The Celebration of Basant Panchami
The festival of Basant Panchami (Vasant Panchami) is celebrated on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha of Magh month. In Sanskrit Vasant (Basant) means ‘spring’. Panchami is the ‘fifth day’ of Shukla Paksha, the fortnight of the waxing moon. The holy day of basant panchami is dedicated to Maa Saraswati. The day is very auspicious not only for Saraswati Puja but also for Manglik functions. For example, ceremonies like marriage or matchmaking happen on this day. Apart from that some encourages their children to write their first word. Some study or create music together and worship the place of learning.
On this very day people associated with the field of education worship Maa Saraswati. They ask for her blessings for wisdom, creativity, intelligence, and eloquence. Because Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of music, arts, creativity, speech, education, learning. She is one of the trinity Goddesses Shri Saraswati, Shri Lakshmi and Devi Parvati. Besides, Basant Panchami marks the end of the winter and beginning of spring.
Basant Panchami festival is of special importance in Hinduism. This year (2021) Basant Panchami is on 16th February 2021, tuesday. Also known as Sri Panchami and Saraswati Puja in many places. People from the India, northwest Bangladesh, Nepal, and all over the world celebrate the occasion with great enthusiasm in their ways. The way of puja and celebration depends on the region to region.
Basant Panchami & Colour Yellow
The festival of Basant Panchami celebrates the agricultural fields’ ripening with yellow flowers of mustard crop. The whole region turns into yellow. In addition the festival is the mark of spring. Therefore people welcome spring by celebrating Basant Panchami. People wear yellow clothes, yellow tilak, make and eat yellow dishes. They decorate their homes with yellow flowers too. In Hindu Schools students are asked to come in yellow uniforms, yellow ribbons and yellow scarfs.
Why Yellow? Because yellow is the colour of happiness, the colour of bright sun which represents day. It is the colour of jupiter (the guru) which who is the teacher of Gods. He is the embodiment of wisdom and happiness so thus the colour yellow. Yellow also signifies the spring, optimism, enthusiasm and warmth. Fully ripened mustard flowers turn field into the yellow bed. Amazing, appealing and catchy scene it is!
Hence Basant Panchami is the significator of spring, happiness, positivity, joy and wisdom.
Manifestation of Devi Saraswati
As we have said this is the day of worshipping Goddess Saraswati and also called the day of Saraswati Puja. There is also a religious belief that on this day Brahmaji, the creator of the universe, created Devi Saraswati. He completed the work of creation of the universe with the help of Goddess. According to the Puranas, Lord Brahma created Man Yoni with the permission of Vishnu. A man was silent in his initial state, so the Earth was very quiet then. Due to this, there was increasing dullness on the earth. When Brahma Ji saw this, he sprinkled water from his kamandal (Reliquary).
Significance of the appearance
This revealed a beautiful woman in the form of a wonderful power. She had a quadrilateral Veena (musical instrument), Vedas (the four vedas), a mala (rosary, garland) and a water pot in her hands. But some believes she was born from Lord Brahma’s mouth. Having veena is the symbol of tranquil music & arts. Her Veena’s voice vibrated in all three worlds. Everyone received the vibration of her voice. Secondly, Vedas in her hand represents knowledge & ultimate wisdom. Thirdly mala of crystal symbolizes the purity and spirituality Finally water pot in her hand is the soma, the nectar. Goddess Saraswati seats on a full-bloomed white lotus. And her vehicle is Hamsa, the holy bird who drinks only milk and has ability to separate water from milk. Therefore she is also called Hamsavahini, the one who rides Hamsa (Swan).
As she is the epitome of knowledge then obviously out of trigunas she relates to Sattva Guna. She is the jnana shakti, one having power of knowledge. Also she depicts river saraswati on earth. Earliest Rig Veda (one of the four veda) mentions about the Goddess Saraswati. Other names of Goddess are Sharada, Brahmi, Vedamata, Vagishwari and many more.
As the festival marks the birth of Devi Saraswati therefore it is also called Saraswati Jayanti.
Saraswati Puja Method
The festival is celebrated in many ways in India itself depending upon the region.
- Take bath at the time of morning, wear yellow or white clothes.
- Offer yellow clothes to the idol of Maa Saraswati.
- Then offer roli, sandalwood, turmeric, saffron, sandalwood, yellow or white floral, yellow sweets to her.
- Then offer instruments and books at the place of worship.
- Finally, recite Maa Saraswati Vandana, chant saraswati mantra, beeja mantra, shlokas and stotras.
- Take breakfast after performing Goddess Saraswati Puja.
Saraswati Mantra & Shloka for Devi Saraswati Puja
To summarize, The festival of Basant Panchami is the day for
- Firstly, worshipping Goddess Saraswati
- the mark of spring and end of winter.
- birthday (jayanti) of Goddess Saraswati
- starting education & learning
- day to pay gratitude towards the knowledge, hence the learning institutes, music, arts
- day for marriage and new relationships
- Last but not the least, starting day of spiritual anusthan
May the Goddess Saraswati bless you with a ceaseless ocean of knowledge, wisdom, and grace. Happy Basant Panchami !!!
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