Hindu Goddess Saraswati: Origin, Story & Facts

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  • 0:04 Saraswati the Wise
  • 0:58 Marriage
  • 1:54 Symbolism
  • 2:17 Appearance
  • 3:00 Significance
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tommi Waters

TK Waters has a bachelor's degree in literature and religious studies and a master's degree in religious studies and teaches Hebrew Bible at Western Kentucky University.

Saraswati is the consort of the creator god, Brahma. She is the incarnation of wisdom and was created to bring order to his creation. Let's learn more about Saraswati and her stories in this lesson.

Saraswati the Wise

Would you think that a goddess who is the consort of the creator of the universe would be an important figure? Most definitely! Not only was Saraswati the wife of the creator, Brahma, she even helped him form and finalize his creations. According to Hindu tradition, Brahma was one of the three gods of the trimurti (trinity), the one who created the universe.

Imagine baking a cake only to realize it looks boring and plain. This is how Brahma felt; he created matter, but found it lacking in form. To remedy the situation, Brahma created Saraswati (who was born from his mouth) as the incarnation of knowledge. Saraswati helped Brahma add order to the world. In other words, she frosted and decorated his cake, which ultimately led to the creation of the moon, the stars, and even the sun.

Image of Saraswati playing a vina
Image of Saraswati


There are a couple of variations regarding Saraswati's spouse, but most feature Brahma as her husband. In one tradition, Saraswati married Brahma after she helped him form the universe. Another legend claims that she was first married to Vishnu, the preserver god of the trimurti. Vishnu had three wives at the time and decided to give Saraswati to Brahma.

After getting married, however, life was not perfect for the couple. Saraswati was late for a ritual, so Brahma created another wife, Gayatri, so he could perform the ritual on time. When Saraswati found out, she was devastated and angry. She cursed Brahma so humans would never worship him again. This is the case for most traditions found in Hinduism; while Vishnu and Shiva of the trimurti and other deities are worshipped, Brahma is not worshipped - even though he is the creator of the universe.


As the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom, Saraswati is fittingly associated with education, writing, speech, and other related disciplines. She is also esteemed for bringing music to humankind. According to tradition, she created the Sanskrit language of Hinduism and even taught Ganesh (the elephant-headed god) to use a pen and write.


Because Saraswati is knowledge, which in itself is pure, she is usually depicted as a young girl in white clothing. She's often depicted riding on a swan; sometimes she's accompanied by a peacock. She may even have a crescent on her forehead, a representation of the moon she helped form.

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