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Chapter Summary

The discussion of Sarasvatī in the early Purāṇas centers on the Brahmā-Sarasvatī myth, the names of the goddess, her ritual worship, and her iconography, focusing on a small number of Purāṇas assigned to a period between the third and the seventh century. The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (MkP), composed in western India near the river Narmada, is dated to a period between the third and the seventh century C.E. The Brahmā-Sarasvatī relationship is based on that of Prajāpati and his daughters. One of the ways in which Sarasvatī acquires various names is through her identification with different rivers. Sarasvatī is worshipped above all for speech, knowledge, and music. Amongst the early Purāṇas, the Mārkaṇḍeya and the Matsya include rites centering on the goddess.

Keywords: Brahmā; Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (MkP); Sarasvatī



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