SARASWATI OR MAYUR ARUD SARASWATI: Saraswati is the goddess of learning and the 43rd chapter of the Brahma Purana describes her birth from the sublime or sattvic face of Brahma. Saraswati thereafter asked Brahma who she was and what were to be her duties. Brahma declares that she would be called Saraswati and was given three duties. Firstly, she was to reside at the tip of the tongue and was directed to dance on the tongue of learned people. She was also directed to reside on earth as a river and in the third form reside with Brahma.

This print from the Ravi Varma Press derived from a painting by Raja Ravi Varma follows the iconographic description of Saraswati as found in the 50th chapter of the Agni Purana. where she is described as being attired in white and playing the Veena with two arms and holding an aksha-mala (a string of pearls) and a pustaka (book) in the other hands.

Early religious texts do not mention a vehicle or vahan for Saraswati. However, later texts provide for a swan or peacock. There are three prints of Saraswati by the Ravi Varma Press derived from the paintings by Ravi Varma. In this rare print she is seen seated on the Peacock.


  • Title: Saraswati Version 3
  • Creator: Ravi Varma Press Karli Bombay, Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: Circa 1900
  • Physical Dimensions: 35 x 25 cms
  • Provenance: The Hemamalini and Ganesh Shivaswamy collection, Bengaluru
  • Subject Keywords: Raja Ravi Varma, Hinduism, Saraswati
  • Rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru

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