Saraswati Puja also is known as Sharda is a Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. She is considered to be part of the Trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi, Parvati. All three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and shiva for creating, regenerating, and maintaining the universe respectively. The earliest known mention of the Saraswati as a goddess is in Rigveda. She has remained important as a goddess from the Vedic period through the modern times of Hinduism traditions and religion. Some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami on the fifth day of spring also known as Saraswati Puja in her honor and mark the day by helping young children learn how to write letters of the alphabet on this day of Saraswati puja.
SYMBOLISM AND ICONOGRAPHY OF GODDESS SARASWATI
The goddess Saraswati is often depicted as the beautiful woman sitting dressed in a white saree and seated on a lotus flower. A white lotus symbolizes light, knowledge, and truth. The iconography is in white themes from dress to flowers and to swan. The four hands symbolize a book or script, garland, water pot, and musical instrument. The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas which represents universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning. She also holds musical instruments called veena which represents the creative arts and sciences and symbolizes to express knowledge which creates harmony, peace.
There are many avatars and forms of goddess Saraswati. She is also considered to be the goddess of wisdom of ultimate truth.
- As Mahakali, she is a destroyer of ignorance and ego.
- As Parvati, she is Brahma vidya, the ultimate truth
- As Lakshmi, she is Vidhya Lakshmi who provides wealth according to a person’s skills
- As Vidhya, she is considered to be a formless concept of wisdom and knowledge in all aspects.
- As gayatri, she is personification of the Vedas.
- As Savitri, she is considered to be the personification of purity.
Saraswati puja is considered to be performed by people by worshipping tools of learning like a pencil, pen, musical instruments, etc. The day dedicated to Ma Saraswati is also known as Basant Panchami. Saraswati is the goddess of music, learning, and arts. She is considered to be one who imparts knowledge and instills wisdom. People offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati and seek blessings for an enlightened life.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SARASWATI PUJA
Saraswati goddess came into being, that day is called Basant Panchami. Puja is performed and blessings are taken from the Goddess. Tools of learning are also worshipped. It is believed that without Saraswati, there would be ignorance which is considered equal to darkness.
SARASWATI PUJA RITUALS
It’s puja rituals includes-
- Dhyana which is meditation
- Avana which is invoking the goddess
- Asana-invoking the goddess to take her seat.
- Padhya- washing goddess feet.
- Arghya – to offer water to the goddess
- Achamaniya- to continue to provide water for abhishekam
- Snana- Bathing ritual
- Panchmitra Snana-it includes cow milk, honey, ghee, and jaggery, etc.
- Shuddhodhak Snan- purification with plain water or gangajal
- Vastra Arpan- to offer yellow-colored fresh pieces of cloth.
- Then offer chandan, haldi, kumkum, sindoor and jewellery
- Followed by Pusha, deep, dhoop (incense sticks), naivedhya (divine offerings for Prasad)
- To conclude the offerings with tambulam a platter consisting of betel nuts, beetle leaves, a whole coconut with its husk, bananas, and with some money.
- To perform the aarti and offer pushpanjali which are flowers. Then to do pradakshina and conclude the puja by doing pranayam which is to bow down.
It includes the vidya mantra which consists of salutations to the Goddess Saraswati, the one who gives boons and grants wishes. As the person begins his education, he prays to shower him with the knowledge and intellect needed for attaining wisdom.
Saraswati Vandana shloka, salutations to goddess Saraswati who wears a garland of white pearls, the one who is dressed in white, the one who holds veena in her hand and holds the blessing mudra, and one who is seated on a white color lotus. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shankara hail and worship goddess Saraswati to bless and remove ignorance.
These mantras can be recited by a priest or by the person himself. Chanting of mantras dedicated to goddess Saraswati must be chanted with utmost faith and sincere devotion.
PUJA DATE 2021
Saraswati puja will be in the month of February 2021, and the date will be Tuesday, the 16th of February.
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