Saraswati Puja: Significance of Basant/Vasant Panchami


New Delhi: Basant Panchami is about new beginnings and considered an auspicious day in India. The festival also known as Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the first day of spring and falls on the fifth day of the month of Magha.

People worship Goddess Saraswati to get enlightened with knowledge and to get rid of lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance. This ritual of initiating education to children, according to the Hindu beliefs is known as Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham/Praasana, it is one of the famous rituals of Vasant Panchami. Schools and colleges arrange prayers in the morning to seek the blessing of the Goddess.

The colour yellow has a lot of significance on the day. People celebrate the day by wearing yellow outfits, worshipping goddess Saraswati and eating traditional dishes. The colour yellow symbolises knowledge and also denotes mustard fields that are associated with the arrival of spring season.

The legends says that Kalidasa saddened by the abandonment from his wife planned to commit suicide by drowning himself in a river. He was about to do that when goddess Saraswati came out of the water and asked Kalidasa to take a bath in it. His life changed thereafter as he got blessed with wisdom and became a great poet.

Another legend is based on the Hindu god of love Kama. According to mythology, Kamadeva once disrupted Lord Shiva’s meditation. Shiva was immersed in deep meditation after his wife Sati’s demise. To awaken him from the meditation, seers approached Kama so that Shiva could reconnect with the world and notice Maa Parvati’s efforts for him. Kama agreed and shot arrows, made of flowers and bees, at Shiva from his bow of sugarcane. An enraged Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kama to ashes. After Rati’s (his wife) 40-day penance Shiva agreed to bring him back to life on the day of Basant Panchami. It is said he was later born as Pradumna, son of Lord Krishna.

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