Goddess Saraswati, fondly known as Saraswati Maa or His Shakti, is the Goddess of music, science, arts and technology. She is the consort of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. She is the daughter of Goddess Durga and is sister to Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh, and Karthekye.
The name Saraswati derives from two Hindi words, ‘Saras’ (which means flow) and ‘Wati’ means woman. She is depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a pure white sari and playing a ‘veena’(a musical instrument with many strings). She has four hands and in each hand she holds an instrument she cherishes. She is also shown as sitting on a lotus flower.
Saraswati is not just synonymous with Hinduism but also with Buddhism and Zoroastrianism where she is known as ‘Sraosha’, Goddess of Earth.
Legend says that when the third eye of Lord Shiva opened, it destroyed everything that came in front of it. Maa Saraswati, being the Goddess of Wisdom was the only one that could stop this fire. It is said that Saraswati converted into a river and took the flame with her to the bottom of the ocean. The flame will remain there till knowledge is sought after and wisdom prevails on earth.
Her dhyāna shloka given at the beginning of the Fifth chapter of Devi Mahatmya says:
“Wielding in her lotus-hands the bell, trident, ploughshare, conch, pestle, discus, bow, and arrow, her lustre is like that of a moon shining in the autumn sky. She is born from the body of Gowri and is the sustaining base of the three worlds. That Mahasaraswati I worship here who destroyed Sumbha and other asuras.”