Size 25 × 18 inches
The goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a lotus, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan – the colour symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.
She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror her husband Brahma’s four heads, representing manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity), and ahamkāra (self consciousness, ego).Brahma represents the abstract, while she represents action and reality.
The four hands hold items with symbolic meaning — a pustaka (book or script), a mālā (rosary, garland), a water pot and a musical instrument (vīnā). The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning. A mālā of crystals, representing the power of meditation, inner reflection and spirituality. A pot of water represents the purifying power to separate right from wrong, the clean from the unclean, and essence from the inessential. In some texts, the pot of water is symbolism for soma – the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge.The most famous feature on Saraswati is a musical instrument called a veena, represents all creative arts and sciences,and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.Saraswati is also associated with anurāga, the love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speech or music.