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According to this Skanda Purana stoy Goddess Gayatri was actually a milkmaid who was married to Brahma when Saraswati took time to get ready for a Yagna that they were supposed to perform together:

"The priest returned, and thus addressed Brahmā: 'Savitri is engaged and will not come; but without a wife what advantage can be derived from these rites?' The god, incensed at the conduct of Savitri, thus spoke to Indra: 'Hasten, and, in obedience to my order, bring a wife from wherever you can find one.'

Indra proceeded accordingly; and as he passed hastily along, saw a milkmaid, young, beautiful, and of a smiling countenance, carrying a jar of butter. He seized her and brought her to the assembly, when Brahmā thus spoke: 'O gods and holy sages, if it seem good unto you I will espouse this Gāyatri, and she shall become the mother of the Vedas, and the cause of purity to these worlds!' Upon this Brahmā was united to Gāyatri, who was led into the bower of the bride, and there arrayed in silken garments, and adorned with the costliest ornaments.

In Chapter 9, Book 12 of Devi Bhagwat Puran she is extolled in absolutely glowing terms:

“O Devî Gâyatrî! Obeisance to Thee! Thou art the Great Vidyâ, the Mother of the Vedas, Higher than the Highest; Thou art Vyârhiti represented by the Mantra ‘Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah,’ O Mother! Thou art the state of equilibrium, i.e., the Turîya; Thou art of of the Form of Hrîm; Thou art Svâhâ and Svadhâ; Thou grantest the desires of the Bhaktas. Thou art the Witness of the three states, Jâgrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming) and Susupti (deep sleep). Thou art the Turîya and Sachchidânanda Brahmâ. O Devî! Thou resident in the Solar Orb and appearest as a ruddy girl in the morning, an youthful maiden at noon and a black old woman in the evening.

I want to know who this simple cowherdess could be who was turned into the 'Mother of Vedas' & if there are any stories in some other scriptures that talk about why she was qualified to be given that title? Also if she was just a regular human why is she shown with so many faces and arms with the weapons of the trinity?

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    She was just an ordinary milkmaid. But do you want to know who she was in a past birth or something, to deserve marrying Brahma? – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 11 '18 at 6:44
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    @ Keshav Srinivasan - would be grateful if you could enlighten us on this aspect. – Suresh Ramaswamy Jan 11 '18 at 7:00
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    @KeshavSrinivasan yes she must have gained some serious spiritual merit to attain that position either in that life or a previous one. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Jan 11 '18 at 8:20
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This is from matsya purana-

Lord Brahma, after creating His manasa putras, was not quite satisfied with the work of His creation.... After some time the goddess Gayatri, known under different names, viz. — Satarupa, Savitri, Sarasvati, Brahmani, etc, — appeared in the form of a girl from the half portion of Brahma's body.... Afterwards, the Creator, seeing that form of exquisite beauty, was fired with love and repeatedly uttered, " What an enchanting form!" At this, the Manas putras of Brahma, i.e., Vasishtha, etc., taking Savitri for their sister, began to express their feelings of seething indignation and contempt at the attitude of Their Father (Lord Brahma), but He was so much absorbed in love that He did not heed anything in the least.

The above story is most likely not true as saraswati and gayatri are one and the same goddess under different names, skanda purana is considered one of the most interpolated purana.

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    Gayatri is indeed used as an epithet of Saraswati ar many places but this story pertains to Saraswati only. Also I found the story in Padma Puran too so it may not have been an interpolation after all. Do share if you find something relevant. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Mar 12 '18 at 8:41

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