BASANT PANCHCHAMI: ASSOCIATED WITH GODDESS SARASWATHI :THE BESTOWER OF GYAN (KNOWLEDGE) AND WISDOM/SAGACITY
BASANT PANCHAMI ASSOCIATED WITH KNOWLEDGE & WISDOM BESTOWED BY GODDESS MAHA SARASWATI
Fairs and festivals are the obviously the beyond question confirmation
That a society as a whole is on the move for commemoration
Of some festivals which are seasonal in nature
Others are related to beliefs so prevalent
But one thing is common in all of festive events
People participate in each of these events so significance
That they are filled with positive synergy when participating in celebration.
Basant Panchami has religio-seasonal connotations
After withstooding the chilling cold of winter season
There has begun much awaited dawn of a season, indeed so very pleasant.
When Mother Nature is at its excellence
Wherein a carpet of yellow mustard plants are one of the best attractions
People put on their yellow attire, so gorgeous
And imbue themselves in natural yellow colour.
There is a legend attached to Basant Panchami festival
Lord Brahma, the Lord of Creation
Happened to see earthwards
After witnessing the condition of his creation on the earth
He felt very sad on seeing
The Mother Earth was bereft of any greenery
Since plant-life with its greenery represents life in all its forms
He scattered some water from His jar,
To the huge surprise of all living beings
Lord Barahma too gifted greenery to the plants in abundance
A scenario so very delightful indeed
Bringing in its wake brightness in natural spectacle
Bringing about verve and vigour in everybody’s life.
Lo and behold, there appeared Goddess Saraswati
The giver of wisdom and erudition
Music, art and craft and knowledge
Goddess Saraswati spreads positive energy
So very suffusing with joy full of life
Her advent brought in its wake greenery all around
With affluence so abundant.
She too is termed as the Goddess of Basant Panchmi!
Wherein yellow flowers sprout in the fields.
Yellow or white flowers are also offered to Godess Saraswati
Along with chanting of beej mantra
OM EN SARASWATE NAMON
For earning her bountiful graces
Devout also put on yellow or white coloured clothes
Suiting the occasion.
Even our food items exhibit yellowness
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 also taken
To beseech Her to bestow us humans the knowledge and wisdom
Along with power to find the difference between truth and falsehood
Her four hands symbolize ego, intellect, alertness of the mind
Her white dress symbolizes purity
And she loves truth in all forms
Her postures of sitting too has vast meaning.
Our humble prayers to Thee O Goddess Sarasvati
The embodiment of learning, art and craft
We implore Thee O Goddess to remove illiteracy
And ignorance from our midst
And bring forth the dawn of enlightenment with love and light
Remove ego as You are the giver of wisdom
And do imbue us all in THY INDELIBLE COLOUR
BASANT PANCHAMI (WISH YOU ALL HAPPY AND COLOURFUL BASANT
Basant has been taken from Sanskrit word VASANT’ which means Spring season. Basant Panchami (5TH TITHI) is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Saraswati in different parts of India.
GODDESS SARSWATI IS DIVINITY OF KNOWLEDGE
Goddess Saraswati is the divinity of knowledge (music, arts, science etc). We worship the Goddess so that she may bestow us necessary knowledge and remove the ignorance from our midst. On this day, people also initiate the education of their small children in their homes or schools besides it is considered auspicious to start new ventures businesses. Anything and everything initiated on this day with sincere prayers gets fructified as the graces of Goddess Saraswati remains on such a person.
The chanting of Beej Mantra: OM AIGN MAHA SARASWATIYAN NAMAN (ॐ ऐं महासरस्वत्यै नम) – meaning I meditate and bow to thee Maha Saraswati. By chanting this Beej Mantra with utmost sincerity and purposefully, we get Her graces for all including the student community.
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, 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 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 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 Saraswati idol is immersed in Ganga.
In schools and colleges too, in the morning hours, prayers to Goddess Saraswati are conducted 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 propitious time to conduct Saraswati Pujan with great reverence and piety for seeking her graces.
FESTIVAL IS 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 and put on yellow clothes. The 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 etc. The ploughing implements too are worshipped on this day by the farmers.
This day is most significant for the farmers since some of them are agitating. The negotiations with the farmers are going and on and sure enough something good will emerge with the grace of Goddess Saraswati ultimately.
PRAYER TO LORD SHIVA AND LORD VISHNU AND SUN GOD
People in different relgions also worship Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati including Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi and offer flowers including Sun God and other offerings for their wellbeing. Devotees and compassionates also feed the needy on this occasion.
BASANT PANCHAMI IS CELEBRATED BY ALL
Saint Nizamuddin Aulia was famous for his generosity, compassion and simplicity coupled with humane heart. There used to be Langar at dargah where food was served to all. When his nephew died, he felt so saddened that he stopped all the activities. Then 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.
The Sikhs too 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.
My sincere prayers to Goddess SARSWATI to grant us all knowledge and also wisdom to use this knowledge meaningfully in day to day lives thereby gain experience. The experience gained helps us to attain wisdom. Having attained wisdom through various experiences gives us insight into how best to come out of difficult situations with ease. Goddess SARASWATI, the deity of knowledge and wisdom paves way for us by making our sincere efforts purposeful.