Copyright

Hindu Goddess Saraswati: Origin, Story & Facts

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Hindu Denominations: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism & Smartism

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Saraswati the Wise
  • 0:58 Marriage
  • 1:54 Symbolism
  • 2:17 Appearance
  • 3:00 Significance
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed
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

Marriage

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.

Symbolism

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.

Appearance

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.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support