Saraswati Bai (16th Century AD) was the consort of Sri Venkatanatha, who was known as Guru Raghavendra Teertha, after becoming a Madhwa saint. She had married the great scholar Venkatanatha at Bhuvanagiri, and they had a son who was named as Lakshmi Narayana. Sri Venkatanatha earned for his livelihood by teaching Vedic subjects to Brahmin Students, and out of the meager income, he lived happily along with his family.
In course of time, Sri Venkatanatha began to give free teaching to the students on Vedic subjects, and due to that, the entire family had suffered from severe poverty. In course of time, they could not able to eat even a single meal in a day. Due to that, Saraswati Bai had requested her husband, Sri Venkatanatha to move their place from Bhuvanigiri to Kumbakonam, and to take shelter under the great Madhwa Saint, Sri SudheendraTeertha. Sri Venkatanatha had agreed, and the entire family were shifted their place to Kumbakonam.
Sri Sudheendra Teertha, who was the pontiff of the Kumbakonam Mutt, was very happy on seeing Sri Venkatanatha and his family, and provided them an independent house, and also arranged for proper food facilities to them. Venkatanatha and his consort Saraswati Bai and their son Sri Lakshmi Narayana, were happily stayed there.
Due to his great knowledge in Vedic subjects, Sri Sudheendra Teertha had decided to make Sri Venkatanatha as a Madhwa saint, and expressed his wishes to him. Initially, Sri Venkatanatha had politely refused to become a saint, and after he had the divine vision of the deities, he wholeheartedly agreed to become a saint.
Sri Sudheendra Teertha had grandly celebrated the coronation of Sri Venkatanatha at the palace of the Thanjavur King Sri Raghunatha Bhoopal, and from then onwards, Sri Venkatanatha had been called as Sri Raghavendra Teertha.
After knowing that her loving husband had become a saint, Mata Saraswati Bai had committed suicide by falling in a well, and due to that, she had become a ghost and went in front of Guru Raghavendra and cried. Sri Raghavendra had felt pity on her, and sprinkled the holy water from the Kamandala on her. Due to the spiritual powers of the great Guru Sri Raghavendra Swami, Mata Saraswati Bai had attained SALVATION.
Since Saraswati Bai was a very pious and a chaste woman, and since she greatly respected her husband, in order to reveal the holiness of Mata Saraswati Bai to the entire world, Sri Raghavendra had asked his devotees to donate clothes during festivals, to the poor women in order to honour “Mata Saraswati Bai”.
Let us worship Mata Saraswati Bai and be blessed.
“OM SRI GURU RAGHAVENDRAYA NAMAHA”
“OM MATA SARASWATI BAI NAMAHA”