Saraswati by Liran Szeiman.


(sanskr. sárasvatī “one with plenty of water”)

in Hindu mythology the goddess personifying the most sacred river of Vedas, which bears her name (identified with Indus). She was considered a daughter of ➚ Brahma, ➚ Vishnu, ➚ Daksha or lightning [1], but was also thought to come from the mountains or heaven. She flowed through seven river beds, had a gift of healing, was able to feed the needy with her milk, she caused fertility, could bestow with immortality, grant treasures and kill enemies.

Saraswati patronized the praying and poets, what made her identified with ➚ Vāc [2]. Later she became the goddess of eloquence (sanskr. sarasvatī); compare with her agnomens: Bhāratī (from bhárata “speech, word, voice”), Váṇī (“Sound”, “Voice”, “Music”, “Speech”) and Vāgīśvari (“Mistress in Speech”). She was considered an inventor of Devanagari script (devanāgari). Saraswati was married to Saraswat [3] – god of heavenly waters (in fact, he was a male double of the goddess), but was also considered a wife of Brahma (thus she was a Brahmani) or Vishnu.

Saraswati was also a river of Underworld: as such it merged into one current with ➚ Ganga and Yamuna (“twin”; present Jumna), close to the city of Prayag (present Allahabad).


[1] RV, VI, 49, 7; [2] Śatapathabrahmana III, 9, 17; [3] RV, I, 164, 52.

  1. N. G o d b a d e, Rg-Vedic Sarasvati, „Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute” 42, 1961.