According to Hindu mythology, Basant Panchami is solely dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, one of the Tridevis. It is one of the major cultural and religious carnivals of India. The next Basant Panchami is set to be held on January 26, 2023. This festival signifies the groundwork for the arrival of spring, or Basant, as we call it. Students worship the Goddess Saraswati in the morning of Basant Panchami.
History of Basant Panchami
As people celebrate Basant Panchami as a festival, they must not forget the souls who endured six seasons’ trauma. Basant Panchami is not only a festival but also a symbol of devotion, power, and sacrifice.
Brahmaji created a human vagina by Lord Vishnu’s command in the early creation period, but he was not satisfied with the outcome. Then, he took command from Lord Vishnu and scattered some water to the earth. It caused an earthquake on the earth and appeared as a wonderful and powerful woman.
She had a harp in her one hand and money in the other. She was holding some books and a wraith in her other two hands. When this Goddess made a melodic sound from the harp, all the world’s creatures heard the sound, and Brahmaji called it the speech of Goddess Saraswati.
According to another opinion, Basant Panchami connects us to the Treta era. After Ravan expropriated Sita, Sriram moved south to look for her. He also went to Dandakaranya to find her. A Bhilani named Shabri lived there who was blessed by his guru Matang Rishi that someday God would come to her hut. When Sriram came to her house, she lost her mind and started to feed him sweet palms.
Dandakaranya is now situated in between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Shabri Mata’s ashram was located in Gujarat’s Dang district; Ramchandra Ji came to her ashram on Basant Panchami. The forest dwellers of that area still worship a rock, which they think was used by Shriram for sitting. There is also a place of worship of Shabri Mata.
The day of Basant Panchami also jogs our memory about Prithviraj Chauhan. He defeated the foreign attacker Mohammad Gauri 16 times and generously left alive every time, but Mohammad Gauri did not forgive him when he was defeated on the seventeenth time. He took him to Afghanistan with him and burst his eyes.
Gauri wanted to see the wonders of his arrow before he was sentenced to death. On the advice of Prithviraj’s companion poet Chandbardai, Gauri sat in a high place and hinted at the gripper. Then Chandbardai gave a message to Prithviraj. “Four bamboo twenty-four yards, eight finger proof. Sultan is above, don’t miss Chauhan.”
Prithiviraj Chauhan made no mistake this time. He set the arrow according to the hints of Chandrabarai, and the arrow hit the chest of Gauri. After that, Chandrabarai and Prithiviraj also sacrificed themselves by stabbing each other in the abdomen. This event also took place on the day of Basant Panchami in 1192 AD.
Celebrations of Basant Panchami
Whatever might have happened in the past, most people see this day as Goddess Saraswati’s birth anniversary. People worship Saraswati in many names, including Vagishwari, Vagdevi, Sharda, Gayatri, and Vani. As she created music, she is also considered the Goddess of music.
Goddess Saraswati likes white and Yellow mustard flowers. So, devotees like wearing yellow or white clothes on the occasion of Basant Panchami. They take a bath early in the morning and wear their best clothes. Some of them fast till the reverence. Let us see how different parts of India observe this festival.
The farmers here decorate the main doors of their houses in different ways. The day is celebrated by wearing yellow clothes and making food items.
Panjab and Haryana
People of Panjab and Hariyana play with kites on the occasion of Basant Panchami. They also welcome the spring season by singing and dancing. The Gurudwaras around the state organize food programs.
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
People of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh worship Saraswati on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Everyone wears yellow clothes. Schools and Colleges around the state organize various competitions.
The devotees of Bihar woke up before dawn on this day. They take baths and wear a yellow dress and put some yellow color on their forehead. The Suryadev is also worshipped in Bihar on this day, along with Saraswati.
West Bengal and Bangladesh
Basant Panchami is known as Saraswati Puja in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Bengali mothers and sisters prepare Shikli the night before Basant Panchami. They try to know the time of offering before. People of West Bengal and Bangladesh worship Goddess Saraswati at this festival. People here wait for the reverence to end so they can eat Prasad(food of reverence). Bengali Hindus also like to eat Khichri on the occasion of Saraswati Puja.
Some Rituals of Basant Panchami
Studying is strictly prohibited on the day of Basant Panchami. After worshiping mother Saraswati, there is also the practice of worshiping the music’s books and instruments. People offer their books and food to the Goddess after reverence. As Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, the festival is celebrated in all the schools.
The Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati, gives knowledge by killing the animal inside her devotees. As Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of Art, Knowledge, and Education, students worship her for multiple days.
The importance of Basant Panchami
People, as well as animals, feel refreshed in the spring season. Basant Panchami has some special significance in Hinduism. It is considered the birthday of mother Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and art, since ancient times. So, people worship her on this day in the hope of getting more knowledge and intelligence.
This day also has special importance in artist society. Poets, writers, singers, instrumentalists, playwrights, and dancers worship their equipment and praise their Goddess Saraswati.
Basant Panchami is one of the most significant cultural and religious festivals of India and Hinduism. If you ask me why I am stating this as a cultural festival, I would say culture is what we do. Every festival a country has is a part of its culture. A large number of people observe this beautiful carnival with happiness. People share their joy and sadness and strengthen their bond. It is what makes a country better, a community better.
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