This beautiful painting by Dinesh Charan Shrestha depicts Sarasvati, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, who is especially associated with the arts of music, poetry, drama and speech. Sarasvati, meaning ‘flowing or abounding with water’, was once a great Indian river that dried up long ago, but its invisible presence is identified with the subtle body’s ‘central channel’, while the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers are equated with the ‘lunar and solar channels’. As one of the three principal Hindu goddesses Sarasvati is a consort of both Brahma and Vishnu, and as a Buddhist goddess she is a consort of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. She sits in a posture of royal-ease upon a moon disc and a multicoloured lotus, with her right foot resting upon a lotus pedestal. This small lotus arises from the lotus-lake beneath her, where her white swan vehicle glides across its waters holding a pink lotus in its beak. Sarasvati is radiant white in colour, and her beautiful form is adorned with divine silk garments and jeweled ornaments. With her lower pair of hands she plays upon her stringed vina, and with her second pair of hands she holds aloft a rosary and a book. Her outer aura is decorated with the forms of two goddesses, who play upon a drum and a tamboura. The outer border or torana of this painting is ornamented with the crowning image of a serpent-grasping garuda at the top centre, coiling dragons in the upper corners, endless knots and stylized lotus motifs on the sides, and colourful peacock-pheasants in the lower corners.