Hinduism has many goddesses as well as gods. Hindus see the goddesses as independent from the male gods of the trimurti and worship the goddesses in their own right. These Hindus refer to the main three goddesses as the tridevi.
Saraswati is the goddess of learning, arts and cultural fulfilment. She symbolises universal intelligence, consciousness and knowledge. She is often seen playing a musical instrument and riding on a white swan. Hindus may worship Saraswati in order to seek her aid with their studies or their musical skills. She is worshipped at the festival of Saraswati Puja.
Manu is the son of Brahma and Saraswati. The Manusmriti (Laws of Manu) are significant Hindu scriptures containing moral laws about how to behave.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and beauty – including inner beauty. She does not stand for material wealth but for the big ideas of prosperity, such as magnificence, joy and greatness.
She is often pictured holding lotus flowers and with a pot of gold coins pouring from her lap. Worship of Lakshmi is part of the celebration of the festival of Diwali. At this time, people open their new account books for the coming year and hope and pray for prosperity.
Images or murtis of Parvati as the mother goddess show her beauty and her golden skin. She is often surrounded by symbols of love, marriage and fertility. Parvati is also known by many other names and in different forms, including Shakti, Durga and Kali.
Shakti represents divine feminine energy, carries many weapons and rides a tiger. Durga is the protective mother of the whole universe and fights for goodness. Kali, the black goddess, wears a necklace of skulls and her tongue drips blood - she is the goddess of death and doom. Shiva and Parvati are the parents of the popular elephant-headed god Ganesh.
Which three goddesses make up the Hindu tridevi?
Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati