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The Sutra's Sarasvatī In Retrospective

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Chapter Summary

The Sutra of Golden Light depicts Sarasvatī under three aspects, corresponding to the three consecutive parts of the Sarasvatī chapter, which were produced in chronologically sequential order. The three aspects are discussed in this chapter. Sarasvatī's long ago well established identity and connections with water and healing in the Vedas rendered the goddess of eloquence and knowledge an appropriate teacher for bathing ritual. A mystery that remains unresolved is why the extant Sanskrit Sutra of Golden Light does not include the Harivamūa hymn. The chapter suggests that the Harivamūa hymn was not edited out of the Sanskrit, but, far more likely, that the version of the Sanskrit on which Yijing's Chinese and the ninth-century Tibetan translations are based or is at present not known to have survived.

Keywords: Harivamūa hymn; Sarasvatī; Sutra of Golden Light

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