Reflections on Vedic Swans

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This is Saraswathi, the Goddess of Wisdom, the Arts and Learning – High Priestess in the Sacred India Tarot.


She is the wife of Brahma the Creative, whose vehicle is the swan.   She flows as golden ripples of sand in the dried up river bed of the Vedic civilization,  turn to dew – the philosophers’ gold of Alchemy.   Nowadays, the physical river Saraswathi is being made to flow again through the north western desert, parallel to the Indus.  Read more in Rohit’s blog, “Sacred India Tarot – Creating the High Priestess”  at, and also in the works of David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)    The Work of the Sun moves into the waters.


And this is the Jyotish –  (Indian astrology, the word means Light) – planet deity Jupiter/Guru:  that same creative-expansive nature.   The Upanishads sing of the wandering swan:  the cream of the light upon the lake – jnana (Self knowledge) upon bhakti (devotion).   Hamsa is the sanskrit word for swan:  a Sage is termed a hamsa, or parama-hamsa.

Another version:


And Brahma, as Emperor in the Sacred India Tarot:


Here is Saraswathi again, with two swans:


and card 10, The Wheel of Fortune, in The Sacred India Tarot :


…  and another Vedic swan :


“Who can hasten the hill of Lemurian light?

or fathom an ocean where time drowns?

or alter an atom of Earth, our Mother by night?

or whisper notes of knowing, from our towns?”

from my Sonnets on the Ramana Gita

and finally:


The (golden) shape of the 2nd Hebrew letter BETh, which means “In the beginning” and symbolizes a house or temple.   We can take Yogic lessons in birth-rotation, dance, martial-arts and awakening, from that gentle stretching motion of the swan’s neck, and loosen certain aches and pains of life.

To be it is the be-attitude.

The images of Saraswathi, Brahma and the Wheel are copyright (c) Yogi Impressions 2011;   drawings are copyright (c) Jane Adams 2003-2012

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

11 thoughts on “Reflections on Vedic Swans

  1. Dear Jane, Namaste. Very beautiful.For understanding purposes Hindus have explained various powers of Almighty in an anthropomorphic way. I feel Brahma is the creative power, Saraswati is power of learning. The swan i feel represent the power which discriminates what is illusion and what is reality.This is purely my personal opinion.Probably Rohit Arya may through more light on this.

  2. Hello Dr Raju, yes I agree. These archetypes are so profound and ancient, that they sail through us in much the same way, without ever fossilizing; they are awakeners. Good to hear from you.

  3. Hello. I have a question. You stated in your post “The Work of the Sun moves into the waters.” I don’t understand the context of this statement. Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean here? Thank you. This is a wonderful post and very helpful.

    • Hallo, thanks for your question. “The work of the Sun” is an alchemical term. For me, it means the Great Work as enabled by the secret fire, which is kundalini, prana, and the experiential understanding of life as a sacred vessel. The work of the Sun is performed on a daily basis by the conscious mind, the problems we have, the Karmas to face, etc. “The waters” means in this context, the subconscious. “The Sun moves into the waters.” In other words, when the things we learn afresh, become assimilated into our subconscious life, then patterns start to change.

      However, it is also a visual image, of the sun setting into the sea: the sea is like a cup – the receptivity for the revelation – or “grace” as exemplified by the descending fire. It is a relationship and interchange of fire (male) and water (feminine). In this context I see also the path of the setting sun across the sea, or a lake, and the way he seems to set the waters ablaze.

      Context: The patterns of the sand are the same as the river Saraswathi. The published works of David Frawley and Rohit Arya in-form the collective subconscious with ancient and life giving Vedic archetypes. The sun is the giver of life, and it moves into our feeling nature.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if it doesn’t. I tend to think in visual images. Thanks again for your comment !

      • It does help, thank you. I was approaching it from a few different perspectives. In terms of Indo-European comparative studies, there is a concept of the Living Fire that dwells within the Living Water. At least one modern scholar, M.L. West (his book is “Indo-European Poetry and Myth”), notes that Agni sometimes lives in water but specifically mentions Apam Napat, or Son of Waters (see Rig Veda 2.35.3-5). I also think of the Pitta dosha, which is a combination of Fire and Water principally. Finally, in many Indo-European cultures it seems that the sun, and the Daughter of the Sun (or the Dawn) live in a watery abode before rising and setting out on the day.

        The idea of Fire residing in Water is important to me so when I saw your reference it really made me sit up and pay attention. Thank you for taking the time to write a thorough and informative response!

  4. Thank you, DTD, for your input as well! – and for reminding me of Agni. There is a wonderful mythology in the Puranas about Siva as Rudra, immersing himself in the waters for an aeon, to fertilize them with life. This is the way our volcanoes and seas engendered life together when Earth was a young planet. It is great when a comment sets off a discussion.

  5. Pingback: Connections | The Divine Twins

  6. For a beautiful very very old rock carved image of what I believe may have been a Hamsa for Saraswati located in North America google: “Canadian Goose Bisti Badlands”. In this same Bisti Badlands wilderness area in New Mexico there are numerous examples of Hamsa rock carved eggs and several other Vedic symbols like huge petrified logs on raised earthen berms. Google: “Bisti Badlands Images” and “Vedic Cafe Seven Step Wedding North America”. There is no doubt there are ancient Vedic symbols here in North America. The challenge isn’t identifying them. The challenge is getting western scholars to admit they are here. Are they denying these ancient Vedic symbols for cultural and religious reasons?

    • This is fascinating. I looked up these links – here is one:
      … and here is another –
      The badlands is an extraordinary region. When I was a child I read about it in a novel by George Seldon called The Ghost Mare. The rock formations there seem to have a Great Circle “dream time” similar to native Australians – carvings by nature and by man: native American where all the revelations meet. That same impression of primordial winged beings eroded by wind, I received when in the Arizona desert. I felt a strong correspondence in the rocks, with Vedic and Vedanta symbols such as Ganesh and Rudra; in India also, many of the rocks are red. It is like a powerline or leyline passing through earth’s surface curve. Perhaps western scholars have their blind spot. However, a leading acharya in the lineage, David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) runs his American Institute of Vedic Studies ( in New Mexico, having received the knowledge from the disciples of Ganapati Muni and Aurobindo. This suggests the western/vedic correspondence flourishes alive and well, whatever the scholars might think. Additionally there are phonetic resonances between Sanskrit and English, which suggest the relationship. Thank you very much for your observation.

  7. Sometime near the beginning of the Common Era an extremely advanced culture showed up in the Four Corners Region of North America. This very same culture suddenly left or disappeared during a time of turmoil and famine in the 13 century CE. There is little or no disagreement about how advanced this culture of Anasazi (Ancient Puebloans) were. In 1999-2000 actor Robert Redford did a documentary called “The Mystery of Chaco Canyon”. The thesis of this movie was to demonstrate the brilliance of these people. Chaco Canyon their major settlement and all of the rest of their settlements as they changed “capitals” over the years while they were here were built and located almost exactly on what we know today as the 108 Meridan West over a range of hundreds of miles. Read the work of Dr Stephen Lekson, Univ.of Colorado: “The Southwest in the World- by Steve Lekson Diffusions & Histories”

    That would seem to imply that this culture was able to calculate latitude and longitude. long before it is acknowledged that this information was discovered by humans. If this implication is in fact true then this knowledge was also available to navigate not only on land but also on sea. The reason mankind was afraid of going into the open sea was the fear of becoming lost and dying out there. If there was no fear of becoming lost and if you could tell where you were at all times in relation to other land masses the fear of the open ocean was gone. Google: “Ancient Chinese Navigation” and compare the Wikipedia pages of the Greek cartographer “Claudius Ptolemy” and his contemporary Chinese cartographer at the other end of the flourishing Silk Road in Chang’an China “Zhang Heng”.

    There is no known evidence that directly or indirectly connects these men but if you read their individual bios on Wikipedia you will marvel at the astonishing similarities of these two men in so many different areas. Both were involved in grid mapping the earth. Both men were also involved in mapping the stars as well. Zhang Heng was also extremely interested in improving time keeping. Although this may seem totally unrelated to mapping it is not. Time keeping is an essential part of calculating longitude.

    Therefore based on these map making advances and this knowledge apparently being used by the Anasazi in the early Common Era, does this knowledge tie back to Asia? Was this knowledge brought to N America by Buddhist monk Hwui Shan and his Vajrayana band of Buddhist clerics in 458 CE as he reported to Chinese Emperor Wu TI in 502 CE? Google: “Buddhist Symbols North America” “Were the Anasazi Buddhists?” “Mandalas Mantras Manjis Monuments”.and “Dimensions of Dine and Navajo Traditions”. There appears to be much evidence that connects North America to Vajrayana Buddhism and China. Google: “Rainbow Bridge Hendon Harris”.

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