Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and the mistress of the arts, and is the consort of Brahma. She rules the intellectual and creative realm, and is the patron saint of libraries and schools. Saraswati is not normally adorned in jewels, but instead opts for a white sari. Her vehicle is a swan, and Saraswati is often depicted holding a book in one hand and a flute in another.

Saraswati is well loved by Hindus because she was able to tame the wandering mind of Brahma. According to legend, at the dawn of creation, Brahma became enchanted by his first creation, Shatarupa, goddess of material existence. He was so entranced by her that he sprouted five heads so he could watch her at all times. He chased her wherever she went, but he could not possess this mercurial being.

To restrain Brahma's lust, Shiva, the supreme ascetic, wrenched off one of Brahma's heads. Sobered by the experience, Brahma turned to Saraswati and learnt to rein in his bewitched mind. Saraswati's children, the Vedas, showed Brahma the way out of the labyrinth of sensuality. From that day, the four heads of Brahma began chanting the four Vedas.

When you go to a trditional Indian music concert, you might see Saraswati Statues adorning the entrance to the concert hall, as Saraswati is the patron saint of musicians. Saraswati, and variations on it,  is also a popular name for Hindu children.