(5,749 words)

The word “sárasvatī” is the feminine of an adjective meaning “characterized by ponds/lakes (sarases),” the feminine being understood to agree with “river.” It has a cognate hara(h)uvati in Old Persian, or harahvaitī in Avestan, designating a country in Iran (Arachosia), presumably named after a river of the same name, in the same way that “Hindu” (India), the easternmost Old Persian province, was named aft…

Cite this page
Renate Söhnen-Thieme, “Sarasvatī”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 18 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2012

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