It is a tradition in India to welcome each season in a unique way. The style of celebration may vary throughout the country depending on the regions and on languages. However, the zeal and enthusiasm are the same. There are many Hindu festivals which are celebrated even though the languages spoken are different since this is only religion that has many Gods and Goddesses. Each class has their own way of honouring the supreme powers.
To honour the Almighty for providing us with livelihood and wisdom, we perform homan, puja. One such celebration is the Vasant Panchami which is dedicated to Maa Saraswati. It occurs in January or February and is an indication of the end of winter and arrival of summer. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the lunar month of the Magh. It is also known as Shree Panchami or Saraswati Puja.
The significance of Vasant Panchami is to pray and receive Maa Saraswati's blessing for bestowing us knowledge, arts and wisdom since she is the originator of these essential elements that so differentiate humans from animals. Goddess Saraswati was born on this day and hence it is also celebrated as her birthday. It is greatly admired in homes, schools, colleges and temples.
Importance of Vasant Panchami
The important aspect of this festival is that it is considered auspicious for starting education. On this day, many people starting teaching their kids with their first lesson of life. Even teacher in pre-school try to build up the teacher-student relationship by giving them lesson in writing and reading. Special prayers are conducted in all the educational institutes in India. This day is also special for inaugurating training schools and institutes. In short, for the educational world and for the sake of knowledge and wisdom, this festival is as important as oxygen for life. Indeed, the famous Banaras Hindu University was founded on this day by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Spiritual Importance of Vasant Panchami
Vasant Panchami is the day of Saraswati Puja. It helps to seek blessing for gaining knowledge and good education in life. Since the day on which this festival is celebrated is heralding toward spring, the spirit of the festival infused positive vibes among people. Devotees get the feeling that the days of ignorance is ending and the now is the time to awake and seek some enlightenment. Maa Sarawasti's puja is very important for those who are looking forward in gaining spiritual progress.
Vasant Panchami Celebration:
Goddess Saraswati is the idol of brightness, purity and innocence. She is the wife of Lord Brahma and blesses people with wisdom and knowledge. She gives the power to people in knowing oneself. She controls arts, sciences, and other academic skills and crafts. Her attire is simple yet vibrant. The white sari is a reflection of purity she possesses. The white swan is her carrier and she is rested on a white lotus. She carries a Veena, a musical instrument, in her one hand and the holy books in another. Her four hands are the representation of four essential aspects in human life - mind, intellect, alertness and ego.
To offer prayer to Maa Sarawati, people dress in yellow color and visit temples. They offer sweets and dishes to the deity that are in yellow colour. In dishes, people add saffron strands for fragrance, taste and coour. They prepare garland with yellow flowers and offer it to the goddess. At homes, people keep all the educational materials like pen, pencil and books near the goddess for her blessing. They invite Brahmins to their homes feed them and give gifts.
In the northern state, this festival is celebrated as 'Basant Panchami.' Besides conducting the traditional puja and rituals, the north Indians also enjoy this day with kite flying. For them, this day is the Kite festival. In Punjab, young boys and girls are very eager for this day as they get to fly Kite and compete with each other, and they buy all materials to enjoy it a day before. The next day, they stand on the terrace of house and start flying the kites. With hundreds and thousands of colourful kites flying in the air, the clouds appear colourful.
On this day, the god of desire and passion, Kama Deva is also worshipped. Since it is the beginning of the springtime, there is vibrancy and vivacity everywhere. Even the nature is adorning new colours creating a perfect ambiance for passion and desire. The springtime is also considered favourable for the union of couples to create a new life. However, one should have control over kama to fulfill other necessities of life. Hence, puja is conducted for invoking Kama Deva to guide us in balancing between kama and karma yoga. Many people get married during springtime as this is the auspicious day to unite and enter into a married life through karma yoga.
As seen here, it is very essential to take some time on Vasant Panchami for Maa Saraswati and seek her blessing by dressing up in yellow clothes, offering her yellow flowers and foods in yellow color to excel in your academic life. Saraswati puja is also necessary for those who are into writing, creative and music professions as she is the god of all the intellectual aspects necessary for human beings.
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