Basant Panchami: Birth anniversary of Goddess Saraswati
Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami is usually celebrated in February. It comes on the fifth day (Panchami) of Shukla Paksha in the month of Magh. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on this day. It is believed that this day marks the birth anniversary of Goddess Saraswati. Basant Panchami 2022 is on Saturday, 5th February. Yellow is the predominant colour used during this festival. Different types of sweets are prepared and offered to Goddess Saraswati as part of the celebrations. It is considered a good day to start new things in life. Vidya Arambam, or the ceremony of initiating children to education, is carried out on this day. Kite flying is another popular activity held during this day in the northern states of the country.
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Why do we celebrate Vasant Panchami?
Vasant Panchami is celebrated as the day on which Goddess Saraswati was born. She is considered the goddess of arts, music and knowledge. It is said Lord Brahma found the world to be unformed and lacking in concept after creating it. So, he sprinkled a few drops of water into the air and thus, Goddess Saraswati was born. Saraswati gave Lord Brahma direction and order in the creation of the cosmos. She later became the wife of Lord Brahma. Vasant Panchami also heralds the arrival of the spring season. The word Vasant or Basant means spring in Hindi. Farmers celebrate the harvest of new crops on this day.
When is Vasant Panchami 2022?
Vasant Panchami 2022 date – Saturday, 5th February
What is the story of Basant Panchami?
The most popular story of Basant Panchami is that of the creation of Goddess Saraswati. Another important story is that of Kamadeva and his punishment at the hands of Lord Shiva. Once when Lord Shiva was in deep meditation, Kamadeva tried to bring Shiva out of it at the behest of Goddess Parvati. He attempted it by shooting arrows of love and desire into the heart of Lord Shiva. But Shiva got annoyed, and when he opened his eyes, his anger burnt Kamadeva to ashes. A distraught Rati Devi, the consort of Kamadeva, underwent strict penance to appease Lord Shiva. Finally, on the day of Basant Panchami, Lord Shiva’s anger subsided, and he brought Kamadeva to life. This incident is celebrated as Rati-Kama Utsav in some parts of the country.
In another story, Lord Rama visited Mata Sabari and ate the half-eaten fruit offered to him on the day of Basant Panchami. Mata Sabari was the pupil of Sage Matunga and is considered the greatest devotee of Lord Rama. When Rama ate the fruit offered by Mata Sabari, she was blessed and was granted moksha.
Lord Sree Krishna, with the blessings of Goddess Saraswati, mastered all the 64 forms of art in 64 days. After this period, Lord Krishna declared that every year one festival would be held exclusively to worship Goddess Saraswati on Earth. This festival went on to be known as Basant Panchami.
What should we do on Vasant Panchami?
Wake up early in the morning, preferably during the Brahma muhurta (4 a.m.), and take a bath. Wear yellow coloured clothes as yellow is the colour associated with Goddess Saraswati. Offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati. Recite mantras and slokas dedicated to her. Make sure your home and surroundings are clean. Prepare yellow-coloured desserts for Naivedhya by adding little saffron or turmeric to them. Keep for worship any items used for education or for performing arts. Carry out the puja. Spend the rest of the day meeting and greeting people. Kite flying is a popular sport associated with Saraswati Puja.
Why do we wear yellow on Saraswati Puja?
Yellow is the main colour during Basant Panchami Saraswati Puja. The festival heralds the arrival of spring. Flowers such as daffodils, marigolds, hyacinth and lilies are in full bloom at this time, and these flowers are yellow. Yellow is also believed to be the favourite colour of Goddess Saraswati. The idol of the goddess is adorned with yellow clothing, and yellow flowers are offered during worship. People also wear yellow coloured clothes as a mark of respect to the goddess. Yellow signifies the Sun, and since spring means the gradual rise in the brightness of the Sun, yellow is used as part of Basant Panchami festivities. Also, the colour yellow signifies knowledge, learning and happiness in Hindu culture, which is another reason why Basant Panchami is all about yellow colour.
Who got married on Vasant Panchami?
Lord Rama got married to Sita on the day of Vasant Panchami. Rama and his brothers, including Prince Bharat, went to the swayamvar being held at the palace of King Janaka. The condition to marry Sita was to break the bow of Lord Shiva. Many kings and princes tried, but none could lift the heavy bow. But Rama lifted the bow with ease and broke it as well. Thus, he was married to princess Sita. This happened on Vasant Panchami. Since then, this day has been seen as an auspicious day for marriages.
Can we study on Saraswati Puja?
There is no tradition that bars one from studying on the day of Saraswati Puja. On the contrary, studying on this day is considered to gain the student blessing of Goddess Saraswati for the rest of the year. However, since it is customary to keep books for puja on this day, it is usual for students to skip studies for the day.
Who is the father of Devi Saraswati?
It was Lord Brahma who brought Goddess Saraswati to existence to bring order and direction into the cosmos. So, Lord Brahma is considered the father of Devi Saraswati. Later Brahma was enamoured by the beauty and intelligence of Saraswati and looked at her with lust. Repelled by this, Goddess Saraswati cursed Lord Brahma that no temple would be built to worship Lord Brahma. The lust that Brahma had for Saraswati consumed him. While Saraswati tried to get away from the gaze, Brahma grew another head in whichever direction Saraswati moved and continued to be in the gaze of Brahma.
Thus Brahma grew four heads in four directions and the fifth one on top as well. When the lust of Brahma threatened to topple the entire cosmos, Lord Shiva appeared and cut off the top head of Brahma. Thus Saraswati could finally escape from the glance of Lord Brahma. Later, repenting of his lust, Brahma wanted to carry out a yagna to cleanse himself. But for this, he needed a wife. So he requested Goddess Saraswati to be his wife. Saraswati agreed but made it clear there would not be any physical relationship between them. Thus, Lord Brahma, who was the father of Saraswati, also became her husband.
Who celebrates Vasant Panchami?
Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival and is celebrated all across India, particularly in the eastern states. In Punjab and Haryana, it is celebrated as the festival of kites. Though traditionally a Hindu festival, Vasant Panchami is celebrated by all communities. Muslims call it the Jashan-e Baharaan.
Who created Basant?
Basant Panchami is an ancient festival that has been celebrated for thousands of years. Earlier it was celebrated as the birth anniversary of Goddess Saraswati. Later, as the climate cycle shifted, Basant Panchami came to signify the start of the spring season. It was Maharaja Ranjit Sing, the founder of the Sikh empire, who introduced the sport of kite flying as part of Basant Panchami celebrations. In the early 1800s, the king and his queen, Moran, would dress in yellow and fly kites to mark the start of spring, making it an annual tradition in that part of the country.Read about Akshaya Trititya