Sarasvati, goddess of speech, learning, and the arts, is revered by Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists alike. Associated especially with music and knowledge, she plays the vina (a stringed instrument) and holds a palm-leaf manuscript. Here, she also holds a lotus. The presence of the elephant-headed god Ganesha in this stele suggests that the sculpture once belonged to a Hindu temple.
Text and image credit:
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore