Today is one of the oldest and the traditional Hindu Festivals. Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrated across the country on the occasion of Goddess Saraswati birthday. While this is a religious festival, there is a Vedic geographical reason behind the festival too. Basant or Vasant means Spring and Panchami mean 5th in Hindu Calendar. Thus, this festival is celebrated with full of passion for welcoming the Spring season.
So, on the occasion of Basant Panchami, people worship Goddess Saraswati to get enlightened and welcome the knowledge into their lives. Not just the education, people believe in starting anything new on this day.
As per the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha (brighter half) of the Magha maasam. Today is very famously known for Goddess Saraswati Puja. This ritual is followed all across the country.
On this day, people believe in initiating education for their children. That particular event is known as Akshara-Abhyasam in Telugu states. During the Akshara-Abhayasam in the temple, the pandit makes the kids write words on a slate, thus making it their first letters in writing.
Hinduism narrates the birth of Saraswathi as the creation of Lord Brahma. The creator Brahma wanted the energy of music, arts and education, so he created Saraswati. This is a widely believed story for Hindus. The goddesses Saraswathi seen in the images in white saree with a Veena, which is why she is also called Veena Vahini. It is said that Goddess Saraswati will bless her devotees with lots of wisdom, learning and knowledge as the goddess is considered to be the epitome of wisdom.
Finally, the yellow colour is seen as the most auspicious colour on this day. This is all about the festival, it’s rituals, the significance and the beliefs of the Hindus. There is another important thing that we as a nation need to build ourselves…
Building a true knowledge society: Basant Panchami is all about education and enlightenment.
India is a nation with a rich history of knowledge and wisdom. From the first-ever universities in ancient India like Pataliputra, Takshashila which have transformed India and blessed India with some outstanding people. We have Chanakya’s, Arya Bhatta’s and many more such excellent personalities who got educated in the traditional methods and have done so much to the nation.
The modern example that everyone can connect to has to be Swami Vivekananda, one who introduced the lost values of India to the world with just his speech in the USA. We have had great times and bad times. All of these extraordinary contributions came from the Vedic learnings, coming to modern education we have seen an altogether different situation.
Indians these days, especially the brightest of the lot prefer to fly out and study. The knowledge specialists go out of India and contribute to the country they are hosted. This isn’t something to feel sad, because we the Indians have always been the people of sheer respect and helping others. But there’s a shortage of knowledge and wisdom due to this. This isn’t a problem that just got created but it got created over the years.
With India wanting to build itself into a modern superpower, what should India do?
There is a New Education Policy, there is an increase in the education budget and both of these are the crucial aspects in improving your education system. While this is all external requirements, there is one requirement that needs no one but yourself. Yes, the country is suddenly seeing proper support from the government, but are the citizens up for that?
The real question slowly is turning out to be if the people are ready for acquiring wisdom & knowledge and not just run for glory with no efforts. Forget the efforts, the passion to learn things and become a knowledge-driven society is the ultimate need of the hour. We as a Nation should start involving the people especially the youth of the country and embed them with the knowledge and nothing else.
Being optimistic I can see that the youth of the country is now more filled with more seekers. The kids ask for help and get their doubts cleared either with the help of a person or the technology. This looks like a solution, but that’s where we need to change. We need to correct the corrections and make sure the idea and values of India that the ancient and Vedic India believed in should be communicated to the present-day youth.
Once we achieve this, the country will see millions of new things happening in the country. Automatically the money will flow into the country. Because where there are knowledge and wisdom, there is wealth!