Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja marks the beginning of spring devoted to Goddess Saraswati. Falling on 14 February this year, Vasant Panchami is celebrated in yellow tint and worship of Goddess for knowledge and learning.
The word “Saraswati” is derived from two words - Saras (flow) and Wati (she who has). Together, it makes ‘she who has flow’. She is the epitome of knowledge. She is depicted as a fair Goddess in a white saree seated on a white lotus, representing purity.
Saraswati is referred to as the goddess of knowledge, music, art, and science in Hinduism. She is the repository of the creator Brahma’s knowledge and intellect, often known as His Shakti.
Goddess Saraswati is known as a guardian deity in Buddhism for upholding the teachings of Gautam Buddha for the protection and assurance of the practitioners.
In Rigveda, Saraswati is a river and personification of the Goddess but lost her significance as a river in the post-Vedic age. The sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu, Parashuram purified himself in the river Saraswati after ending the Kshatriyas.
The four arms of Goddess Saraswati represent the unique items with the goals of wisdom and self-realization. She is holding a book (knowledge), a veena (music), a rosary (meditation), and a water pot (creativity and purification).
Goddess Saraswati is also referred to as “Druga” for fighting with a female demon, Drug in the ancient Vedas. Druga is a Sanskrit name made up of Dru (with difficulty) and Ga (go).
Goddess Saraswati guides the deceased souls to find peace in their afterlife, namely Moksha which is a divine knowledge provided by the Goddess.
Gayatri is a form of Goddess Saraswati who was attracted by the brilliance of Sun God Surya. She dissolved herself to become the Gayatri Mantra dedicated to Surya.
In eastern India, Goddess Saraswati is known to be the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, and Karthikeya are considered to be her siblings.
Goddess Saraswati is also a Tridevi. Tridevi is defined as three supreme Goddesses, wife of Tridev - Lakshmi (Vishnu’s wife), Saraswati (Brahma’s wife), and Parvati (Shiva’s wife).