Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu deity of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Many myths are related about Goddess Saraswati and one such myth is that she belongs to the Devi Mahatma mythology. She forms an integral part of the trinity of the three Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati. These divine forms assist the trinity of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma to create and maintain the Universe. The mention about Goddess Saraswati is found in the ancient Hindu scriptures of Rigveda. This Goddess is revered not only by the Hindus but even the Buddhists and the Jains. Worship of Goddess Saraswati is popular not only in India, but even in the countries of Bali (Indonesia), Vietnam, Japan and Myanmar.About Goddess Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati is the epitome of grace, sophistication and knowledge. She is depicted as a beautiful lady draped in white saree and seated on the white lotus. She is the embodiment of knowledge, truth and light.
Interesting information about Goddess Saraswati is that she is delineated in white as that is the colour of purity or Sattwa Guna, insight and wisdom. She has four hands that mirror Brahma’s (Goddess Saraswati’s husband) four heads that represent buddhi or intellect, ahamkara or ego or self-consciousness, manas or mind and citta or creativity or imagination. Brahma represents abstract, whereasGoddess Saraswati symbolizes reality and action. The items held in the four hands of Goddess Saraswati are mala (garland or rosary), pustaka (script or book) and musical instrument (veena or lute) and a water pot.
The book or script symbolizes the Vedas that represent the divine, eternal, universal, and true knowledge and various forms of learning. Thegarland or rosary represents power of inner reflection, meditation, and spirituality. The water potsymbolizes the reasoning power to discriminate wrong from right, pure from impure, and essential fromuseless. The mention of the water pot is seen in some texts and it represents the drink, soma that leads to salvation or the liberation of the soul and the acquiring of knowledge. The musical instrument, lute symbolizes all kinds of creative sciences and arts. The Goddess is related with anuraga, that is the passion for music rhythm which is represented in feelings and emotions expressed in music or speech.
Some facts about Goddess Saraswati are that the deity rides a white swan that symbolizes purity and the ability to separate the good from the evil. According to the Hindu mythology, the swan is a sacred bird which is offered a mixture of water and milk and is believed to drink milk alone. As the Goddess rides a swan, she is popularly called Hansvahini, that means she has a swan (hans) as her vehicle. The swan represents transcendence, spiritual perfection and moksha. Many a times, a mayura or chitramekhala or peacock is seen beside the Goddess. The bird symbolizes magnificence, splendour and grace. The bird feeds on snakes and it depicts how serpent poison can be transformed into enlightenment. Goddess Saraswati is generally seen beside a flowing river or any other water body and hence is considered to be a river Goddess.
Some variations of the idol of Goddess Saraswati are also worshipped. She is depicted with eight hands, five faces and represents additional powers. The additional objects held by her are pasha or noose, chakra or disc, trishula or trident, shankha or conch, padma or lotus or ankusha or goad.