From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

To understand the correct meaning of the scriptures, power of intellect and comprehension and retention of the same in memory are very necessary. All these are reflected in one wonderful word ‘medhāśakti’. Medhā has been conceived in the Vedas as a goddess presiding over the power of memory and understanding.

There are two Medhāsuktas available now. The first is a khila, addendum occurring at the end of Śraddhāsukta.</ref>Ṛgveda 10.151</ref> The second forms a part of the Taittiriya Āranyaka[1] and occurs in the body of the Mahānārāyana Upaniṣad.[2] It is a short hymn of only five mantras.

Translation of the Medhāsuktas is as follows:

May the all-penetrating goddess of intellect (Medhādevī) who is auspicious, well-disposed towards us, delighted with us come to us. May we, who were delighting in profitless speech before your visit, be now blessed by you, become enlightened and speak along with our heroic progeny forcefully expressing the Supreme Truth. O Medhādevi! Favored by you, one becomes a ṛṣi,[3] a brāhmaṇa[4] or a possessor of riches, of various types. O goddess of intellect! Kindly bless us with the best of wealth. May Indra grant me intelligence. May the goddess Sarasvati grant me intelligence. May the twins, the Aśvins, wearing garlands of lotus, generate intelligence in me. May that Medhādevi who resides in the apsaras,[5] who is the mental power of the gandharvas[6] who is the Vedic lore[7] belonging to the gods, who spreads like fragrance, favor me. That Medhā[8] who is fragrant, who is of the form of retention in memory of all śāstras, who is of golden hue, who is pervading the world, who is fit to be resorted to by the seekers, who is full of strength, who nourishes us by milk, may she come to me with a joyful face and favor me.


  1. Taittiriya Āranyaka 10.39.42
  2. Mahānārāyana Upaniṣad 43
  3. It refers to seer here.
  4. He is the knower of Brahman.
  5. They are celestial maidens.
  6. They are a type of demi-gods.
  7. It means Goddess Sarasvati here.
  8. Medhā is the goddess of intelligence.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore