Sarasvatī is a goddess of pan-Indian importance best known as the patron of learning and the fine arts. Her name means "flowing, watery," and indeed, she first appears in the Ṛgveda as a sacred river. Since Ṛgvedic times Sarasvatī has been associated with knowledge and learning, and quite early she developed a special connection with music, as is shown iconographically by the lute (vīṇā) that she often holds. In texts beginning with the Yajurveda she is identified with Vāc, a female personification of sacred speech.

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