Vasant Panchami day is dedicated to Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami.
Many astrologers consider Vasant Panchami as Abujha (अबूझ) day which is auspicious to start all good work. According to this belief whole Vasant Panchami day is auspicious to perform Saraswati Puja. It is believed to be one of the four days in ther panchang where there is no blemish.
Vasant Panchami is a festival of hindus and Sikhs that marks the beginning of preparations for spring season. It is celebrated by people in various ways depending on the region. Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which occur forty days later. For many, Vasant Panchami is the festival dedicated to goddess Saraswati who is their goddess of knowledge, language, music and all arts. She symbolizes creative energy and power in all its form, including longing and love. The season and festival also celebrate the agricultural fields’ ripening with yellow flowers of mustard crop, which Hindus associate with Saraswati’s favorite color. People dress in yellow saris or shirts or accessories, share yellow-colored snacks and sweets. Some add saffron to their rice and then eat yellow cooked rice as a part of an elaborate feast.
On this day, people wear yellow.
In Eastern India, primarily in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Tripura and Assam, as well as in Nepal, people visit Saraswati temples and also worship Goddess Saraswati at home (Saraswati Puja). In West Bengal, it’s one of the major festivals for Bengali Hindus and observed by many households; most schools arrange Saraswati puja for their students on their premises. In Bangladesh also, all major educational institutes and universities observe it with a holiday and a special puja.
In the state of Odisha, the festival is celebrated as Basanta Panchami / Sri Panchami /Saraswati Puja. Homas and Yagnas are done in schools and colleges across the state. Students celebrate Saraswati puja with great sincerity and fervor. Usually, children four and five years old start learning on this day in a unique ceremony named ‘Khadi-Chuan’ or ‘Vidya-Arambha’. – this is known as “Haate-Khori” among Bengali Hindus.
Devi Sharada (Saraswati)
नमस्ते शारदे देवी काश्मीरपुरवासिनि
त्वामहं प्रार्थये नित्यं विद्यादानं च देहि मे ॥
Namaste Shaarade Devii Kaashmiira-Pura-Vaasini
Tvaam-Aham Praarthaye Nityam Vidyaa-Daanam Ca Dehi Me ||
1: Salutations to Devi Sharada, Who abide in the abode of Kashmira,
2: To You, O Devi, I always pray (for Knowledge); Please bestow on me the gift of that Knowledge (which illumines everything from within).
सरस्वति नमस्तुभ्यं वरदे कामरूपिणि ।
विद्यारम्भं करिष्यामि सिद्धिर्भवतु मे सदा ॥
Sarasvati Namastubhyam Varade Kaama-Ruupinni |
Vidya[a-A]arambham Karissyaami Siddhir-Bhavatu Me Sadaa ||
1: Salutations to Devi Saraswati, Who is the giver of Boons and fulfiller of Wishes,
2: O Devi, when I begin my Studies, Please bestow on me the capacity of Right Understanding, always.
(Octet on Saraswathi)
Translated by P.R.Ramachander
Amba thwadeeya pada pankaja pamsu lesa,
Sambanda bandhurathara rasana yadheeya,
Sambhayudhadhi padam amruthadhi ramyam,
Nimbhayathe kimutha bhouma padani yasya.
Mother, he whose tongue is made pretty,
By contact with the dust of your lotus-like feet,
Would find the position of Indra who can taste,
The pretty nectar and other tastier objects,
As bitter as that of the nimba fruits.
Matha sthwadeeya karunamrutha poorna drushti,
Patha kwachidhwidhi vasan manuje na cheth syath,
Kaa thasya ghorapibhidhabhyavahara nidhra,
Bheethyadhikeshu sama bhavamupeyivathsu.
Mother what can we talk about him,
On whom your merciful look has not fallen,
For he will not find any difference whatsoever,
Between food, sleep and emotions like fear.
Vanee rema giri suthedhi cha roopa bhedai,
Kshoni jusham vividha mangalamadha dasi,
Naneeyaseem thava vibhuthimaho vivekthum,
Ksheeni bhavathya krutha kopi vacha prapancha. 3
You take the forms of Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi,
And bless the people of earth with different good things,
And so I find that the words that I know are not enough,
To describe your limitless fame which is wonderful.
Sarvagnatha giri sutha kamathir vipaksha,
Garva chidha kusalatha divishdguroscha,
Charvartha sabdha gatana patutha kaveenaam,
Sarvam thwadheeya karuna kanika vivartha.
The all knowing nature of the consort of Parvathi,
The power of Jupiter* to suppress the pride of his enemies,
And the great command of poets over words,
Are but only a drop of thine merciful nature.
* The teacher of devas
Mookakavir jada iha prathi bhavad yogyo,
Bheekunta durbhala mathir dharani vijeetha,
Nishkinchano nidhi pathir bhavathi thwadeeya,
Ekam kadakshamavalambya jagath savithree.
Mother by one look from your merciful eyes,
The dumb man becomes a great poet,
The dimwitted becomes the leader of the learned,
And the very poor one becomes like the Lord of wealth.
Varnathmike, hima sudhakara sankha kunda,
Varnabhiramathanuvallari viswa vandhye,
Karnatha dheerga karunardhra kadaksha pathai,
Poornakhilartha mimamasu vidhatswa devi.
Hey mother who is the soul of the colours,
Who is with the shining white of snow, moon, conch
And jasmine flowers, please fulfill all my desires,
By the looks from your great eyes made wet by our mercy.
Kalam kiyantha mayi they charanaravindha,
Maalambhya hantha vilapami viloloa chetha,
Balam kurusha kruthakruthamimam shbhaika,
Moolam nidhaya karunardhrapangamasmin.
How much time has passed in my depending on your Feet,
And how much time has been spent by me crying,
So let your merciful look fall on this lad and make him,
Happy and make him happy and contented.
Ananda hethu mayee, they karunam vihaya.
Noonam na kinchid akhilesi vilokayami,
Dhoonam dayarhamagathim karunamathardgrai
Renam sisum sishirayasu kadaksha pathai.
I do not see any source of happiness except your mercy,
And, O goddess of the universe, please cool this lad,
Who is suffering, who does not have any other hope.
And who is fit for receiving your mercy with your mere glance.
Imam patedhya prayathsthavodhga,
Mananya chetha jagatham jananya,
Savidhwadhradhitha pada peeto,
Labhetha sarvam purusharthasartham.
He who reads this prayer,
Addressed to the Mother of the Universe,
Who has incomparable grace,
Would be worshipped by all wise men,
And would get all the great wealth of this world.
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