Vasant Panchami is a popular festival in North India which heralds the arrival of the spring season. Vasant Panchami 2023 date is January 26. ‘Vasant’ means spring and ‘Panchami’ is the fifth day after Amavasya in Magh month when it is celebrated Saraswathi Pooja is performed in North and Eastern parts of India on the day. Yellow color, which symbolizes prosperity and love, is given importance on the day.
Vasant Panchami is a spring season festival as per the English calendar, celebrated throughout India. Therefore, worshipping mother Saraswati, the goddess of education, creativity, and music, is of great significance. It is also quoted that on the day of Vasant Panchami, Brahma created the goddess Saraswati. That’s why worshipping mother Saraswati on this particular day is unique.
Vasant Panchami is centred around Goddess Saraswati; the Goddess of wisdom. Goddess Saraswati is said to have gifted the world with wisdom, knowledge, sound & music. As part of Saraswati Puja, various rituals are followed. Children keep their books, pens, pencils near the Goddess Saraswati’s feet. Gods and Goddesses in home are decorated with yellow colored clothes. Yellow colored food and sweets are distributed on the day. Yellow stands for prosperity and love. As such the colour yellow is the theme for Vasant Panchami. Yellow colour signifies the vibrancy and brilliance of nature. The whole place has a yellow touch during this festival. People wear a yellow colour dress, and they offer a yellow flower to the Gods and Goddess.
As per Vedic literature, Lord Krishna blessed goddess Saraswati that on Vasant Panchami, she would be worshipped everywhere. Even today, we can see that people offer their obeisance and worship goddess Saraswati on every Vasant Panchami. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that ‘Vasant’ is one of his forms. The supreme personality of Godhead has given different services to His devotees to govern the material world. For example, Brahma Ji is responsible for the creation, Lord Shiva for annihilation, goddess Laxmi for wealth, and goddess Durga for protecting this material world compared to a prison. Similarly, goddess Saraswati is given a department of knowledge, creativity, and music which she is governing very skillfully. Goddess Saraswati bestows these qualities upon those who worship her and please her with their rituals. However, goddess Saraswati never forgets that the supreme personality of Godhead is her master and all demigods-demigoddess are being engaged in His service.
We can see one incident where goddess Saraswati showed her allegiance and devotion to the supreme personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna. This particular example is from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life who Himself is non-different from Krishna. Keshav Kashmiri, a great scholar and a great devotee of mother Saraswati, came to Navdwip for debate based on scriptures. He had already visited all the learning centers of India and was unconquered in all of them. Once Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was popularly known as Nimai pandit at that time was on the bank of river Ganga. There He met Keshav Kashmiri and asked him to create a verse to praise the river Ganga. Keshav Kashmiri, being a learned scholar, created 100 verses in a few minutes. Keshav proudly spoke all 100 verses to Nimai. Nimai not only learned all the 100 verses instantly but also quoted various grammatical errors in the 64th verse. Nimai also quoted errors in a few more verses. Keshav Kashmiri was amazed and stunned at that.
Keshav Kashmiri was puzzled at how a small boy of Sanskrit grammar school was finding errors in his compositions. At last, goddess Saraswati came in his dreams, as he was a great devotee of goddess Saraswati. She ordered Keshav Kashmiri to take shelter at the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. She also informed him that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is no other than Lord Shri Krishna. In this way, Keshav Kashmiri became a devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
So, let us pray to mother Saraswati on this auspicious occasion of Vasant Panchami that we all dedicatedly devote ourselves to the selfless service of the Lord and his devotees; that we should develop a service attitude and make this human form of life worthy. Happy Basant Panchami!