Vasant Panchami-Birthday Of Goddess Saraswati
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Vasant Panchami, Shree Panchami-Shri Panchami, Basant Panchami is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. This festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day or ‘Panchami’ of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha, which falls during January-February. ‘Vasant’ comes from the word ‘spring’ as this festival indicates the beginning of the spring season. Vasant is also called as Vasantha which represents vasantha kalam in telugu speaking states.
Being an important Hindu festival, all Hindus celebrate this day with much devotion. This day is consider to be the Birthday day of Goddess Saraswati. Almost in every family perform puja at temple or home on this auspicious day to seek blessings of Goddess Saraswati Devi for their children with good knowledge and excel well in studies and get success in all activities
Goddess Saraswati Devi represents all kinds of knowledge including science, arts, crafts and other skills. She is one amongst three deities ( Parvathi Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Saraswati Devi ). Saraswati Maa is often represented as seated on a white lotus (which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth) with four hands and wearing a white sari. The colour white symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.
The four hands of the deity symbolize the mirror of her husband Brahma’s four heads, representing manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity) and ahamkara (self consciousness, ego). When seated on a peacock, she signifies that wisdom suppresses ego.
Birthday of Goddess Saraswati:
It is believed that on this day goddess Saraswati was born. Hindus celebrate Vasanta Panchami with great fervor in temples, homes and even schools and colleges. Saraswati’s favorite color white assumes special significance on this day. Statues of the goddess are dressed in white clothes and are worshiped by devotees adorning white garments. Saraswati is offered sweets which are given away as ‘prasad’ to all people attending the ritual worship.
The Foundation of Education-Aksharabhyasam:
The most significant aspect of Vasant Panchami is that this day is considerd as the most auspicious day to begin laying one’s foundations of education for children, This is also called Aksharabyasam(Making child to write on a slate for the first time) in Telugu
Pre-school children are given their first lesson in reading and writing on this day. All Hindu educational institutions conduct special prayer for Saraswati on this day. It is also a great day to inaugurate training institutes and new schools.
How To Celebrate Vasant Panchami, Shree Panchami-Shri Panchami, Basant Panchami-Birthday Of Goddess Saraswati:
On this day people observe various kinds of religious activities and large numbers of Hindus visit temples. Goddess Saraswati is dressed in yellow garments, yellow being the symbol of spiritual knowledge. People also dress up in yellow clothes and offer yellow flowers to deities in the temples. At homes people prepare yellow sweets and dishes such as Kesar Halwa and distribute among relatives and friends.
Being an auspicious occasion, children are taught their first words, hence, marking the beginning of their learning period. Schools and colleges organize special pujas to worship goddess Saraswati. Students place their books at the deity’s feet and seek her blessing for better learning. Children fly kites on this day and a famous kite festival is observed in Ferozepur, Punjab. Basant Panchami symbolizes the beginning of spring, denoted by flowering and blooming of trees and crops. Signs of new and fresh life on trees and crops indicate the end of winter and beginning of happiness and joy.
Saraswati Mantra: Sanskrit Prayer:
Here is the text of the popular ‘pranam mantra’ or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion on this day:
Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||
Saraswati Vandana: Sanskrit Hymn:
Saraswati Vandana on Vasant Panchami:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||
“May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
May Goddess Maa Saraswati Bless You With Knowledge And Success