Basant Panchami

A repost:

He Sharde Ma, He Sharde Ma, Agyanta se hame taar de ma…..!
Tu Swar ki devi sangeet tujhse… Har Shabd tera hai har geet tujhse….
Teri daya ka, teri kripa ka…. hamko bhi kucch ma uphaar de ma….
He Sharde Ma, He Sharde Ma, Agyanta se hame taar de ma…..!

Hum hain akele hum hain adhoore
teri sharam hum hame pyaar de maa….

He Sharde Ma, He Sharde Ma, Agyanta se hame taar de ma…..!

we used to bring all possible yellow things to please Goddess Saraswati – Yellow rice, yellow flowers and unmarrried young girls wear red and white Sari to pray to the Goddess of learning…… so beautiful she is – seated on a beautiful white swan with Veena in her hands….. and with the most beautiful smile on her face…… playing the loveliest, soul-stirring ragas….. imagine lovely peacocks/birds/ me myself sitting near her…. mantra-mugdha [spell bound] ….. I wish I could keep listening to her veena always…… but yo! gotta get up and wotk and utilise the knowledge gained 🙂

Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami [the Festival of Spring] is a festival of Hindus, and is celebrated all over the world with great enthusiasm. This year it was celebrated on 10th of February. Magh Sud 5 (5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magh) is the day of Vasant Panchami. Hinduism, more a way of life rather than a religion, demure to the special significance of seasons in our lives through religious festivals. Vasant Panchami is referred to as the spring festival, and signifies the beginning of Vasant Ritu (spring season).
It is celebrated mainly in Haryana and Punjab, during February-March. It is celebrated at the end of winter to welcome spring. ‘Basant Ritu’ means the spring season in Hindi. During this season in Haryana the mustard fields are in full bloom, giving the impression of yellow carpets laid out on acres of land. People welcome this change of season by wearing yellow clothes, flying kites and having fun. A puja (prayer) is held in the house, teeka applied on the deity as well as everyone’s forehead.

Kite flying is the major and most colorful event of this festival. The sky is covered with different colorful fighter kites. The kites (patang in Hindi) are of medium size normally from 1 feet to 4 feet across and made of paper on a frame of bamboo strips. Preparation for this festival start many days earlier and people spend a lot of money on the kites. New clothes are purchased for this festival and many delicious dishes prepared for this particular occasion. In Haryana, sweet yellow rice, flavored with saffron, is prepared for Basant Panchami.

‘Yellow’ is the color of the festival and so it dominates everywhere i.e. in the kites, in the clothes, especially in the clothes of ladies, as ladies make a lot of preparation for this particular occasion. There are kites in the sky not only in daytime but also in night. People use searchlights in the night to fly the kites. All the family members gather at one single place, many times on the rooftops, and celebrate this festival.

The Goddess of Learning

It is customary to begin a child’s education on this day in deference to goddess Saraswati. Before starting. The children are expected to recite the following prayer

Sanskrit: Saraswhathi Namastuhyam Varade Kamarupini Bidyarambam Karishy ami Sidhirthayatu Mesada

Translation : Oh Saraswhati, sitting on the beautiful Lotus flower, I am beginning my education, so always bless me.

Schools, colleges and other places of learning organise special worship of Saraswati. Many schools and colleges also organize cultural activities. Chandigarh and Punjab colleges, for example, typically celebrate the day with Bhangra competitions. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundations of Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya on Vasant Panchami. This has now become a world academic institution.

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