Vasant Panchami: The beautiful springtime festival

“And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils” remarks William Wordsworth (18th century English poet) upon the sight of beautiful golden daffodils. Whose heart doesn't rejoice upon seeing the attractive golden and yellow blossoms and the captivating dew drops that shine like pearls on the tender twigs? Is there a soul that is not inspired by the warmth of the early morning sun, the pleasant weather that is free from the harsh hot and cold climates and the sweet sound of the chirping of the birds? Welcome to the king of all seasons, Spring!

Spring is not only appealing to our aesthetic senses but also has a lot of spiritual significance. In Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna says, “I am flower-bearing spring” (an excerpt from the 35th sloka of the 10th chapter of Bhagavad-gita.) Spring offers many reasons for us to celebrate and the most important of them is festivals!

What is Vasant Panchami?

Vasant Panchami, also known as Sri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami is one of the important festivals of spring which is celebrated on the fifth day of the Shukla paksha (bright half) of the Magh month in India. Vasant refers to “spring” and Panchami refers to “fifth”. This day is considered very auspicious for all the new beginnings as it also marks the birthday of the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, goddess Saraswati.

Appropriate way to observe Vasant Panchami:

• On this day, goddess Saraswati receives special worship at homes, schools and colleges. Children receive their first lessons in education by writing the first alphabets and words. This ritual is known as Akshara-abhyasam or Vidya-arambham. Students place their pens and books at the lotus feet of goddess Saraswati to receive her blessings.
• The fifth house of horoscope is considered as the house of education as per the science of astrology. Thus, worshipping goddess Saraswati on Vasant Panchami is very beneficial for advancement in studies and career too.
• It is a nice ritual to wear yellow-coloured clothes on Vasant Panchami, offer special worship to goddess Saraswati with flowers like yellow roses, yellow chrysanthemum and several other fragrant yellow-coloured flowers.
• We can prepare sweets and add saffron strands to induce a vibrant yellow colour to the dishes. We can offer the food thus prepared to goddess Saraswati and then distribute the prasad.
• The deities of Radha-Krishna are dressed up in beautiful yellow garments in many temples on Vasant Panchami. Both, the spring season and the yellow colour are very dear to Lord Krishna. Visit a nearby temple of Radha-Krishna or Lakshmi-Narayana and offer special prayers on the occasion of Vasant Panchami for a blissful marital life.

Mantra to chant:

The following is a simple mantra and can be recited to request for the special blessings of goddess Saraswati.

“Saraswati Mahabhage Vidye Kamala Lochane Vishwa Roope Vishaa Laakshi Vidyam Dehi Namosthuthe”

Meaning:

“Oh great goddess Saraswati, you are lotus-eyed and you are the personification of knowledge. I offer my salutations to you, who has taken the form of the entire universe and have large eyes. I request you to bless me with wisdom and knowledge.”

For more details on the worship of goddess Saraswati, please refer to our article “Wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment personified: Goddess Saraswati”

Additional Details:

This festival is also famous as the “Festival of Kites” in several parts of India like Punjab and Haryana. Children and adults enthusiastically participate in flying the kites during the festival.

Vasant Panchami also marks the beginning of the festival of colours, Holi in certain parts of India and is celebrated for 40 days till the commencement of Holi.

This year, Vasant Panchami falls on February 4th. OnlineTemple.com wishes all the devotees a very happy Vasant Panchami and prays that your life be filled with energy, wisdom, optimism, love and prosperity represented by the brilliance of the yellow colour.

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