February 08, 2011

Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami is a festival of the Spring season. ‘Vasant’ means Spring and panchami refers to the fifth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month. Thus, Vasant Panchami refers to the Hindu Spring festival that falls on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Magh. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami.


Goddess Sarasvati, the Goddess of purity and spiritual knowledge, associated with Creation of the Universe is worshipped on Vasant Panchami day, which signifies Spring or the season of Creation.


Celebration

  • Yellow color, representative of spiritual knowledge, is given importance on this day. An idol of Goddess Sarasvati is dressed in yellow garments and worshipped. People, too, wear yellow garments on this day.
  • Brahmans are fed and worship for the liberation of deceased ancestors’ souls (Pitru-tarpan) is performed.
  • Children are taught their first words (as an auspicious beginning to learning), and schools and colleges (places of learning) organize special worship to Goddess Sarasvati on this day. Children place their books on the altar, at the Goddess’s (idol’s) feet. On Vasant Panchami books are not supposed to be touched, signifying that Goddess Sarasvati is blessing the books.

On this day, special worship is also offered to the Sun deity (Surya dev), to the deities (divine energies) associated with Ganga (the sacred river Ganges in North India) and the Earth. This is done to pay obeisance and gratitude to these deities, for providing us the means of acquiring food and all that we need to keep alive. Such acknowledgment helps remind one of the attitude of service and giving that is present in all creation, thus facilitating the spiritual emotion (bhav) that like nature, one is here to imbibe a giving attitude and of remaining in service to The Lord.

Spiritual Significance

Hindus all over the world celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm, as it is believed to be the birthday of Goddess Sarasvati, the God principle of motion (gati), Who is also associated with the creation of the Universe. She is the Energy (Shakti) related to the male deity, Lord Brahma.

Sanskrit Mantra

The following prayer is recited on this day:

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa

English Translation:

May Goddess Saraswati, who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops,
who is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus, who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.

-K Himaanshu Shukla..!


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

happy vasant panchmi

Anonymous said...

Nice write up himaanshu sir.

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