William Wordsworth’s “ten thousand golden daffodils” will be the first thing that will strike your mind during Vasant Panchami. This is because of the visual treat of nature that surrounds the entire country during the occasion of Vasant Panchami. The color yellow has an immense importance on this occasion as mustard crop fields get filled with yellow colored flowers. ‘Basant Panchami’ also known as ‘Vasant Panchami’ is celebrated with great fervor and joy every year. It falls on the fifth day of Magh, ‘Basant’ means spring and ‘Panchami’ means the fifth day in Hindi language. This year, Vasant Panchami falls on the 24th of January. Vasant Panchami has many traditions and legends associated with it.
Significance of Vasant Panchami
This festival marks the beginning of the spring season but most importantly, Vasant Panchami also marks the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati is known as the Goddess of music, art, knowledge, culture and wisdom. Thus, Saraswati Puja withholds immense importance for the students as well. It has been a tradition which has been followed since time immemorial because the Goddess is believed to have appeared on this particular day. Therefore, Saraswati Puja also holds of great importance on the day of Vasant Panchami.
Goddess Saraswati was evoked by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe to bring life to his creations. The Goddess also symbolizes peace and serenity, holding a veena or lute in her hand dressed in white. This is also considered to be an auspicious day for anyone to lay his foundation of education of how to read and write. Special prayers are also conducted for Goddess Saraswati in almost every Hindi school.
The day of Vasant Panchami is initiated with Saraswati Puja as it has been believed since ages that she is worshipped by everyone even demons and gods. This is reason why worshipping her especially on the fifth day of Magha is considered important.
Method for Saraswati Puja
The first step to initiate the puja is by worshipping Lord Ganesha, as He is known as the God of good luck. After people worship Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are also worshipped. After this begins the worship of Goddess Saraswati where an urn or kalash is enshrined before the prayer ritual begins. At first, the Goddess is bathed and she is spotlessly dressed in white, vermillion and garlands are offered to the Goddess before starting the puja. Many also practice the tradition of offering red color powder on her feet and yellow flowers and fruits are offered in the form of Prasad.
Devotees can utter this popular ‘pranam mantra’ to the Goddess:
Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey
Apart from Saraswati Puja, flying kites is also one of the ways to welcome Vasant Panchami. Many region in India have kite competitions especially in Punjab and Haryana. It is also one of the oldest traditions followed in many parts of India.
Influence of Astrology on Vasant Panchami
This year 2015, the shubh muhurat for Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami begins from 09:23:37 to 11:30:03, a total duration of 2hrs and 6mins.
The commencement of the spring season has an influence on the planet of love, amusement and charm that is Venus. Vasant Panchami is also known as Abhuja Day which is also regarded as one of the most auspicious day to start any kind of work. This day is also favorable to start any kind of business or any new venture.
Getting married especially on the occasion of Abhuja Day is considerd auspicious which has been followed since a long time. Apart from this belief, Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Puja is also considered to be auspicious for house warming ceremonies.