Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. She is the companion of Brahma, also revered as his Shakti. It was with her knowledge, that Brahma created the universe. She is a part of Trishakti Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati, helping the Trimurti (Divine Trinity) Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, in creation, maintenance and destruction of Universe.
In some areas, she is considered the daughter of Shiva and Parvati, along with her sister Lakshmi and brothers Ganesha and Kartikey. In other areas she is considered the sister of Shiva.
The Goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the absolute truth. She is usually shown with four arms, with a book in one hand, representing knowledge. She is usually playing a Sitar.
A hansa or swan is often located next to her feet. The sacred bird, if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. It thus symbolizes discrimination between the good and the bad or the eternal and the evanescent. Due to her association with the swan, Saraswati is also referred to as Hansvahini, which means "she who has a hansa as her vehicle".
Sometimes a peacock is shown beside the Goddess. The peacock represents arrogance and pride over its beauty, and by having a peacock as her mount, the Goddess teaches not to be concerned with external appearance and to be wise regarding the eternal truth.
She is usually depicted near a flowing river, which may be related to her early history as a river Goddess.
You can find more information on the Saraswati page on Wikipedia.
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
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Page last updated on Mon May 25 14:11:57 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)
Hindu Goddess Saraswati on geichhorn.com