Let us welcome Goddess Saraswati home on Vasant Panchami day

Panchami tithi begins = 15:33 on January 21
Panchami tithi ends = 16:24 on January 22

Vasanth Panchami is another occasion to welcome Spring season in India. On this day Goddess of learning Saraswati is worshipped. Colourful clothes especially a shade of bright yellow are the main attraction of the day. Sarawati puja is also called as Vasant Panchami which is observed on 22 January in 2018.

Painting of Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma

Goddess Saraswati is represented as a graceful woman in white, a symbol of purity and peace. She is the Goddess who signifies knowledge, learning, arts and culture. She is seen as the serene Goddess wearing a crescent moon on her brow riding a swan or seated on a lotus flower. Saraswati Puja is performed to pay allegiance to the Goddess of learning. As Goddess Saraswati is associated to knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami.

People in India follow the famous ritual of initiating education to children which is known as Akshar-Abhyasamor Vidya-Arambham which is one of the famous rituals of Vasant Panchami. Schools and colleges arrange pujas in the morning to seek blessing of the Goddess.

Purvahna Kala is the time between the sunrise and the midday, is considered to decide Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the day when Panchami Tithi prevails during Purvahna Kala. Due to which Vasant Panchami might also fall on Chaturthi Tithi.
“In Bengal, it is a day which people wait for to start their According to traditional belief, people wait for this day to start all good work as  astrologers consider Vasant Panchami as Abujha (अबूझ) day which is auspicious to start all good work. Even Saraswati Puja is performed on this day including schools and colleges in India. I have been celebrating this puja every year in  the college with the students. The pooja ritual begins with the chanting of the Saraswati vandana mantra. According to Vedic culture there is shloka on Saraswati

Sarasvati namastubhyam
Varade kamarupini
Vidyarambham karishyami
Siddhir Bhavatu me Sada

 The English translation of this is:

“O Goddess Saraswati; salutations to you, the giver of boons, the one who fulfils desires. I shall begin my studies. May there always be accomplishment for me.”

Students place books near the goddess and worship her to obtain the gift of knowledge and blessings to do well in their studies. Reading books or studying is not allowed on this day. A priest from the temple visits our college to perform the puja where all the students and faculties wear clothes in yellow colour. We also follow the traditional ritual of making Kichdi which is cooked and distributed as Prasad. Most popular Bengali dish made on this day is “Kooler Chatni” – (Plum- Jam) is especially made and served on this day.

Statue of Saraswati in Indonesia

Flowers and leaves of tulsi, mango blossoms, and barley sheaves are offered at the goddess’s feet. At the conclusion of the puja the goddess is worshipped once again and the books are removed. The deity is then taken for immersion the next evening. This concludes Saraswati Puja celebrations.” says Prof Pijush Dutta.

Although there is no special time to perform Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami day one should make sure that Puja is done when Panchami Tithi is prevailing. Many times Panchami Tithi doesn’t prevail whole of the day on Vasant Panchami day hence we believe that it is important to do Saraswati puja within Panchami Tithi.

Saraswati Ya Kundendu is the most famous Stuti dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and part of the famous Saraswati stotram. It is recited during Saraswati Puja on the eve of Vasant Panchami.

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