month Vedic Yajna. The timing of these events was coordinated to coincide, not by me and not by the government of India, but a higher-than-mental (supramental) organizing force or emergent Divine Will of which Sri Aurobindo wrote of extensively. The coincidence between India’s announcement and the revelation of Saraswati’s eternal nature and form is not random. These events were coordinated to coincide with each other in order to underscore that it is in India’s national interest to restore its own knowledge of this Vedic River and Goddess of Wisdom.

She is not only an ancient river of India, she is also an ancient heavenly ‘river’ of the Zodiac. It is by her eternal form and by her divine or sacred measure that the 12-month Yajna/Zodiac is perfectly measured out. It would be a great tragedy if India were to go through the massive and costly efforts to restore the actual flow of a river that has been dried up or underground for some 4,000 years, and yet fail to celebrate the recovery and descent of the simple and free truth of Saraswati’s eternal geometric form in the Vedas which has been hidden for perhaps equally as long. As powerful and important as resuscitating the path and flow of the Saraswati river might be for the soul of India, ultimately the mother-lode of Saraswati’s ancient knowledge and cleansing force, as portrayed in the Vedas (and in St. John’s Revelation), is not going to be found in a physical river. The pouring out of Saraswati’s eternal wisdom (sanatana dharma) and poetry is intimately connected to her geometric flow, course and form within the 12-month Vedic Yajna. For those who are champions of India’s luminous past and future, it is important to fully digest the parallel between the Indian government’s efforts to restore the reality of the Saraswati river and the recent, already accomplished restoration of the geometric truth and sense of this sacred Vedic river.

The Ancient Rishis taught that Saraswati is indeed a key force of ushering in higher knowledge and cleansing our planet of its long-held and multiply-compounded misunderstandings and distortions of the ancient wisdom that keeps India and the rest of the world in a state of fragmentation rather than in a state of Harmony and Oneness. Now has come the time to fully recognize or SEE the symbolic reality of Saraswati. Many Hindus cringe at the use of the word mythology to describe India’s ancient symbols, sacred texts and stories, because they think it relegates the Hindu religion to fantasy. When it becomes apparent (as it now has) that the Vedic Rishis intentionally and brilliantly utilized symbol and myth to simultaneously portray and hide their gnosis of the math of the Unified Field of our existence, it should help both sides of the political spectrum, progressive and conservative, to better appreciate the formative truth of India’s ancient Goddess of Wisdom which actually does have the power to dispel darkness and to harmonize and heal the disastrous fragmentation of our world’s ancient wisdom. With the act of SEEING Saraswati’s eternal form flowing through (and perfectly measuring out) the Rishis’ Solar Year, India will quickly put itself in the position of Vishwa Guru among the nations of the world. Without this key of Vedic wisdom, Indians on both sides of the political spectrum will continue to be disconnected from the ancient truth of Saraswati. She has much to teach our modern world about the Unity-Consciousness of the Vedic Rishis, and about the eternal and still-relevant gnosis contained in their language, symbols and mythology.

***

[For more information on the equivalence between Saraswati, her sister rivers and the Vesica Piscis in the Rig Veda, read Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom. This book covers a lot of territory, detailing the whole yogic process by which this discovery of Saraswati surfaced, its connection to Vishnu's avatars who are tasked with recovering Sanatana Dharma in their respective Ages, and gives a clear picture of the multitude of ways the Rishis veiled the geometric figures of the Zodiac in their symbolic language.]


Endnotes:
[1] ‘Finding Saraswati: Has The River Mentioned In Vedas Been Found?’, Preeti Choudhary, India Today, 5 July 2015. 
[3] ‘Govt to trace the lost river Saraswati’, Vishwa Mohan, Aug 12, 2014.
[4] 120° = 120° x 60′ x 60″ = 432,000″. This sense of the sacred measure of 432,000 was discussed by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet in her book The Gnostic Circle, pp. 12-13, 46.
[5] Through her writings, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (1938-2016) helped to illuminate the real and fundamental connection between the Vedic Yajna and the Zodiac, as well as the need for India to measure the Earth’s sacred Yajna (i.e. Year or Field of Time and Space) correctly. See The New Way, Vols. 1&2, pp. 377-99 and ‘The Zero, the Veda and the Divine Measure of the Year’ (PNB’s 2006 Manifesto for her ‘Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom’).
[6] Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s teachings on the 12-month Yajna or sacred Solar Year of the Rishis (aka Zodiac) are indispensable in terms of cultivating this experience of Oneness through observance of the correct measure of the Yajna, and thus of one’s correct alignment and position within the Unified Field of Time and Space. She saw India’s Nirayana measure (constellational) of the Zodiac as a mis-measure and distortion of the Vedic Sacrifice, which is the Earth’s Solar or Tropical Year set by the four Cardinal Points of the Earth’s Equinoxes and Solstices. [See 'A Calendar that Unifies']

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  1. A Note of Objection on the film “Searching For Saraswati” -- D.K.Hari & D.K.Hema Hari (July 10, 2018): https://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2018/07/a-note-of-objection-on-film-searching.html.

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