Do you know this lady? You should. She is Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of art and music — and therefore, in a way, the female Apollo. She is also the spirit of the invisible river which enters Ganga at the Yamuna — making the site into a sacred trifluence — a Triveni Sangama — and probably was the name of an actual river:  it had once emptied into the Arabian Sea somewhere in Sindh and irrigated the Mohenjo Daro civilization.  Her course was altered suddenly about 4,000 years ago, probably by an earthquake, leaving the civilization on its shores to parch and wither away. Which makes her a very special deity:  while we are told gods routinely destroy whole civilizations, she is the only one known to have actually really done so.

You have been warned:  Saraswati can just up walk away and when she does, we — vanish without a trace.

Think about it.

This rendition, in traditional Balinese style, is by Gusti Sundarma, a Balinese artist working in acrylic.


3 responses

  1. Note the fine, elongated features, very un-Balinese: the Balinese are squat.
    (Which isn’t necessarily bad — there are ways of being squat-beautiful just as there are ways of being fine/elongated-ugly).

    February 3, 2012 at 03:20

  2. your point about the ephemerality of civilizations is very nicely expressed … and your pages are full of treasures

    April 1, 2013 at 14:20

    • glad you like it

      May 17, 2013 at 16:34

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