saraswati is the hindu goddess of wisdom, knowledge, art, music and nature, part of the trinity of saraswati, lakshmi and parvati. together, they help brahma, vishnu and shiva create, maintain and destroy the universe. as a goddess of knowledge she is strongly associated with flowing water, and is depicted as a beautiful woman to portray the concept of knowledge as alluring. she is usually shown wearing a spotless white sari and riding either a white lotus or swan, often holden a veena (indian lute). originally a river goddess, saraswati now represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, eloquence and power. she is worshipped for the divine knowledge necessary to reach moksha, or freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth. she is usually associate with white, to symbolize absolute truth and the experience of the highest reality, but is occasionally associated with yellow for the mustard plants that bloom during her festival in the spring.