Celebrate Vasant Panchami: Worship Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, Rituals


Vasant Panchami, also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami, is a day dedicated to Saraswati, the revered Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science, and technology. This auspicious occasion is marked by the worship of Goddess Saraswati, seeking blessings for enlightenment and the removal of ignorance, lethargy, and sluggishness.

One of the prominent rituals of Vasant Panchami is Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham/Praasana, where children are initiated into the world of education. Schools and colleges conduct special pujas in the morning to seek the divine blessings of Goddess Saraswati.

The timing of Vasant Panchami is determined during the Purvahna Kala, the period between sunrise and midday. It falls on the day when Panchami Tithi coincides with the Purvahna Kala. However, Vasant Panchami may also occur on Chaturthi Tithi.

Astrologers regard Vasant Panchami as an auspicious Abujha (अबूझ) day, ideal for commencing new endeavors. The entire day is considered propitious for Saraswati Puja according to this belief.

While there isn't a specific time for Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami, it is advisable to perform the puja during the prevailing Panchami Tithi. As the Panchami Tithi might not last the entire day, it's recommended to conduct the Saraswati Puja within this period.

Rituals associated with Vasant Panchami

  • Saraswati Puja: The central ritual of Vasant Panchami is the worship of Goddess Saraswati. Devotees set up elaborate altars adorned with flowers, incense, and other offerings to honor the goddess. Saraswati Puja is performed in homes, temples, and educational institutions across India.
  • Akshar-Abhyasam (Initiation into Education): One of the most important rituals of Vasant Panchami is Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham/Praasana, where young children are initiated into the world of education. This ceremony symbolizes the beginning of the learning journey for children.
  • Wearing Yellow: Yellow holds significant symbolism during Vasant Panchami as it represents the vibrancy of spring and the blossoming of nature. Devotees often wear yellow-colored clothes and decorate their surroundings with yellow flowers to commemorate the occasion.

  • Prayers and Offerings: People offer prayers, chants, and hymns dedicated to Goddess Saraswati seeking her blessings for wisdom, knowledge, and intellect. Offerings of fruits, sweets, and yellow-colored foods, which are considered auspicious, are made to the goddess.

Saraswati Vandana, particularly Saraswati Ya Kundendu, is a renowned Stuti dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and is recited during Saraswati Puja on the eve of Vasant Panchami.

या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता।

या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना॥

या ब्रह्माच्युत शंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता।

सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा॥१॥

शुक्लां ब्रह्मविचार सार परमामाद्यां जगद्व्यापिनीं।

वीणा-पुस्तक-धारिणीमभयदां जाड्यान्धकारापहाम्॥

हस्ते स्फटिकमालिकां विदधतीं पद्मासने संस्थिताम्।

वन्दे तां परमेश्वरीं भगवतीं बुद्धिप्रदां शारदाम्॥२॥

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