Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom and knowledge, is a unique character. In popular art, we recognise her as a beautiful yet stern goddess with four arms, holding a veena, scriptures (the Vedas), and a kamandalu. She’s seated on a lotus and accompanied by a swan – both symbols of wisdom. From the Vedas to the Epics to the Puranas, the character of Saraswati morphs significantly, but she consistently comes across as an independent goddess.
Unlike the other goddesses eager for matrimony and motherhood, Saraswati is singularly aloof. Her white complexion and attire ̶ almost widow-like ̶ indicate her asceticism, transcendence and purity. There is, however, one oddity in her otherwise stated story – her purported relationship with Brahma.