Saraswati Goddess – The Hindu Goddess of Arts and Knowledge

Saraswati Goddess (or Sarasvati) is one of the main Hindu Goddesses in Hindu Mythology. She is the Goddess of Wisdom, Arts, and knowledge. She is the personification of River Saraswati and she was born along with the first creations of Lord Brahma, becoming his wife.

Her story does not present many details.

However, she is much venerated for her powers and especially for being the personification of the Holy River Saraswati.

The local people worshipped her and her power to create life wherever she went. The same ability of the river to flow and create its own path is seen in the attributes of the Goddess.

Hindu Goddess Sarasvati - Hindu God...
Hindu Goddess Sarasvati - Hindu Goddess of Knowledge and Arts

In Neo-Paganism, she is considered part of the Maiden Face of the Triple Goddess.

She is the one who lets divine knowledge flow, without barriers. She also brings protection and comfort to those who seek her.

  • Attributes: Goddess of Arts, Music and Knowledge
  • Symbols: White Lotus Flower, Veena, Swan
  • Place: India

Saraswati, as well as other Hindu Goddesses (Devi) are in my free Goddess Oracle! Use the button below to access it, flip a card and receive a message from a Goddess!

A classic painting of Saraswati Goddess
A classic painting of Saraswati Goddess

Goddess Saraswati symbols

The paintings and statues of the Saraswati Goddess contain various symbolic meanings. This Goddess is usually represented with four arms sitting on a white lotus flower with a swan and a peacock.

In one of her hands, Saraswati holds sacred scriptures, and in another, she holds a rosary, a symbol of concentration and meditation. By the way, some say these sacred scriptures are actually the Vedas and she was the one who wrote them.

In the other two hands, she holds and plays her instrument, the Veena. With her divine music, she is able to establish harmony and spread inspiration.

The swan carrying the Saraswati represents the ability to distinguish the difference between right and wrong and the ability to spread knowledge with responsibility.

The peacock, on the other hand, wants to be in the place of the swan. Since he has the tendency to show himself and show superiority, he is not yet able to reach the state of consciousness necessary to carry the Goddess.

The white lotus represents supreme knowledge.

Saraswati Goddess and the objects she holds
Saraswati Goddess and the objects she holds

Saraswati Goddess of Arts and Knowledge

Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess linked to all manifestations of knowledge and arts that all the things that can flow. All knowledge must follow its path, just like a river. Moreover, knowledge must flood other beings with its wisdom.

As a matter of curiosity, I learned on Twitter once that:

In Indian mythology, the rain-god is male (Indra), the rivers are female (Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Tapti, Kaveri, Godavari, Narmada) and the sea is male (Varuna)….only one river is male…. Brahmaputra

Devdutt Pattanaik
A two handed depiction of Saraswati Goddess
A two-handed depiction of Saraswati Goddess

Regardless of how knowledge is expressed: inscriptions, paintings, or music. Knowledge must always flow and be free. Saraswati keeps it like this.

Another thing about her I learned on Twitter was:

“May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence… and books produced by her favour” (Sarada Tilaka) Saraswati, Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom & learning goes by the name Shāradā (the one who loves autumn) as well

Krampuskammer
A rather serious painting depicting Saraswati
A rather serious painting depicting Saraswati

The Tridevi: Saraswati, Parvati and Lakshmi

A common motif found among Hindu Gods and Goddesses is the existence of Trinities. Saraswati is part of one of them called Tridevi.

The Tridevi is formed by:

  • Saraswati, the Goddess of Arts and Knowledge;
  • Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Beauty;
  • Parvati, the Goddess of Love and Marriage.

Besides this, Saraswati can also be considered an aspect of Gayatri, the Goddess who personifies the mantra Gayatri.

Maybe you’re going to read somewhere that Brahma took Gayatri as a wife. In other places, it will be Saraswati. In the end, they may be considered manifestations of the same deity.

An illustration of the Tridevi: Lakshmi Parvati and Saraswati
The Tridevi: Lakshmi Parvati and Saraswati

Sarasvati and King Navaratha – from the Puranas

As I mentioned in the beginning, there aren’t many texts involving Saraswati Goddess. We can’t find very specific tales of her deeds or achievements.

However, there’s a very important one I found in the book “Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas“. In this text, called “Sarasvati and King Navaratha” we can clearly see how she possesses all these attributes of inspiration and also protection.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

Navaratha was a king continually intent on righteousness and gift-giving and utterly devoted to virtue. Once while out hunting he saw a ferocious Raksasa. Filled with great fear, O bulls of seers, he fled. Enraged, that mighty demon Duryodhana, looking like fire, ran after him, a spear in his huge hand. Terrorized, King Navaratha spied not far ahead of him a fine refuge, the well-protected sanctuary of Sarasvati. Reaching it in top speed, the wise king saw before his eyes the goddess Sarasvati herself, and saluted her with bowed head and folded hands. This conqueror of enemies praised her with reverent words and fell like a log to the ground, saying, “I have come to you for help! I worship the great chaste goddess who is before me, the divinity of speech, who is without beginning or end. I praise the womb of the world, the excellent Yogini, the supreme spouse of the Golden Embryo, the three-eyed, moon-topped goddess! I honour her who knows supreme bliss, a portion of the highest consciousness, the embodiment of Brahman. Protect me, supreme goddess, who has come to you for refuge!

Meanwhile, the furious lord of the demons had approached the sanctuary of the goddess Sarasvati to kill the king. Arrogant with power, with spear raised aloft, he prepared to enter the retreat of the mother of the three worlds, which shone like the moon. At the same time a mighty creature that blazed like the sun at the end of the Age appeared and split open the demon’s breast with his pike, knocking him to the ground. “Leave quickly, great king; there is nothing more to fear in this place,” said the creature, “the Raksasa is dead!” With a bow and a happy heart, O chief of brahmins, King Navaratha returned to his own city, which was like that of Indra, destroyer of strongholds. And there, full of devotion, he installed an image of the goddess Sarasvati, worshipping that mistress of the god with a variety of sacrifices and oblations.

Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas

If you wish to read other great texts, I highly recommend the book. Purchase yours using my links and you’ll also support the website without paying extra for it!

An artwork showing Saraswati painting
An artwork showing Saraswati painting

Saraswati Goddess Mantra

Saraswati Goddess mantra is a powerful way to connect with this Goddess.

Chanting this mantra daily you’re going to receive inspiration, improve your studies and also find it easier to learn new things.

Below you can find her mantra and the lyrics:

Om Hreem Saraswatyai Namaha

This means something like:

Salutations to the Divine Saraswati

Saraswati in the Goddess Tarot

Saraswati Goddess is on the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. Card number II, Sarasvati, represents Wisdom:

Sarasvati, the Hindu Goddess of wisdom and culture is the embodiment of true wisdom. Sitting on her lotus throne she symbolizes spiritual knowledge and also the perfection of the arts.

Kris Waldherr

By the way, this is my favorite Tarot Deck and I always use it during my weekly tarot readings on YouTube.

Saraswati Images

Below you’re going to find all Saraswati images I used for this post formatted for Pinterest.

Feel free to save them to your boards!

Photo of author

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