Saraswati Puja is one of the most important festivals celebrated across India. Saraswati is the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. She resides in the flow of language in the Vedas. She is the consort of Param-Pita Lord Brahma and is regarded as the mother of the world. She is one of the Adi-Shaktis (Durga, Laxmi, Parvati) and is the most respected among knowledge seekers. A student of any discipline should have divine faith in Goddess Saraswati because she inspires all knowledge. We celebrate her birthday on Vasant Panchami (Magha-Shukla-Panchami) and devotedly worship her for the fulfillment of our wishes.

Puja Vidhi

In Devi-Bhagvata-Puran Lord Narayana has explained the significance and method of Saraswati Puja to sage Narada.

Sage Narada said, “Lord of the Vedas! Please tell the importance of Saraswati Puja, Kavach, Dhyana, Naivedya, flowers, and sandalwood. My heart is desperate to hear it.”

Lord Narayana says, “Listen Narada, I will tell you the principles mentioned in the Kanva department. It describes the worshipping practices of the world-mother, Goddess Saraswati. Magha-Shukla-Panchami (Vasant Panchami) is the principle date for the knowledge goddess. On the day, one should become celibate before sunrise. One should be pure; After a bath and other activities, one should place the Kalash. Then, according to one’s discipline or with a tantric discipline, one should first worship Lord Ganesh. Later, one should worship the soul-Goddess Saraswati. Then one should meditate to summon the goddess. Being austere and celibate, one should worship Saraswati by the sixteen ideals (Shodashopchara).

There are a few useful Naivedya mentioned in the Vedas. Fresh butter; Curd; Milk; Pop-paddy (Dhaan ka Lava); Sesame-Laddu (Til-Laddu); White sugarcane; Jaggery sweets; Crystal sugar (Mishri); White sweets; Salted snacks made in Ghee; Flat rice (Chivda); Havishyana as mentioned in Shastras; Ghee fried snacks of oats or barley; Ripe banana Pishtak (sweets); Ghee fried sweets of good grains; Coconut; Coconut water; Bitter radish (Kasaila Muli); Ginger; Ripe banana; Wood apple (Bel); and other seasonal fruits are all goods of Naivedya.

O, Muni! One should offer white, fragrant flowers and white sandalwood to Goddess Saraswati. One especially requires white clothes and a beautiful white conch (Shankh). Offer a garland of white flowers and ornaments to the Goddess. O, Muni! Meditating on the goddess is ultimately fruitful and removes delusions. The meditation is as follows:

Dhyana (Meditation)

या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला
या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता।
या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा
या श्वेतपद्मासना।
या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता
सामां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा ॥

‘Saraswati has a white appearance. She is supremely blissful and is always smiling. Before her, the glow of crores of moons is minuscule. She wears a pure and beautiful dress. In her one hand she holds a Veena and in the second is a book. Ornaments made of rare jewels adorn her. She is worshiped by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and all other gods. Sages, Manu, and humans bow their heads before her. I faithfully salute such a Goddess Saraswati.’

After meditation, the wise person should offer the goods to the goddess. Then, after reciting the Kavach (refer the footnote), one should lie on the ground like a stick; And salute Goddess Saraswati with all the eight organs (Sashtanga Pranama).

Kalpa Vriksha

O, Muni! People who accept Saraswati as their Ishta-Devata, this is a practice to them. ‘श्रीं हृीं सरस्वत्यै स्वाहा’ – This eight syllabled Vedic Mantra is supreme and usable for all. Or if someone has given a mantra to someone, that mantra is the basis for them. The word ‘Saraswati’, used in a dative case should be recited by adding Swaha in the end. In the worship of Laxmi and Yogmaya too, this mantra is used. This mantra is called Kalpa Vriksha. This mantra is realized after reciting it four lakhs times. After realizing this mantra, a person can become equal to Brihaspati in capabilities.

O wise one! Saraswati Kavach makes a person world victorious. The creator of the world, Brahma on Maharshi Bhrigu’s pleading had taught it to him on Gandha-Maadana mountain."

Saraswati Kavach

कवचस्यास्य विप्रेन् ऋषिरेव प्रजापतिः ।
स्वयं छन्दश् बृहती देवता शारदाम्बिका ॥१॥
सर्वतत्वपरिज्ञानसर्वार् साधनेषु च ।
कवितासु च सर्वासु विनियोगः प्रकीर्तितः ॥२॥
ॐ श्रीं हृीं सरस्वत् स्वाहा शिरो मे पातु सर्वतः ।
ॐ श्रीं वाग्देवतायै स्वाहा भालं मे सर्वदाऽवतु ॥३॥
ॐ र्‍हीं सरस्वत्यै स्वाहे श्रोत्रे पातु निरन्तरम् ।
ॐ श्रीं र्‍हीं भगवत्यै स्वाहा नेत्रयुग्मं सदाऽवतु ॥४॥
ॐ एैं र्‍हीं वाग्वादिन्यै स्वाहा नासां मे सर्वदाऽवतु ।
ॐ र्‍हीं विद्याधिष्ठातृदेव्यै स्वाहा ओष्ठं सदाऽवतु ॥५॥
ॐ श्रीं र्‍हीं ब्राह्नण्यै स्वाहेति दन्तपंक्तिं सदाऽवतु
ॐ ऐमित्येकाक्षरो मन्त्रो मम कण्ठं सदाऽवतु ॥६॥
ॐ श्री र्‍हीं पातु मे ग्रीवां स्कन्धौ मे ॐ श्रीं सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ विद्याधिष्ठातृदेव्यै स्वाहा वक्षः सदाऽवतु ॥७॥
ॐ र्‍हीं विद्यास्वरुपायै स्वाहा मे पातु नाभिकाम् ।
ॐ र्‍हीं क्लीं वाण्यै स्वाहेति मम हस्तौ सदाऽवतु ॥८॥
ॐ सर्ववर्णात्मिकायै स्वाहा पादयुग्मं सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ वाग्धिष्ठातृदेव्यै स्वाहा सर्वं सदाऽवतु ॥९॥
ॐ सर्वकंठवासिन्यै स्वाहा प्राच्यां सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ सर्वजिह्वाग्रवासिन्यै स्वाहाऽग्निदिशिं रक्षतु सर्वदा ॥१०॥
ॐ ऐं र्‍हीं श्रीं क्लीं सरस्वत्यै बुधजनन्यै स्वाहा ।
सततं मन्त्रराजोऽयं दक्षिणे मां सदाऽवतु ॥११॥
ॐ ऐं र्‍हीं श्रीं त्र्यक्षरो मन्त्रो नैर्ऋत्यां सर्वदाऽवतु ।
ॐ ऐं जिह्वाग्रवासिन्यै स्वाहा मां वारुणेऽवतु ॥१२॥
ॐ सर्वाम्बिकायै स्वाहा वायव्ये मां सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ ऐ श्रीं क्लीं गद्यवासिन्यै स्वाहा मामुत्तरेऽवतु ॥१३॥
ॐ ऐं सर्वशास्त्रवासिन्यै स्वाहेशान्यां सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ र्‍हीं सर्वपूजितायै स्वाहा चोर्ध्वं सदाऽवतु ॥१४॥
ॐ र्‍हीं पुस्तकवासिन्यै स्वाहाऽधो मां सदाऽवतु ।
ॐ ग्रन्थबीजम्स्वरुपायै स्वाहा मां सर्वतोऽवतु ॥१५॥
इति ते कथितं विप्र ब्रह्ममन्त्रौघविग्रहम् ।
इदं विश्रजयं नाम कवचं ब्रह्मरुपकम् ॥१६॥
 

To read more about the different festivals of Sanatana Dharma, click here. Or to know other interesting facts about Sanatana Dharma, click here.

Categories: Festivals

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