Friday, February 26, 2021
Home India Vasant Panchmi: The Onset Of Spring Festival

Vasant Panchmi: The Onset Of Spring Festival

Worshiped not only in India but other countries too, the goddess is called by many names- Brahmani( Goddess of Science), Vani( referring to the flow of music)

By Varnika Mahajan

What Diwali is to the goddess of wealth Lakshmi, Vasant Panchmi is to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts. The whole country observes this auspicious day of harvest, which indicates the arrival of spring.

It is interesting to observe that in Indian culture, we have three goddesses representing, Wealth (Lakshmi), Power (Shakti), and Education (Saraswati), showing the equal importance being laid on all the three aspects.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

Special prayers are offered to Goddess Saraswati on this day and many new schools and training institutes are inaugurated, a trend made famous by the renowned founder of the Banaras Hindu University, educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. He founded the University on Vasant Panchmi day in the year 1916.

The history behind the festival

The story goes like this- Lord Shiva burnt the god of love, Lord Kamadeva, who was sent by other Gods to tempt Lord Shiva while he was absorbed in Samadhi. This was done so that Lord Shiva would come out of Samadhi, marry Devi Parvati and beget a powerful son who would be able to destroy the wicked demon Tarakasura. Kamadeva discharged a powerful arrow at Lord Shiva from behind a tree, which disturbed Shiva’s meditation and, as a result, he became very greatly enraged. This led to the opening of His third eye which reduced Kamadeva to ashes.

Vasant Panchmi
Goddess Saraswati. Pixabay

Thus, the God of love- Kamadeva is honored on this day. Kamadeva Puja used to be conducted in many parts of the country in the past through such a practice has greatly reduced in the present. Kamadeva is also known as “Atanu” — one without a body and spring or Vasant being Kamadeva’s close friend, spring is closely associated with the latter.

Saraswati Puja

The major celebration on this day though is the Saraswati Puja. As per the accounts of Brahma Vaivarta Purana, a boon was granted by Krishna to Goddess Saraswati that she would be worshiped on Vasant Panchami.

Traditionally a Kalash containing water is set up with colored powder thrown into the air to mark the occasion.  Men and women wear yellow color which is a sign of auspiciousness and spirituality, representing the ripening of the spring crops.

People celebrating Vasant Panchami in The East, generally wear yellow color garments, deck up Saraswati’s idol too in yellow. In the Telugu states, Vasant Panchami is observed with prayers to Maa Saraswati and also observing Akshara Abhyasam or Vidya Arambham.

Even the food is colored yellow by using saffron with folks getting together and singing songs connected with spring.

The symbolism behind the imagery of Goddess Saraswati

Seated on a white lotus, Saraswati draped in White with Veena in her hands, symbolizes knowledge, truth, and light. Her four hands often displayed prominently symbolize, manas( sense), buddhi( intellect), Chitta( imagination), and ahamkara(self-consciousness). The Veena represents all the creative arts and sciences, and her holding represents the harmony created by knowledge.  Sitting on a white swan, it also symbolizes spiritual perfection, transcendence, and Moksha. Thus, sincere worship of Goddess Saraswati will lead one to Vidya and Moksha.

Vasant Panchmi
There is a gap of 40 days between Vasant Panchami and Holi. Pixabay

Interesting facts

    • At the end of the festivities, the flowers and mango leaves would be sprinkled with red gulal with girls applying it to their cheeks.
    • Interestingly, there is a gap of 40 days between Vasant Panchami and Holi and it is believed to be the number of days Rati undertook penance, after her husband Kamadeva was burnt to ashes by Shiva’s third eye.
    • Sufi Muslims have been witnessing this day since the 12th century AD. It is said that the poet Amir Khusro, dressed in yellow, took flowers to the saint Nizamuddin, who was mourning the death of his nephew which made him feel better. Sufi Basant is observed in Sufi shrines.
    • In Uttarakhand, earthen lamps and incense are lit, to signify worship of the earth as a ‘harvest festival’. On the other hand, people in Bihar and Bengal worship the plow on this day.
  • ALSO READ: Ashtottaram 37: OṀ KRUṪAJNATĀNUGRAHABHŨMYAI NAMAH
    • Vasant Panchmi is also called Shree Panchami.
    • Punjab region celebrates it as the Basant Festival of Kites with the observance in Gurdwaras as a Sikh festival.
    • Worshiped not only in India but other countries too, the goddess is called by many names- Brahmani( Goddess of Science), Vani( referring to the flow of music).  In Telugu-speaking states, she is referred to as Chaduvula Thalli( Goddess of education) and as Kalaimagal, Kalaivani in Tamil. A very common name is Sharada, one who loves the autumn season. (Image source: besthdwalls.in)

(The article was originally written in 2016, and is re-edited on February 16, 2021)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

68 Percent Women Feel Insecured Due To Rejections Based On Beauty

According to a recent survey, nine out of ten women in India feel they are judged and rejected based on their looks during the...

Five Things To Be Mindful Of Before Buying A House In 2021

Owning a home is something all of us have dreamt of at some point in time in our lives. At the very outset, the...

An Agreement To Boost Online Jewellery Retail

To provide impetus to Indian gem and jewelry sellers on the global e-marketplace and explore potential business collaborations for sectoral growth, the Gem and...

Work on India’s First-Ever Cable-Styled Bridge Called “Anji” Goes on in Full Swing!

Work on India's first cable-styled bridge, also called the Anji bridge, is going on in full swing in Jammu and Kashmir's Raesi district, and...

Almost 10% of The Total Agricultural Produce Go To Waste in India, Says IARI Director

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), which helps to increase the production of agricultural produce in the country through its research, is now working...

Vaccination Centres Expect Manifold Rise in The Number of People To Take Their Jibe For Phase-3!

After the announcement of phase three vaccination which is set to begin from March 1 in the country, the vaccination centres are expecting a...

Report: WFH Is Causing Eye And Ear Problems Among Young Adults

Doctors in the Gurugram district say online classes and work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing eye and ear problems...

Bollywood Adds Spice To Film Titles

Bollywood never misses a chance to sensationalize, to gran a few extra eyeballs. This year, makers seem to have hit the idea of quirky...

Recent Comments