Prano Devi Sarasvati: Meaning with Explanations

Prayers to Goddess Sarasvati

प्रणो देवी सरस्वती वाजेभिर्वाजिनीवती । धीनामवित्र्यवतु ॥ RV 6.61.4 
आ नो दिवो बृहतः पर्वतादा सरस्वती यजता गन्तु यज्ञम् । 
हवं देवी जुजुषाणा घृताची शग्मां नो वाचमुशती शृणोतु ॥ RV 5.43.11

Both of these mantras are sourced from the Rigveda-samhita.

The first mantra, found in the 61st sukta of the sixth mandala, is the fourth mantra in this series of 14 mantras. According to the Rigvidhana of Shaunaka, those who wake early, purify themselves, and recite this mantra are said to gain intelligence (buddhimaan) and eloquence (vaagmi).


The second mantra is located in the 43rd sukta of the 5th mandala, the 11th out of 17 in this sukta. It is utilized in the Vedic ritual of Aponaptriya, associated with Soma Yaga, which is believed to invoke rainfall.


First Mantra : 
प्रणो देवी सरस्वती वाजेभिर्वाजिनीवती । धीनामवित्र्यवतु ॥ RV 6.61.4 
Prano Devī Sarasvatī VājeBhirvājinīvatī. Dhīnāmavitryavatu.

  • प्र – Greatly 
  • न: – us 
  • देवी – the Goddess 
  • सरस्वती – Sarasvati 
  • वाजेभि: – with foods antart
  • वाजिनीवती- the one endowed with action that results in food 
  • धीनाम् – of the meditators/worshippers 
  • अवित्री – the protector 
  • अवतु – protect.

Second Mantra : 

आ नो दिवो बृहतः पर्वतादा सरस्वती यजता गन्तु यज्ञम् ।  
हवं देवी जुजुषाणा घृताची शग्मां नो वाचमुशती शृणोतु ॥ RV 5.43.11 

Ā No Divo Bṛhataḥ Parvatādā Sarasvatī Yajatā Gantu Yajñam.
Havaṁ Devī Jujuṣāṇā Ghṛtācī Śagmāṁ No Vācamuśatī Śṛṇotu.
  • नः our 
  • दिव: – from the luminous (higher ) region 
  • बृहतः पर्वतात् – from the great mountain/atmosphere / clouds 
  • आ** गन्तु – come 
  • सरस्वती Sarasvati 
  • यजता – the one who is worship worthy 
  • आ (गन्तु ) – come 
  • यज्ञम् – Yajna / act of worship
  • हवम् – our invite/call 
  • देवी – Goddess 
  • जुजुषाणा – listening to the hymns of praise 
  • घृताची – the one who showers waters 
  • शग्माम् – pleasing 
  • नः – our 
  • वाचम् – speech 
  • उशती – with desire 
  • शृणोतु – listen. 

 **आ – The first word of the mantra is a prefix which has to be connected to the verb to make the meaning complete, hence it is placed here. If गन्तु is to go, when the prefix is added then it gives the opposite meaning – come. Hence in this context meaning for आ cannot be given separately.

Mantrartha (meaning) based on Sri Sayanacharya’s commentary

Mantra 1 (Prano Devī Sarasvatī VājeBhirvājinīvatī. Dhīnāmavitryavatu) invokes Sarasvati as the gracious bestower of blessings, empowering actions that yield sustenance (food). She safeguards her devotees who venerate and praise her, granting them sustenance.

Mantra 2 (Ā No Divo Bṛhataḥ Parvatādā Sarasvatī Yajatā Gantu Yajñam. Havaṁ Devī Jujuṣāṇā Ghṛtācī Śagmāṁ No Vācamuśatī Śṛṇotu) implores Sarasvati, the revered deity, to grace the yajna with her presence, descending from the radiant heavens, mountains, or clouds. May she incline towards our entreaty and bless us with abundant rainfall.

Rishi, Devata, and Chhandas

Rishi: The seer of the first mantra is Bharadvaja, and of the second, Atri.

Devata: Sarasvati is the devata for both mantras.


The first mantra is composed in the Gayatri metre, which is renowned for its significance as the meter in which the Savitri mantra was revealed to Brahmarishi Vishwamitra. Typically comprising 24 syllables, the Gayatri metre in the Vedas consists of three padas, each with eight syllables.

However, an exception is noted with the famous Savitri Mantra, which, although set in the Gayatri metre, contains 23 syllables. In non-Vedic texts, it is often structured into four padas with six syllables in each pada.

On the other hand, the second mantra is crafted in the Trishtup metre, characterized by four padas, each containing 11 syllables.


The second mantra depicts Sarasvati’s descent from the mountains, while the first mantra highlights her role in facilitating actions leading to food. Through irrigation, rivers like Sarasvati support agriculture and food production. Consequently, both mantras reverently praise and extol the significance of the river Sarasvati, emphasizing its vital role in providing sustenance through water and facilitating agricultural abundance.

Scholars suggest that the Vedic civilization thrived along the banks of the Sarasvati River before its eventual drying up due to geological changes. According to this perspective, Sarasvati is revered as the source of the Vedas and the knowledge-centric spiritual culture that flourished on her shores. In both ancient texts and modern times, Sarasvati is revered as the deity of knowledge, reflecting her role as the facilitator of the manifestation of the Vedas, the ultimate source of wisdom. As the civilization progressed, she likely emerged as the embodiment of knowledge, symbolizing the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the ancient Sarasvati-based civilization.

The river Sarasvati is a potent symbol of knowledge and its dynamic expression. Its perennial flow symbolizes the timeless relevance of Dharmic and spiritual wisdom, highlighting the necessity for knowledge to evolve and remain pertinent. Furthermore, Sarasvati’s riverine flow embodies the spirit of selfless service, reflecting the Sanskrit aphorism “paropakaraya vahanti nadyah”—rivers flow for the benefit of others. Inspired by Mother Sarasvati’s ethos, may our knowledge, speech, and actions be dedicated to the service and upliftment of all beings.

In his commentary on the Yogasutras (1.12), Maharishi Vyasa introduces the concept of Citta-nadi, likening the mind to a river that constantly flows with thoughts. Just as a river can flow towards either auspiciousness or negativity, so can the mind. By invoking the benevolent Goddess Sarasvati, may our Citta-nadi be guided towards auspiciousness, ensuring that our thoughts and actions lead us toward positive and virtuous outcomes.

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We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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