ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASATHI – THE DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE
THE BASANT PANCHAMI
The God Almighty is very generous to His creations
He provides us the bounties of Mother Nature
With only a few conditions attached
That we’ve to respect the laws of nature
Which provides us the whole lot
God bestows us the chance to enjoy varieties of climates.
From extreme hot to not so hot
From extreme cold to mild or not so cold.
From devastatingly hot weather to mild hot
We heartily cherish these moments
And enjoy the time at our disposal with friends’ accompaniment.
Basant Panchami has religio-seasonal connotations
Withstanding the cold of the winter season
There is a beginning of a climate so plasant
Whence the Mother Nature is at its excellence
Wherein a carpet of yellow mustard plants is one of the attractions
Even the people put on their yellow attires
To match the environment around
Thus imbuing themselves with the Mother Nature
Legend has it with this festival
Lord Brahma -the Creator
Happened to see the Earth
He felt penitent
On seeing the bare trees
The barren land bereft of any greenery
Scattered some water from His jar so enchanting
Lo and behold
There appeared Goddess Sarawati
The provider of Knowledge and Wisdom
Besides music, art and craft
Goddess Sarswati too is called
The Goddess of Basant Panchmi
Whence Lord Brahma bestowed greenery
To the plants in abundance
Bringing about brightness in natural spectacle
Everywhere our eyes could travel
Thence yellow flowers are to the God in plenty
Our food items too emit yellow colour
By putting saffron stands
Giving out fragrance, so mouth watering.
On this occasion devout worship musical instruments
Including art, craft and all other learning mediums
Being the gifts of Lordess Saraswati.
Then congregations and processions
Are taken to implore Her for more of her bounties
Knowledge and wisdom to us humans
To distinguish between truth and falsehood.
Lordess white dress symbolizes purity in all its manifestations
She is also an embodiment of truth and elegance
Even her posture of sitting has a meaning, so deep
Our humble prayers to The O Goddess Saraswati
To obliterate ignorance and illiteracy from our midst
And bring about a dawn of enlightenment
By removing the specter of ego which engulfs us immensely
And permeate us all in thy colour, so indelible.
ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASATHI – THE DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE
The Basant has been taken from Sanskrit word VASANT’ which means Spring Season. Basant Panchami (fifth tithi) is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Saraswati in different parts of India. She is the divinity of knowledge (music, arts, science etc). We worship the Goddess so that she bestows us essential knowledge and help us to remove ignorance from our midst. On this day, people also initiate the education of their kids in their homes and schools besides it is considered auspicious to start new ventures businesses on this day.
In schools and colleges too, in the morning hours assemblies, prayers to Goddess Saraswati are done in order to get her graces, blessings for enlightenment and removal of agyan (ignorance). Although whole of the day is considered promising yet most auspicious time is from sunrise to the midday (which is also termed as the Purvahna Kala) and it is considered as the auspicious time to conduct Saraswati Puja with great reverence and piety for seeking her graces in abundance.
FESTIVAL ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFERENT ASPECTS
In many parts of india, farmers conduct the earth pujan (Bhoomi Puja) for more agricultural produce from their fields before tilling their fields. People eat sweet rice and put on yellow clothes – yellow colour is associated with Basant Panchami.
Dandya dance is also performed on this day in Gujarat state which is also associated with harvesting, sowing and reaping of crops etc. The ploughing implements too are worshipped on this day so that these implements work to their full potentials for better crop yield.
ASSOCIATED WITH KAMADEVA AND RATI
Season-wise, chilling cold season ends and start of more pleasant and enjoyable season starts – Basant Ritu. There is also a tradition that in Basant Ritu, there is air of love and affection which is associated with kamadeva and his wife named Rati. When we associate this day with Kamadeva, it means there used to be dance based on love in the royal palaces in which the women folks of the royal leanings and other girls used to dance’ (in their best attires) in the midst of singing suiting the occasion – basically on love between Krishna and Radha. People put on yellow attire on this occasion in consonance with the flowering of yellow tamarind crops. It seems as though the Mother Nature has spread a yellow coloured cloth with seasonal flowers. There is also fragrance of flowers all around.
The Basant Panchami is also called as Shree Panchami and Sufi which is observed in Sufi shrines. This festival is also celebrated in different parts of India though slightly differently. People enjoy kite flying, – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc, Eastern India including Bengal wherein Saraswathi idol is immersed in Ganga.
PRAYER TO LORD SHIVA AND LORD VISHNU AND SUN GOD
People in different regions also worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi including Sun God and offerings are made to them to earn their graces which could help them tide over their problems in life.
. Devotees feed the needy on this occasion.
It is not merely Hindus who celebrate BASANT PANCHAMI but people following religsions too celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm – as it is a seasonal festival.
Saint Nizamuddin Aulia who was known for his generosity, compassion and simplicity coupled with humane heart too celebrated Basant Panchami. There used to be Langar at dargah where food was served to all irrespective of religious leaning. When his nephew died, he felt so sad that he stopped all the activities.
Observing with concern, Amir Khusrau, a Sufi poet, musician and scholar and who is considered as a prominent name in the cultural history of the Indian Sub-continent wanted to bring him to his normal state. While seeing the women putting on their yellow attire, with colourful flowers, he also put on yellow clothes and flowers and went in front of the Saint. Upon seeing Khuarau in that dress, the Saint smiled. Thence onwards, Basant Panchami too is celebrated in Dargah of Saint Nizamuddin Aulia.
The Sikhs also celebrate Basant Panchami. Basant Raga or Spring Raga (composition) forms one of the well-known Ragas in Sri Granth Sahib Sahib Ji and sung with great reverence. This occasion has also another significance, the marriage of Guru Gobind Singh was solemnized on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami.