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Basant Panchami: A celebration of wisdom & knowledge

Basant Panchami, also known as Vasant Panchami, is a Hindu festival that marks the beginning of spring. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the Hindu month of Magh, corresponding to February or early March in the Gregorian calendar. Basant Panchami is associated with Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and the arts in Hinduism.

According to Hindu mythology, tremendous chaos overpowered the cosmos after Lord Brahma created the cosmos. To bring order to his cosmic Universe, he created a personification of knowledge and art and from his mouth emerged the Goddess Saraswati. Then, following specific instructions, all the celestial bodies, including the sun, moon, and stars, were formed. The goddess of speech and sound, Vagdevi, was given this name by the Lord Brahma. According to Hindu scriptures, the birthday of Goddess Saraswati falls on Basant Panchami.

Seated on a lotus flower, Goddess Saraswati is depicted as an eight-armed diety. She wields the bell, trident, ploughshare, conch, pestle, discus, bow and arrow in her hands.

Goddess Saraswati is one of the female trinity, i.e. Tridevis comprising Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. They are the consorts of the trinity of Lord Shiva, Lore Vishnu and Lord Brahma, all three goddesses also playing pivotal roles in the creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe.

Devotees offer prayers to her, seek her blessings, and organize special events such as music and dance performances in her honour. On this day, people dress up in yellow as it is the colour of happiness and prosperity. They also decorate the temples with yellow flowers and light diyas. In addition, traditional sweets like kheer and halwa are prepared and distributed among friends and family.

Basant Panchami is also celebrated to mark the beginning of the Rabi crop season. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the agricultural states of India, with farmers celebrating the start of the crop season.

How to do Maa Saraswati puja at home?

To receive the blessings of the goddess Saraswati, the following rituals are performed on Basant Panchami.

- Clean and place a photo or idol of Goddess Saraswati in your Puja room.

- Put some of your important books, notebook, pens, and holy scriptures next to the image or idol of the goddess.

- Light a Diya and incense stick.

- Make offerings of sandalwood paste, turmeric, Kumkum, fruits, sweets, and flowers.

- Recite the Saraswati mantra below

सरस्वती मंत्र :

या कुंदेंदु तुषार हार धवला या शुभ्र वृस्तावता।

या वीणा वर दण्ड मंडित करा या श्वेत पद्मसना।।

या ब्रह्माच्युत्त शंकर: प्रभृतिर्भि देवै सदा वन्दिता।

सा माम पातु सरस्वती भगवती नि:शेष जाड्या पहा।

Basant Panchami is a reminder of the importance of learning and knowledge in Hinduism. It is a time to seek knowledge, wisdom and understanding. It is a time to reconnect with the divine and be inspired by the beauty of nature. Basant Panchami is a reminder of the importance of tolerance and understanding in Hinduism. It is a time to celebrate diversity and respect the beliefs and customs of others.

Basant Panchami is one of the most important festivals in India and is celebrated with much fanfare. It marks the onset of spring and brings with it joy and happiness. It is a day to seek the blessings of the gods and goddesses and celebrate life's spirit.


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