Saraswati puja is an essential part of the calendar of Hindu festivals. But the myth and legend of the goddess comes from far beyond and her grace and reach reaches further beyond. Here is everything you need to know about Saraswati.
Indians culturally are a very religious minded people. We have a god for everything. Be it the god of wealth, god of death or be it the god of learning. Saraswati puja is held on the auspicious day of Vasant Panchami. Saraswati is known as the god of intellectual thought , high learning, science and technology. Saraswati puja kits in brass thali are widely available everywhere during this time and students and other devotees buy them abundantly. Though Saraswati puja is mainly organised in schools and other institutions of learning, lately there has been a trend to organise Saraswati puja in localities as well.
Origin of the Word
Saraswati is also sometimes known as Sarasvati. It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sara’ meaning essence and ‘sva’ meaning one’s self. The word sarasva thus essentially means the ‘essence of your own self’. So naturally, the actual meaning of Sarasvati is one who leads to the ‘essence of self-knowledge’. Saraswati was originally a river which flowed through India in the Vedic times. This river was as important to them as the importance of Ganges to their modern descendants. So, the myth of the name arrives from the fact that Saraswati River was like a nourishing mother. In Rig-Veda, Saraswati has been deified as ‘Best Mother, best of rivers, and best of Goddesses.’ The abundance of its waters and the prosperity it brought solidified the legend of Saraswati being the possessor of purifying powers. In the later Vedas written in Bramhanas, the legend of the word changed from water that purifies’ to ‘that which purifies’ and ultimately to ‘knowledge that purifies’. Saraswati slowly started to evolve into the deity of knowledge and music and art and learning.
The Tithi of the Puja
Saraswati puja is celebrated in different parts of the country at different times. In West Bengal, Saraswati puja takes place during Vasant Panchami , or the fifth day of the month of Maagh. In southern states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Saraswati puja is held on the last three days of navaratri.
Legends of the goddess outside India
- Myanmar – The goddess is known by the name Thurathadi and students worship her for blessings and for being good in their studies. She is also symbolised as the protector of Buddhist scriptures in the Mahayana pantheon of Myanmar.
- Thailand – Ancient Thai literature depicts Saraswati as the goddess of learning and speech. Mentions and icons of saraswati are abundantly found in the various wats of Thiland.
- Indonesia – Balinese Hindus celebrate the end of the 210 day year of the Pawukon calendar with Saraswati Day. Saraswati Day is one of the main festivals of Hindus there. In this culture this day is considered the day of cleansing and people take baths in sacred waterfalls or river spots.
Loaded with all this information about Saraswati from all around the world, you must be feeling the urge to celebrate Saraswati puja. In the national capital, Saraswati puja is celebrated with great fervour owing to the large population of Bengalis residing there. Finding an essential puja kit in Delhi is easy enough. You just have to log on to www.pujashoppe.com and all your needs will be met.