Monday, July 22, 2024

Saraswati Puja: The Festival of Wisdom

Saraswati Puja is a Hindu festival honoring Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, learning, music, art, speech, and knowledge. It is also known as Saraswati Jayanti and Vasant Panchami. Saraswati, along with the goddesses Lakshmi and Parvati, is a member of the Tridevi. Frequently portrayed with four arms, she carries symbols like a water pot, a book, a rosary, and a veena, a musical instrument. It is thought that on this day, winter comes to an end and springtime begins. 

The History

Hindu mythology tells us that once the trinity was created, Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, went to see his creation but returned dismayed by the solitude and silence of the planet. After giving it some thought, he removed some water from his kamandal and sprayed it into the air. Brahma asked an angel who appeared from a tree with a Veena (lute) to play a piece for him. In order to break the silence he had just created on earth, Brahma urged her to do this. Goddess Sarawati is also referred to as Veena Vaadini since the Angel was asked to use her voice and music to spread happiness.

Put another way, Saraswati Puja commemorates both the day that Goddess Saraswati was born and the day that humanity acquired the capacity for speech. As a result, it is thought that Saraswati would acquire knowledge, insight, and wisdom when he is especially worshipped on this day.

Magh Shukla Panchami is currently observed as Saraswati Puja in honor of Goddess Saraswati, the symbol of wisdom, as of that day.

How is it observed?

Children worshipping Goddess Saraswati on Saraswati Puja
Children worshipping Goddess Saraswati on Saraswati Puja

Everywhere in the nation, people visit the temples dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati in observance of the Saraswati Puja. It’s a significant day for the children. Children begin writing the alphabet and their first letters. Young children who have not yet commenced their official school-based education receive their initial instruction in reading and writing. Many parents sign up their kids for school. People, including kids, come to the Saraswati Temple to write on the walls in an attempt to appease the Goddess of Knowledge. Pupils show Saraswati greater reverence and diligence in their worship. Pupils also adore other objects, such as pens, notepads, and books. It is seen to be a day to begin new endeavors.

On this day, professionals worship their tools and musicians worship their instruments. Therefore, it is on this day that people revere the wellspring of all knowledge, the arts, and music. Fruits and candies are served as parshad. These days, a lot of schools host large fiestas in which all students actively participate. People get married, launch new businesses, and undertake other endeavors on this day since it is thought to be extremely fortunate.

It is customary in Nepal’s Terai region to gather money in order to create the Saraswati statues. Some people set up competitions for communities’ idols. This festival is made even more exciting by the competition won by the community with the best idol.

It is said that if someone swallows seven rice grains donated to the goddess Saraswati (without using their teeth to contact them), Saraswati will grant them wisdom and understanding. As a result, a lot of kids and students choose to eat prasad, or unchipped rice grains, which are donated to the goddess statue.

Saraswati Vandana

People chant the Sarawati Vandana, a song composed in the name of Goddess Sarawati. They sing while making offerings of flowers, tika (vermillion powder), and sweets. Pupils worship Goddess Saraswati by bringing their books, ink, notes, and pens to temples or to their personal altars. One of the main traditions of Basanta Panchami celebrations is singing Saraswati Vandana. Every household chants a specific set of Saraswati shlokas (verses) in remembrance of Goddess Saraswati.

या कुंदेंदु तुषारहार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रावृता |

या वीणावर दण्डमंडितकरा, या श्वेतपद्मासना ||

या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभ्रृतिभिर्देवै: सदा वन्दिता |

सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती नि:शेष्य जाड्यापहा ||

Saraswati Vandana

Significance of Saraswati Puja

Depiction of Goddess Saraswati
Depiction of Goddess Saraswati

Saraswati is revered as the goddess of creativity, art, wisdom, and knowledge. It is thought that one cannot succeed in these fields without the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. Scholars and students, who worship Goddess Saraswati with unwavering dedication and devotion in order to gain knowledge and wisdom, attach particular significance to this festival or puja. 

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