Historical relevance of Saraswati Puja
Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is a festival celebrated by Hindus in India to mark the advent of spring- the season of rebirth and bloom.
This festival is celebrated during the month of Magh. In India, this festival has a special significance in the sense that it is the day when Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu deity of knowledge and learning, is worshipped. Saraswati Puja is celebrated with great gusto at homes and educational institutions across the province. On this day students along with worshipping idols of Saraswati devi, also learn values such as discipline and dedication by organizing the festival at home or at school.
The puja happens in the morning and the afternoon and evening are spent in various forms of merrymaking like cultural performances and eating the bhog, which is the food prepared for the goddess’ consumption.
Significance Of The Goddess Sarawati:
Goddess Saraswati is the supreme repository of all learning. She is the Goddess of speech, also called Vak in Sanskrit, meaning the flowing one.
She represents the union of power and intelligence from which the entire creation arises. She is the Goddess of the Vedas, scriptures, dancing, musical power and poetry.
She grants the gifts of learning and writing in man. She is fluidity in any aspect- water, speech, thought. She is wisdom, fortune, intelligence, nourishment, brilliance, contentment, splendour and devotion.
Colours From Different States:
Saraswati Puja is one of the many festivals that the Hindus celebrate all over the world. It is the festival which is celebrated in honour of the Goddess of Learning – Saraswati. But, different religions celebrates this day in different styles.
The Bengalis worship goddess Saraswati by worshipping colourful idols and books, accompanied by the bhog (food served to the god). Along with this bengalis also mark this day as the first day when a chid starts writing for the first time. It is considered to be the happiest festival for the Hindu students of West Bengal.
In other pockets of the country people marks this day by playing games with the kites, organizing different cultural programmes etc. The festival seems to be connected with old festival of kaumudi ustav and basant ustav. The Basant outs begins with the day of the Saraswati Puja.
On this day, people in Punjab cooks their traditional meal – chapatti made from corn along with mustard vegetables (Makke ki Roti and Sarso ka Saag). It is also celebrated by the people of Uttar Pradesh even now for fifteen days till Dolepurnima (full moon) comes.
From The Pages Of History:
According to Hindu texts, the history of Saraswati Puja is associated with Brahma Vaivarta Purana. Lord Krishna granted Goddess Saraswati a boon that she would be worshipped along with the other deities on Vasant Panchami. On this day, apart from Goddesses Saraswati, Lord Vishnu and Kamdev is also worshipped.
In this season, fields of yellow mustard, charm, every bodies heart. Wheat crop starts swinging like gold. colourful flowers starts blossoming. The day of Basant Panchami is celebrated as the welcoming of colours and happiness. Out of all six seasons, spring season is considered to be the most adorable and winsome.
या कुंदेंदु तुषार हार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रा वृता |
या वीणा वरदण्ड मंडित करा, या श्वेत पद्मासना ||
या ब्रह्मा अच्युत शंकर प्रभृतिभि: देवै: सदा वन्दिता |
सा माम् पातु सरस्वति भगवति निःशेष जाड्यापहा ||
शुक्लाम् ब्रह्मविचार सार परमाम् आद्याम् जगद्व्यापिनीम् |
वीणा पुस्तक धारिणीम् अभयदाम् जाड्यान्धकारापाहाम् ||
हस्ते स्फाटिक मालिकाम् विदधतीम् पद्मासने संस्थिताम् |
वन्दे ताम् परमेश्वरीम् भगवतीम् बुद्धि प्रदाम् शारदाम् ||
सरस्वत्यै नमो नित्यम् भद्रकाल्यै नमो नमः ।
वेद वेदान्त वेदांग विद्यास्थानेभ्यः एव च ||
सरस्वति महाभागे विद्ये कमल लोचने ।
विद्यारूपे विशालाक्षि विद्याम् देहि नमो अस्तु ते ||
वीणाधरे विपुल मंगल दान शीले भक्तार्त्तिनाशिनी विरञ्चि हरीशवन्द्ये। कीर्तिप्रदेऽखिल मनोरथदे महार्हे विद्या प्रदायिनि सरस्वति नौमि नित्यम् ।।
One who is so fair like garland of Kunda flower(a white flower) and snow flakes, who has worn white apparel;whose hand is placed on the stem of the Veena,
who sits on white lotus; one who has always been worshiped by lords like Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar; I need blessings of that goddess Saraswati who completely takes away lethargy from within.
Article contributed by Satata Karmakar