Monday, February 10, 2014


THE GODDESS OF LEARNING - Shreepanchami has taken place last week. It is also known as Basanta Panchami or Saraswati Puja, is a remarkable day for every student. Every college has its own way of celebrating it, and the celebration depends upon the students, “Usually interested students raise funds and organise a special puja. However, many times it may not be celebrated in the college if the festival falls during winter vacation,” as per Bishista Shree Bhattarai, Lecturer at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Ghantaghar, informs. Every festive celebration has its special significance. Saraswati Puja too has its value in Nepali culture. Sharmila Dahal, a BBS graduate from Kavre Multiple Campus, Banepa regards this day to remember and worship the Goddess of Knowledge. “It is a special day where one can start his/her learning process,” she opines.

While some students are very serious about their studies, there are those who neglect it. And a festival like Shreepanchami helps those students to remember and respect their books and educational materials, points out Anish Maharjan, a BSc CSIT Ist Year student at Prime College, Khusibu. To this Sajina Nepali, an MSc Ist Year student at Golden Gate College, adds, “If you respect your books, then the books will also respect you in return. Nonetheless, the celebration is important as it teaches us to respect things that are useful to us. In general, this festival urges students to practice respect which is valuable and is required in one’s entire lifetime.” However, it is not right to wait for this day to take care of their educational materials. “Students must always take care of their books and notebooks,” advises Anish Maharjan who feels, “Remembering Goddess Saraswati helps us to gain confidence while studying during examinations.”

Saraswati Puja or Basanta Panchami is a day to pay homage to the Goddess of Learning. During this day it is common to see throngs of students visiting temples of Saraswati early in the morning. They worship books, notebooks, pens and musical instruments. They even write on the walls of temple to get the Goddess' blessings. While many children start writing their first letters on this day, most of the educational institutions, too, celebrate the day together with their students. Educational researchers think that this festival is a source of psychological support to the students, along with providing hope, it motivates them to study. However, beyond worship Goddess Saraswati for her relationship with art and education, our spiritual teachers have taught us to worship the feminine energy from the more elevated svarupa shakti Srimati Radharani and Hladini Shakti the creator of all love, its many expansions as Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, Durga, Kali and Parvati, who have significant power over the material world, to all women, wives and daughters, who traditionally have been worshiped in the Hindu family. All of them are our mothers, and especially the female devotees who helped establish the mission of Srila Prabhupada in the West are the mothers of the Hare Krishna movement and they have always sought the welfare of sannyasis, brahmacharis and brahmacharinis. Therefore, be inconsiderate and ungrateful to them is just a signal of the fact that we have understood very little of the Vaishnava culture. (Editor's note).

Saraswati sits elegantly on a lotus flower, playing a stringed musical instrument known as veena. In her right hand she holds a book, signifying her status as goddess of learning. She is also regarded to be the goddess of wisdom and speech. Artists and learning students venerate this goddess. She always appears graceful and serene. In her character and attributes, she is associated with ancient river Saraswati, ascribing both purity and fertility.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
"Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom"
Chapter 27: "Goddesses in Hinduism:
The Icons of Female Power"  -

Sri Saraswati Devi is none other than Vidya Lakshmi, who grants her worshippers this eternal knowledge. With the grace of this Goddess, even a complete illiterate can be transformed into a pandit, a wise person of eternal knowledge.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
"Lakshmi, The Goddess of Fortune"

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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