Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Sarasvati Iconography & Religious Context

Sarasvati Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- White (below)
- Red (incl. orange)
- Blue
- Sarasvati & Manjushri (Bodong Tradition)
- Manjushri & Sarasvati
--- Sarasvati (blue) & Manjushri
--- Manjushri Main Page
- Related Deities: Vasudhara
- Wisdom Deities Main Page
- Confusions: Indra
- Others...

- Sarasvati: Goddess of Eloquence
- Red Sarasvati
- Blue Sarasvati

The various forms of Sarasvati originate with a number of different tantric texts such as the Siddhaikavīra and Krishna Yamari Tantras.

White Forms:
- Two arms holding a Vina
- Two arms holding an utpala flower & book
- Vajra Sarasvati
- Maha Sarasvati Five Deities
- One face & four arms (Hindu & Buddhist)
- Three faces, four arms
- Three faces, six arms
- Others...

Drub Thab Gyatso:
84. Sarasvati (2), White with One Face and Two Hands; Five Deities
85. Sarasvati (3), Vajra, White with One Face and Two Hands
86. Sarasvati (4), Vina, White with One Face and Two Hands
87. Sarasvati (5), Vajra, White with One Face and Two Hands

Mitra Gyatsa:
1. Sarasvati 13 Deity Mandala

Zurkha Gyatsa:
20. Snub lugs dbyangs can ma dkar mo’i sgrub thabs dang rjes gnang /
21. Phur lugs dbyangs can ma dkar mo’i sgrub thabs dang rjes gnang /

Wrathful Sarasvati:
- Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo

The Three Forms of Sarasvati According to the Vajrabhairava System of Tantra:
Vajra Vetali, the female consort in wrathful aspect embracing Vajrabhairava
Sarasvati, the peaceful aspect
Oden Barma (Blazing with Light) the protector aspect of Vajra Vetali

Sarasvati, Sita Vina (Tibetan: yang chen ma, pi wang kar mo): goddess of literature, poetry and wisdom.

"...the goddess Sarasvati, with a body white in colour, one face, two hands. Seated in a relaxed manner, with a face like the rising moon, eyebrows like drawn lines, two beautiful eyes like utpalas, casting side long glances like shooting stars, a clear complexion, pink cheeks and attractive. The throat is graceful and gently bending; white breasts, round, firm, upright and full. The left hand holds a jewel-studded vina of the gandharavas, the right a pick strumming the vina enthusiastically with the fingertips. With a very slender waist and flexible hips, a body well proportioned, fair, smooth, young, ample flesh and well rounded. Seated with the two legs, white, smooth, relaxed and desirable, in a slightly crouching manner; attractive braids, long and full, half-loose covering the upper back, half tied up in a topknot blazing with a wishing jewel. At the hairline - wearing a beautiful gold chain strung with flowers, blue, red and the like, wearing earrings of gold flowers and utpalas. Next to the ears are flowing silk ribbons; also adorned with many ornaments, jewel earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, belt, long-necklace and the like. Wearing an attractive upper garment of white cotton and a lower garment like a rainbow; fantastically beloved, radiantly desirous - sixteen years of age." (Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo, 1820-1892).

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Jeff Watt [5-2019, 1-2020]

Lotsawa House: Sarasvati Series

84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha:

Toh 544. Siddhaikavīra Tantra (Siddhaika­vīra­tantram, dpa’ bo gcig pu grub pa zhes bya ba’i rgyud kyi rgyal po chen po)

Toh 738/1092. Praise to the Goddess Sarasvatī. ལྷ་མོ་སྒྲ་དབྱངས་ལ་བསྟོད་པ། · lha mo sgra dbyangs la bstod pa.

Lotsawa House: Sarasvati Texts