Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja 2021: A beautiful festival that celebrates the arrival of the spring season, Basant Panchami is one of the most auspicious days according to the Hindu calendar.
Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja 2021: The festival is also considered as a ‘siddha muhurat’ according to the Hindu mythology. (Photo: The Indian Express file photo)
Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja 2021: Every festival has a story, a legend, a belief that forms the essence of our cultural identity. Basant Panchami is one such festival that is celebrated across India in myriad hues and rituals. The day marks the arrival of the Spring season (known as Basant or Vasant ritu in Hindi language). The festival is also associated with a beautiful story that tells us about the birth of Goddess Saraswati according to the Hindu mythology.
When is Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja?
Date of Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja: According to the Hindu calendar also known as ‘panchang’, the festival of Basant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of ‘Maagh’. So in simple terms, the fifth day of the spring season is celebrated as Basant Panchami. This year, the Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja will be celebrated today i.e. February 16.
Significance of Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja: Known as the king of all seasons, the festival of Basant Panchami celebrate the Spring in all its glory and colours. According to the Hindu mythology, it was on the day of Basant Panchmi that Goddess Saraswati appeared from the ‘kamandal’ of Lord Brahma. It is said that as the creator of the world, Lord Brahma felt that his creation lacked the zest and rhythm of life. There was no happiness and positive energy. He consulted Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It was in that moment the Goddess Sarawati appeared or was born from Lord Brahma’s ‘kamandal’, the religious legend says. Dressed in all white, Goddess Saraswati infused the positive energy, the knowledge in the world. Hence, in several parts of India, especially Bihar and West Bengal celebrate the festival of Basant Panchami with praying to Goddess Saraswati. From many schools to other educational institutions, Saraswati Puja is held on this day. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year, the festivities are very subdued and limited to households. Smaller community-level celebrations are seen across India.
What’s the muhurat of Basant Panchami/Saraswati Puja?
While there are strict timings for each puja in the Hindu tradition, Basant Panchmi is one such festival, where puja/prayers can be held throughout the day. Known as ‘siddha muhurat’, Basant Panchami is the day when any sort of ritual – wedding, mundan, housewarming (griha pravesh), engagement – can be carried out without thinking about any special muhurat.
Basant Panchami Tithi begins: 3:36 am on February 16 Basant Panchami Tithi ends: 5:45 am on February 17 Special Puja muhurat: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on February 16
Mantra of Saraswati Puja
Ya Kundendu-Tushara-Hara-Dhavala, Ya Shubhra-Vastravrita, Ya Vina-Vara-Danda-Mandita-Kara, Ya Shveta-Padmasana॥ Ya Brahmachyuta-Shankara-Prabhritibhir Devaih Sada Vandita, Sa Mam Patu Saraswati Bhagawati Nihshesha-Jadyapaha॥
Goddess Saraswati in popular culture
Dressed in pristine white saree, holding veena, the quintessential image of the Goddess Saraswati was popularised by legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma. The iconic painting of the Goddess of wisdom was painted in the year 1896. Since then, that image has been part of the popular culture.
Colour of Basant Panchami/ Saraswati Puja
Yellow. The colour of Basant Panchami is undoubtedly yellow. From yellow flowers to yellow mithais, devotees dressed in yellow attires use this during pujas and other festivities.