Female deities

Hindus worship three main female deities. They are called Saraswati, Lakshmi and Shakti. These deities are important as they are linked to the three gods in the Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are the consorts (wives) of the Trimurti.

An infographic that illustrates the TriDevi within Hinduism.

Saraswati is the goddess of learning and she is usually shown holding a musical instrument. She is also depicted sat on or with a swan beside her. She is the consort of the Trimurti member Brahma and they have a son called Manu. The Laws of Manu are important scriptures in Hinduism because they contain morals that show Hindus how to behave. Hindus worship Saraswati if they are students and want help with their studies or if they play a musical instrument.

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and beauty. She is shown holding lotus flowers and with a pot of money pouring from her lap. She is the consort of Vishnu, the preserver aspect of the Trimurti. Lakshmi is a popular goddess to be worshipped at festivals such as Diwali, as this is when businesses sort out their accounts and hope for a prosperous new year. Hindus also often worship Lakshmi when they are applying for a new job, as a new job can bring wealth.

Shakti represents divine feminine energy and is seen by Hindus as having many different forms. For example:

  • She is worshipped as Parvati, who was Shiva’s first wife.
  • She is also known as Durga, who is shown in images as having many weapons. This is intended to portray her as a goddess of energy.
  • She is also seen as Kali, a goddess who is linked with the idea of death and demons.