Saraswati Puja is celebrated all over India by Hindus. Saraswati is the goddess for Education, Arts and Crafts. This festival is held in the month of Magh (January-February). It is a festival celebrated by the youth, particularly students who invoke the blessings of the goddess for success in learning, arts and crafts. More than any other state, Saraswati Puja is celebrated in West Bengal in a splendid manner. Next to West Bengal it is celebrated in southern states of India such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh etc. in schools, colleges and homes. Saraswati Pooja is celebrated as Basant Punjami OR Vasanat Punjami in many states of India. Goddess Saraswati is represented as a graceful woman in white, a symbol of purity and peace. She is the Goddess who signifies knowledge, learning, arts and culture. She is seen as the serene Goddess wearing a crescent moon on her brow riding a swan or seated on a lotus flower. Saraswati Puja is performed to pay allegiance to the Goddess of learning. Bakdevi, Biraj, Sarada, Brahmi, Satarupa, Mahasweta, Sarbasukia, Prithudar, Bagiswari are some of the other names of Goddess Saraswati. Myths of Goddess Saraswati Amongst all the Hindu deities, Saraswati stands out as the most controversial. Starting from the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads to the popular ancient mythology, Saraswati appears through a veil of mystery. According to the Matsya Purana, Saraswati evolved from the mouth of Brahma. Such was her beauty and grace that Brahma pursued her. As she fled in different directions a head appeared and so Brahma is attributed with five heads, she was the most unique creation of Brahma. Methods for Saraswati Puja to worship Goddess Saraswati The idol is decorated in white, representing purity. The place where the idol is kept for the Pooja is decorated with floral designs or Rangolois and the design of a fish is considered auspicious. Although different states of India follow different methods to follow, following is the method of worship commonly followed by majority of the Indian people: Goddess Saraswati is represented as a graceful woman in white, a symbol of purity and peace. She is the Goddess who signifies knowledge, learning, arts and culture. She is seen as the serene Goddess wearing a crescent moon on her brow riding a swan or seated on a lotus flower. Saraswati Puja is performed to pay allegiance to the Goddess of learning. The puja of Ma Saraswati is held at a time when the winter comes to an end and spring begins. It is the time of the beginning of ‘Basanta Kaal’. In this time of the year, the weather remains fantastic. The weather is neither too cold, nor it is too hot. In other words, it remains pleasant. There is no need to put on a sweater, in our midst amidst this pleasant weather. So performing the puja creates no problems at all. In the Vedas, Goddess Saraswati is refered as the water deity and is revered for her purifying and enriching powers. The Goddess of knowledge and learning is said to have invented Sanskrit, the language of the Brahmins, of scriptures and scholars. Family members bathe early and dress in yellow attire and assemble in front of the Goddess. A flat low stool made of wood is covered with yellow cloth and the idol is placed on it, facing East direction. Then, the face of the idol remains covered till the priest begins chanting the mantras at the commencement of the puja. A green coconut is placed on an earthen pot with a red checked cotton cloth called Gamcha. The actual puja flowers are used but the most significant is the Palash or flame of the forest and marigold flowers. In the southern part of the country, Lotus and other fragrant flowers like jasmine are offered. Saraswati Puja is celebrated in all over the country. Across the country, educational institutions celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm. Books of the students at home are placed before the goddess. The main pooja offerings to the goddess are mainly fruits; most significant are Berries from the wild plum tree. Other fruits include tapioca. Sweets include puffed rice, jaggery and yogurt. The earthen pot is tied with a string which will be untied only on the next day by the priest before Bisarjan or the immersion ceremony. A Havan (hymn) is done by the priest (or the eldest among the family) using special wood, ghee, joss sticks and incense. There absence of a burnt smell signifies the success of the puja. A diya or lamp is also kept lit along with the prasad. Saraswati Puja is also known as Boi Puja ( a worship of books). The puja starts early in the morning with aarti. The chanting of various monsters begins after the ‘aaroti’. Ma Saraswati is the goddess of learning, so those associated with the performance footsteps of Ma Saraswati in order to receive her special blessings. It is particularly popular among the students community. Basically students fear studies most. The puja is celebrated in all schools and colleges. Arati is performed by the person in the morning and again in the evening. This is done while chanting sanskrit slokas (in brahmans house) or slokas from the regional language in non-brahmans houses) and accompanied by the blowing of conch shells and the beating of drums (in northern India or holy pooja-bell in southern India). The lit lamp used during the Arati is passed around for each devotee to warm their hand and touch their heads. The most significant part of the Saraswati Puja is, nobody touches books on that particular day. This signifies that the goddess is blessing the books placed in front of her that day. Eating vegetarian food is strictly followed on this day of Saraswati Pooja. Young Kids in the family are asked to write for the first time in life, the alphabets by the priest / family elder. It suggests the first step being taken in the acquisition of Knowledge. The next day the children take back their books but stand before the goddess and read from them or write in them. Many people visit temple on that day, to worship God Saraswathi to get her blessing to get Best of Education / Art / Culture.
An invocation to Goddess Saraswati is as follows – she who holds the (musical instrument) veena in her hands and opens the channels of learning for her disciples. Saraswati is also revered as the Goddess of music and creative (particularly, the spoken) arts.
yaa kundendu tushhaar haara dhavalaa yaa shubhravastraavR^itaa .
yA vINaavarada.nDa ma.nDitakaraa yaa shvetapadmaasanaa .
या कुन्देन्दु तुषार हार धवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता ।
या वीणा वरदँड मँडित करा या श्वेतपद्मासना ।
Saraswati Beej Mantra MP3:
Saraswati Vandana Mantra :
Saraswati Vandana Mantra Lyrics:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa,
Yaa shwetha padma’asana
Yaa brahma’achyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devai-sadaa Vanditha
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaa-pahaa.
Sanskrit / संस्कृत:
या कुंदेंदु तुषारहार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रावृता |
या वीणावर दण्डमंडितकरा, या श्वेतपद्मासना ||
या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभ्रृतिभिर्देवै: सदा वन्दिता |
सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती नि:शेष जाड्यापहा ||
Hindi / हिंदी अनुवाद:
जो कुंद फूल, चंद्रमा और वर्फ के हार के समान श्वेत हैं, जो शुभ्र वस्त्र धारण करती हैं|
जिनके हाथ, श्रेष्ठ वीणा से सुशोभित हैं, जो श्वेत कमल पर आसन ग्रहण करती हैं||
ब्रह्मा, विष्णु और महेश आदिदेव, जिनकी सदैव स्तुति करते हैं|
हे माँ भगवती सरस्वती, आप मेरी सारी (मानसिक) जड़ता को हरें||
“May Goddess Saraswati, who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops; who is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena, and whose throne is a white lotus; who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me. May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
Saraswati Mantra Youtube Video:
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