An Insight Into the Spiritual Significance Of Gnana Saraswati Temple Basara
The Gnana Saraswati Temple is located in the census town of Basara in Adilabad district of the Indian state of Telangana. This temple dates back to the era of the Hindu religious epic Mahabharata. According to historical shreds of evidence, Bijialudu, a Kannada king of Nandagiri province in the sixth century, built this temple.
Cultural and religious significance
This temple is one of the two temples in India dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and learning. This is the only Saraswati temple in Southern India. It has immense historical importance. The religious significance of this basara temple is also associated with the ritual of Akshara Abhyasam that has a great value among the devotees of Goddess Saraswati. Thousands of pilgrims from many parts of India throng the temple for this ritual. The remarkable feature of this ritual is that devotees bring their children, who are starting to read and write to seek the blessings of the Goddess of Learning.
The presiding deity
The great Hindu scholar and sage Ved Vyasa had worshipped the trinity of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali here. Because of the penance performed by the sage, three deities emerged from heaps of earth. Hence, the temple has three presiding deities and Basara is considered as the abode of the trinity. However, the temple became a renowned pilgrimage for the reverence of Goddess Saraswati. Many devotees consider Gnana Saraswati as the main presiding deity.
The different idols
Three idols are worshipped in the temple, which are made of sand. Sage Ved Vyasa had made the idols from sand in the ancient times. Hence, devotees have carried the legacy forward through the centuries. The idols are relatively simple and not much big in size. Though, the idols went through significant changes across many centuries, the basic structure remains unchanged. The present idols were made during the rule of the Chalukyas. The idol of the Goddess is depicted as sitting on a swan with a veena in her hand.
Other deities worshipped
Besides, the worship of the primary deity Gnana Saraswati, the two other revered deities are Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. The temple does not have any other shrines. However, Lord Shiva is worshipped with immense devotion. Sage Ved Vyasa is also revered as a great scholar and sage.
Methods of worship
It is important to know the basara temple timings. Worship starts at 4 AM in the morning every day with performance of the ritual of Abhishekam, which takes an hour. After the conclusion of Abhishekam, the ritual of Alankara takes place. Alankara involves the adornment of sarees to the trinity of Goddesses. At around 6 AM, with the rays of the morning sun, the ritual of Aarti is performed. Once the Aarti gets over, Prasad, a devotional offering made to the Gods that consists of food items, is distributed among the devotees. The ambience fills up the entire vicinity with a devotional air and devotees offer obeisance to the Goddesses.
Occasions of religious significance
Apart from the regular worship of the trinity of the Goddesses, several other fairs and festivals take place in the temple. Vyasa Pournami, also known as Ashada Shudda Pournami is one of the major religious events that are celebrated in the temple. This celebration is an obeisance offered to sage Vyasa, the founder of the Gnana Saraswati Temple. Another important event is Dasara Navarathrulu or 9 Days Ashveeja Shudda Pratipada Dashimi. This event is also known as Dassera Navratri Utsavams.
The most important festival is perhaps Vasantha Panchami or Maga Shudda Panchami that is celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. The occasion of Vasantha Panchami is also celebrated as the onset of spring. The ritual of Akshara Abhyasam takes place during this festival. Mahashivratri is also celebrated in temple every year with great pomp and zeal. Amusement fairs are also held.
Important pilgrimage site
The Gnana Saraswati Temple is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus. Millions of pilgrims from every part of the country visit the temple to seek the blessings of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi, and Mahakali. Students and Hindu scholars form a huge part of the pilgrims who visit this shrine.