Essay on Saraswati Puja
Saraswati Puja is one of the most popular festivals of the Hindus. It is celebrated with a lot of zest and enthusiasm in the Indian states of Odisha, Bengal, Bihar, etc. People in Nepal and northwest Bangladesh also extravagantly celebrate this occasion.
According to the Hindu calendar, this festival falls on the Panchami (fifth day) of the Magh month. Hence, it is also known as Basant Panchami or Shree Panchami. All educational organizations remain close during the celebration. Students worship the “deity of learning” during this festival.
Who is Goddess Saraswati?
Saraswati Puja is celebrated to honour Goddess Saraswati. She has a lot of names. Some people call her Vidyadayini, and some call her Hanshvahini. The Vedas refer to her as the water idol who is worshipped for her purifying power. Her beauty is often linked to the moon and the lotus.
Goddess Saraswati is known as the Goddess of learning and music. She is the epitome of wisdom and knowledge. This beautiful deity is clad in white saree. White is a colour that signifies purity. Her poise reflects the same chastity.
She holds the prayer beads (akshamala) in her right hand. These beads denote the power of spiritual knowledge. On her left hand, she holds a book (pustak). Her two forehands flaunt the musical instrument Veena. Playing the veena symbolises how one can achieve harmony with this universe by tuning one’s intuition.
Goddess Saraswati is believed to dwell in the divine realm of Brahmapura. She sits on an inverted lotus and rides on a white swan. She wears a crescent on her forehead. Some other variation of the idol depicts she has eight hands. This version of her holds the disc, conch, lotus, and some other additional objects.
How is Saraswati Puja celebrated?
Students in schools and colleges share their responsibilities to organize this Puja. Every household, community center, and teaching institution holds this celebration together. Cultural programs and group activities are set to entertain everyone. Some of the rituals that are observed during this festival have been mentioned below:
- Preparation begins with the contribution of a small amount from every person in the organizing committee.
- The idol of Goddess Saraswati is brought to a hall. The entire place gets decorated with flowers, rangolis, and colourful papers.
- The idol is placed over a tool or a stand. This tool is wrapped with mustard-coloured clothing.
- The deity is also adorned with garlands of roses and marigolds.
- Religious books like Bhagwad Gita and Vedas are kept in front of the statue.
- Offerings made before the deity include kheer, parched rice, curd, ghee, etc.
- Kumkum, turmeric, betel nut, rice grains, incense sticks, and lamps are some of the other essentials of the ritual.
- Tulsi leaves, barley sheaves, and mango blossoms are also offered to the deity. Apart from that Palash (a flower) and Kool (berry) are two significant things that are used in the puja.
- A priest is invited to perform the holy rituals. He starts with the chanting of mantras and shlokas from the holy books.
- Students keep their books, pens, and pencils in front of the idol. This is done to attain the blessings of the Goddess.
- People join the priest by singing hymns, ringing bells, and doing the arti. These gestures form an integral part of the puja.
- Usually children wear new clothes (preferably yellow) on this day. They are not allowed to study on this auspicious day as a sign of respect towards the deity.
- Breaking a coconut in front of the Goddess is also an important ritual.
- Towards the end of the puja, everyone showers flowers on the idol.
- Devotees sing the Saraswati Vandana (hymn for praising the deity) and offer their prayers. Prasad is made by cutting the fruits and mixing them with other offerings.
- Once the puja is over, the students distribute the Prasad among everyone present in the hall.
- Feasts and cultural programs are arranged. The function goes on till the evening.
- The next day morning, the immersion ceremony starts. The idol of Goddess Saraswati is carried in a grand procession to the nearby lake or river.
- This way the celebration of the puja comes to an end.
Significance of Saraswati Puja
Saraswati Puja is a great way to infuse creative spirit within ourselves. In many regions of India, it is considered as an auspicious day when kids learn how to write their first word. People also tie knots on the day of Saraswati Puja. New businesses start, and house warming parties are thrown.
Moreover, Basant Panchami marks the beginning of the spring season. This season brings us the hope for a good harvest. Agricultural lands containing mustard flowers look beautiful in this season. The bright yellow flowers suggest the ripening of the crop.
Yellow symbolises prosperity. On this day, people wear yellow coloured attire and visit the temples. The most important thing that this puja teaches us is that Knowledge is the ultimate source of wealth. It is a weapon that allows us to conquer every battle. Goddess Saraswati bestows upon us this great blessing which leads us towards a blissful future.
Besides that, students get to explore the spiritual aspect of this celebration. Organizing this puja every year encourages them to follow their traditions in this modern world. This way, they stay close to their customs and cultural beliefs.
Apart from the spiritual sense of this festival, there is an educative purpose of it as well. Children come together and learn the essence of teamwork. They experience the qualities of cooperation, leadership, and respect. This Puja strengthens their friendship, and they learn to trust one another.
Saraswati Puja is one of the major annual events in Indian culture. It is as important as the other festivals. Holding on to all the values of this puja, we must celebrate it with our friends and families.