BASANT PANCHAMI (WISH YOU ALL HAPPY BASANT PANCHMI) – ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASVATI (THE BESTOWER OF KNOWLEDGE & WISDOM FOR OUR SELF REALIZATION (JNANI)
Fairs and festivals are the real indicators
That a society is on the move together in their celebrations
Some festivals are seasonal in nature
Others are related to beliefs so prevalent
Since ages together
But one thing stands out in all
People participate in each of these festivals
With joy abandon whenever these festivals fall.
Basant Panchami has religio-seasonal connotations
After suffering the onslaught of chilling cold of winter season
With cold air
There has begun much awaited dawn of a season
So very pleasant
In all its signs
With Mother Nature at its best appearance
Wherein a carpet of yellow mustard plants is one of the best attractions
People put on their yellow attire, so gorgeous
And imbue themselves in natural yellow colour
Which is the sign of energy
To take on any activity.
There is a legend attached to this festival
Lord Brahma who is the Creator-in-Chief
Is one of the Trinities
The other being Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu
Happened to see earthwards
He felt very sad on seeing without any leaves
Barren land bereft of any greenery
He scattered some water from His enchanting jar
To the huge surprise of us all
There appeared Goddess Sarswati
The giver of wisdom and scholarship
Music, art and craft and knowledge to imbibe
She too is termed as the Goddess of Basant Panchmi!
Lord Barahma too gifted greenery to the plants in abundance
Bringing in its wake brightness in natural spectacle
Which made a huge difference
and enthused everybody to be more active
Brimming with energy
So refreshing indeed.
Yellow flowers are offered to God
Even our food items exhibit yellow hue
With saffron strands giving yellow colour
Emitting sweet fragrance everywhere.
People worship the musical instruments
Art, craft and all the learning mediums
For these are the gifts of Goddess Saraswati
Processions in the honour of the Goddess are taken
To implore Her to bestow all humans Budhi – wisdom
And power(Shakti) to find the difference between truth and falsehood
Her four hands symbolize ego, intellect, alertness and the mind
Her white dress is the symbol of purity
And she loves truth in all forms
Her postures of sitting with a Sitar too has vast meaning.
Our humble prayers to Thee O Goddess Sarasvati
The embodiment of learning, craft, knowledge and wisdom
We implore Thee to remove illiteracy & ignorance from our midst
And bring forth the dawn of enlightenment
Remove ego as You are the giver of wisdom
And do imbue us all in THY INDELIBLE COLOURS.
ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASWATI – THE BESTOWER OF GYAN (KNOWLEDGE) AND WISDOM/SAGACITY (BUDHI)
First of all, it is essential to know the meaning of BASANT PANCHAMI: The word Basant has been taken from Sanskrit word VASANT’ which means Spring. Basant Panchami (5TH TITHI) is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Saraswati in different parts of India. She is the divinity of knowledge (music, arts, science including all the creativity etc). We worship the Her so that she bestows us necessary knowledge and removes the ignorance from our midst. Our responsibility is to utilize the knowledge gained for day to day activities. On this day, people also initiate the education of their small children in their homes and in schools besides it is considered auspicious to start new ventures businesses because the graces of Goddess Saraswati is there with the work started on this auspicious day.
In schools and colleges and in other formal and informal institutions, in the morning assemblies, prayers to Goddess Saraswati are made in order to get her graces and blessings for enlightenment and GYAN (knowledge) and removal of AGYAN (ignorance). Although whole of the day is considered auspicious for prayers yet most promising time is from sunrise to the midday (which is also termed as the Purvahna Kala) and it is considered as the propitious time to conduct Saraswati Pujan with great reverence and piety for seeking her bounties.
FESTIVAL ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFERENT ASPECTS
In some parts of India, farmers conduct earth worship (Boomi Pujan) for more agricultural output from their fields before tilling their fields. People eat sweet rice made yellow with saffron strands. People put on yellow clothes as yellow colour is associated with Basant Panchami. Yellow colour is associated with good traits such as gentleness, wisdom/sagacity, harmony, humour, cleverness. Practically, the yellow colour is prepared by mixing equal quantity of red and green. It too is associated with autumn leave such as tamarind flowers, corn, lemon, bananas and other health giving fruits. In addition it is also associated with light energy of the Sun which gives this festival all the more pleasant scene.
People in the yellow and other colourful attires perform Dandya Dance on this day in Gujarat State. This festival is also associated with harvesting, sowing and reaping the crops. All the implements used to plough the fields are washed and worshipped on this day. In other words, it is relevant to say that this day is considered most propitious for initiating our children to educational pursuits, tilling the fields for sowing the seeds, starting a new venture including getting know-how from any source with the bountiful graces of Goddess Saraswati the bestower of Knowledge (Gyan) and wisdom (Budhi) and thus a remover of ignorance.
ASSOCIATED WITH KAMADEVA AND RATI (God and Goddess of Love)
Season-wise, chilling cold season is on the wane, more pleasant and enjoyable season Sbasant Ritu starts. Traditionally 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 in their best attires used to dance in the midst of singing the most suitable for 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.
Basant Panchami is also called as Shree Panchami and celebrated 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, LORD VISHNU AND SUN GOD
People of different regions worship Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati including Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi and offer flowers.
Offerings to Sun God is made for getting His for the wellbeing of self and the members of our family as we are aware that Sun is a huge source of energy without the energy of Sun God, we cannot survive on this Mother Earth. The Following Manatras are chanted to please Sun God among others:-
Om Adrkaaye Namaha (Meaning the one worthy of praise and glory).
Om Savitre Namaha (Meaning one who is giver of life).
Om Bhaavave Namaha (The one who illuminates)
Om Mitraaya Namaha (One who is friendly to all)
Om Ravaye Namaha (The one who is radiant one)
Om Suryaya Namaha (One who is dispeller of darkness and brings about activity)
It is not merely Hindus who celebrate BASANT PANCHAMI.
Saint Nizamuddin Aulia was famous for his generosity, compassion and simplicity coupled with humane heart. There used to be Langar at his dargah where food was served to all. When his nephew died, he felt so sad that he stopped all the activities. Amir Khusrau 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. Hence Basant Panchami too is celebrated in Dargah of Saint Nizamuddin Aulia from that time onwards.
The Sikhs 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. The marriage of Guru Gobind Singh was solemnized on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami.