Updated on: 04.09.2010


Sarasvatī, Saraswati


   ► Individuals ► < BCE



About the picture:

Modern Portrait of Sarasvatī, painted by Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), depicting the goddess accompanied by a peacock.

About the person:

  • Sarasvatī is one of the most popular Hindu goddesses, associated with wisdom and knowledge, music and arts. Iconographical she is usually depicted four-armed, holding a Vīṇā, a rosary (Skt. mālā) and a book. Her traditional vehicle (Skt. vāhana) is a Swan (Skt. Haṃsa), but modern paintings sometimes use to depict a goose or a peacock instead.

  • Sarasvatī is also venerated by Jainas and Buddhists.

  • According to the Jaina tradition the Śruta-devī or Sarasvatī is the head of the sixteen Vidyādevīs (Goddesses of knowledge, personification of knowledge and wisdom).

  • The connection of Sarasvatī to the element of water has possibly led to the denotation of a (mythical) river with her name.

  • Furthermore Sarasvatī is a common name of persons in the ancient Indian literature and history, e. g. the Jaina nun and sister of Ācāry Kālaka.



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