Vasant Panchami Pooja Vidhi and Rituals•
Posted on January 19 2023
Vasant Panchami is a spring festival celebrated to honour the birth of Goddess Saraswati. For this reason, the festival is alternatively referred to as Basant Panchami, Saraswati Pooja, Saraswati Jayanti. The festival is celebrated on the bright half of the fifth day of the Hindu lunisolar Magha month. Since the goddess is associated with knowledge, wisdom and learning, the ritual followed for the pooja is also called Vidya Arambham or Akshar Arambham.
Like with any Hindu festival, the pooja vidhi and rituals associated with Vasant Panchami typically begin early morning although there is no specific time to actually do the pooja on this day. There are various ways the festival is celebrated depending on the region of the celebrations. Since yellow and white are considered to be the favourite colours of the deity, a lot of importance is given to these colours when observing the rituals pertaining to the festival.
Doing Saraswati Pooja at Home
Hindus wake up early on this day and clean their house thoroughly, especially the pooja room. After this, they apply a paste of turmeric and neem on their body and go for a bath. Following their bath, they dress themselves in yellow or white clothes. Place a photo or idol of the goddess over a white or yellow coloured cloth on a raised platform facing east in the pooja room. Offer some panchamrit followed by Gangajal. Always, keep an idol of Ganesha and some books, musical instruments or any creative art form near the deity.
Put a garland of yellow marigolds around the idol or the photo. Decorate a plate with yellow flowers, turmeric powder, rice, kumkum and flowers and offer it to the goddess. Light a small diya with mustard oil, sesame oil or ghee and a couple of incense sticks in front of the deity. Offer prasad made in white or yellow to the deity.
Seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha to perform the pooja without any hurdle. Close your eyes and join your palms together and chant the Vidya mantra with utmost devotion. You can alternatively recite the Saraswati Vandana sloka. Once you have chanted the mantra or sloka, perform the arti and do a pushpanjali. Conclude the pooja with a circumambulation around the goddess. Share the prasad among family members and others as well.
If the Saraswati pooja is done by an astrologer, it helps in alleviating the ill effects of Chandra, Budh, Shukra and Brahaspati to a major extent.
Siddhir Bavathume Sadha
Saraswati Vandana Sloka
Ya Kundendu Tushara Hara Dhavala, Ya Shubhra Vastravrita
Ya Veena Varadanda Manditakara, Ya Shveta Padmasana
Ya Brahmachyuta Shankara Prabhritibihi, Devaih Sada Pujita
Sa Mam Pattu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha Jadyapaha
Other Vasant Panchami Rituals
- Elders teach children to speak and write their first words on this day. This is believed to be the first step towards their learning process.
- It is a customary practice to feed brahmins on this day. You can give them some prasad along with the food.
- People also perform the traditional ancestral worship that is known as pitra-tarpan. This is believed to help them get their blessings.
- People of all age groups dress themselves in yellow attires and fly kites of all colours and sizes. Sometimes, they have a fun competition to determine which kite flies the highest.
- Vasant Panchami is believed to be a very good day for marriage. Like for the pooja, great importance is given to wearing yellow for the celebrations. It is also a preferred day for other auspicious activities as well.
Stories Behind Vasant Panchami
There are various interesting tales related to Vasant Panchami. Read on to know some of them.
Maa Saraswati was incarnated from the mind Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. The day the incarnation took place is celebrated as Vasant Panchami.
According to one version, Lord Brahma once made a visit to the earth to see His creations for Himself. He was quite upset to see that the earth was quite silent and lonely. So, he created an angel and gave her a harp. He also directed the angel to make the earth lively with her musical skills. The angel did so willingly by singing beautifully and playing the harp. She also showered Her blessings on the inhabitants on earth. Lord Brahma named this angel Saraswati. Another version has it that Lord Brahma created the goddess to help Him with creating the universe as well as the celestial bodies in it.
There is another legend revolving the legendary poet Kalidasa. He was born a simpleton and was tricked into getting married to a princess who neither respected nor cared for him. This upset him very much and he decided to end his life. Just as he was about to do so, Goddess Saraswati made her presence before Kalidasa and told him to take a bath in a river. Kalidasa obliged and when he came out, he was blessed as a cultured person with knowledge and intelligence. In due course, he also became a well-known poet.
Written by - Deepthi K