Vasant Panchami – Significance, Date & Puja Vidhi
Saraswati Puja, also revered as Vasant Panchami, Shree Panchami, or Basant Panchami, is a Hindu traditional festival falling on the fifth day of the month of Magha in the Indian calendar. This is usually early February as per the western calendar. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It takes place 40 days before Holi and heralds the preparations for the festival of colors. Saraswati Puja day is a public holiday in Haryana, Odisha, Tripura, and West Bengal. Find now the astrological significance, date, and puja vidhi for Vasant Panchami 2021.
WHAT IS VASANT PANCHAMI?
‘Vasant’ in Vasant Panchami means spring while ‘Panchami’ means the fifth day. Also spelled as Basant Panchami, it occupies a unique position among the festivals of India. Traditionally, this marks the onset of the spring season. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati was born on the day of Vasanth Panchami and hence the day is also known as ‘Saraswati Jayanti’.
This is the time when as humans we feel blessed to be alive and get to enjoy the elixir of life and fertility. Vasant Panchami is the time when the sparks of imagination run high and poets, thinkers, musicians, painters, and artists at large feel the inspiration to create and to get in touch with the divine.
When is Vasant Panchami 2021?
Vasant Panchami 2021 date – 16 February Tuesday
WHY DO WE PRAY TO GODDESS SARASWATI ON VASANT PANCHAMI?
Saraswati is the goddess of learning, music, and art. Worshipping Saraswati on this day will get the devotee special blessings from the goddess and make them more cheerful, active, and creatively fertile. It is said that Saraswati can bestow on her devotees the benefits of wisdom, learning, and intellect. The day is particularly important for students and those pursuing a career in academics. Devoting time to Goddess Saraswati on this day will remove obstacles on the path of learning. Hence, the day is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm not only in India but all over the world.
On this occasion, Goddess Saraswati is portrayed as a graceful young woman dressed in all-white attire, complete with white flowers and white pearls. She is seated on a lotus. This signifies that the Goddess is embedded in supreme reality and is the possessor of supreme knowledge. Saraswati is the goddess of learning and worshipping her will bless humanity with the greatest wealth of all—knowledge. Individuals who conduct Saraswati Puja on this auspicious occasion are blessed with great intellect, sharp skills, wide knowledge on the desired subject or activity, and gains the focus essential to learn and understand different concepts.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SARASWATI PUJA & VASANT PANCHAMI
Students following Saraswati Puja vidhi will enjoy success in research and examinations. Saraswati Puja is recommended for every student whether they are in school, college, or preparing for competitive exams. Apart from students, conducting the puja is also highly beneficial for writers, thinkers, painters, and musicians, especially singers. Knowledge imparts wisdom and wisdom gives the individual the ability to use his/her gifts for the greater good. This is what enhances a person’s stature as an artist and a visionary.
The occasion of Basant Panchami is also an auspicious time to initiate children into the world of letters. On this day the children are taught to write their first word by their mother, guru, or a learned person. It is believed that doing so will help the child gain the best education and knowledge and excel in the life ahead. It is customary for students to keep their books underneath the idol of Goddess Saraswati after the Puja. Feeding the poor and giving out charity is also done in reverence to the occasion.
HOW TO DO SARASWATI PUJA AT HOME?
Puja is the highest form of meditation. A person is required to follow precise steps meant for physical and mental conditioning so as to experience it in the whole form. The Saraswati Puja vidhi also requires a whole host of paraphernalia.
- The arrangement should have the idol of Goddess Saraswati along with that of Lord Ganesha, and a Kalasha, all placed on a clean white cloth spread over a clean platform.
- The Kalasha with water should have five freshly ripe mango leaves with a betel leaf placed over it. Also place fresh flowers—lotus, lilies, Jasmine—Mango leaves, Bel Patra betel nut, betel leaves, coconut, bananas, and any other three fruits on the platform.
- Additionally, there should be turmeric, vermillion powder, rice, and some dry colors of the person’s choice. If it is a student, also place ink and an inkpot.
- Placing the person’s worldly means to get in touch with goddess Saraswati, like books, pen, brush, the laptop is also desirable.
Saraswati Puja 2021 Muhurat & Puja Vidhi
To do puja, the person should get up early in the morning. Before having a bath, they should spread a mix of neem and turmeric paste all over the body. After a bath, dress in simple clean clothes and sit before the puja arrangement. Light incense sticks. Then chant the following mantra:
“Yaa kundendu tushaaradhawala, yaa shubhra vastravrutha
Yaa veena varadanda manditakara, yaa shweta padmasanaa.
Yaa brahmachyuta shankara prabhrutibhi devai sadaa vandita
Saa maam pathu saraswati bhagavati nishshesha, jadyapaha.
Aum saraswathyae namah, dhyanartham, pushpam samarpayami.”
Light the lamp in front of Goddess Saraswati. Splash some color on the idol and offer her the prasad. Also, offer mango leaves and belpatra. Finally, sit in silence.
Later, you should consume the prasad yourself and offer it to your friends and family.
MYTHOLOGY BEHIND GODDESS SARASWATI
As per mythology, it was Lord Brahma who had created the earth and put humans in it. As the Lord stood back to enjoy his creations, he felt it was all a bit too quiet. So on the fifth day of the spring, Lord Brahma created Saraswati by sprinkling some water in the air. Having taken birth from water, Goddess Saraswati is also revered as the water deity. She had the most melodious voice and she blessed the world with it and beautiful music filled the air. If one listens, you can hear that music during the spring season.
Goddess Saraswati has four hands. They symbolize ego, intellect, concentration, and the mind. During worshipping, she is often pictured seated on a lotus or a peacock and will be clad in white attire.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF BASANT PANCHAMI
The festival of Vasant Panchami carries special significance in astrology as well, as is the case with other Hindu festivals. The arrival of spring conveys or expresses the end of depression and gloominess and the awakening of the spirits to new hopes and great aspirations. The festival of Saraswati Puja, in spiritual parlance, symbolizes the end of ignorance and darkness and the awakening of the soul into higher realms of knowledge and enlightenment. Intellectuals, scholars, and academicians worship goddess Saraswati with this objective in mind.
Saraswati Puja performed on Basant Panchami helps everyone to a great extent in reducing the malefic effects of Chandra, Budh, Brahaspati, and Shukra. Persons undergoing mahadasa (main-period), antardardasa (sub-period) of Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus can take benefit by carrying out this divine puja and daan. Individuals undergoing the retrograde effect of Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus in their horoscope must also go for the above Puja for benefits.
Saraswati Puja Vidhi stimulates the creativity within a person and helps him/her gain mastery in any art. It makes the memory more clear, sharp, and stronger. Saraswati Puja also minimizes the malefic effect of afflicted Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus which will help with the education of students and help them achieve excellent results.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YELLOW COLOUR ON VASANT PANCHAMI
The colour yellow has huge significance during Saraswati Puja. Yellow signifies the intensity and brilliance of nature. As Goddess Saraswati was born on Vasant Panchami, she is all about the beauty of nature and celebration of learning. So, in reverence to the goddess people put on yellow clothes on this day and offer yellow flowers to various deities. The yellow color is generally considered auspicious for all occasions but it acquires special importance on the Vasanth Panchami day. People wear bright yellow clothes and cook colorful food to mark the beginning of spring, with many of the dishes cooked being yellow, such as ‘meeth chawal’, which is sweetened rice, flavored with saffron.
WORSHIPPING LORD KAMA AND GODDESS RATI ON VASANT PANCHAMI
Lord Kama and Goddess Rati are the deities of desire and pleasure. There is also the tradition of worshipping Lord Kama and Goddess Rati on the day of Vasant Panchami, in addition to goddess Saraswati. The month of spring also brings with it the desire to fall in love and multiply. It is the month of fertility and hence it triggers the romantic and sexual desires within persons. Thus, the day is considered very good for holding special occasions like marriage, the naming ceremony of a newborn child, and Griha Pravesh (the ritual performed before one shift to a new house). In fact, it is considered such an auspicious day that one can get ceremonies done without referring to any muhurta.
BASANT PANCHAMI AND SIKHISM
Namdhari Sikhs (who do not believe in any religious ritual other than the repetition of god’s name) have historically celebrated Basant Panchami to mark the beginning of spring. Other Sikhs treat it as a spring festival and joyfully celebrate it by wearing yellow colored clothes. For them, the color yellow is more a representation of the vast fields of mustard, a common sight in Punjab and Haryana areas at this time of the year.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, encouraged the celebration of Basant Panchami as a social event in the Gurdwaras. In 1825 CE, he gave Rs. 2,000 to the Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara in Amritsar to distribute food. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his queen Moran would dress in yellow and also hold a darbar or court in Lahore which would last ten days. Soldiers too would be dressed in yellow and display their military prowess.