|| When the fields are mustard yellow, it is the time
for the spring festival Basant Panchmi in reverence to Goddess Saraswati. When
the berries ripen yellow, the Dhhak and Asoka are at their best, the students
in particular pay homage to the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati, the goddess of
intelligence, wisdom and knowledge of all arts, science, music and dancing. Basanth
season is the king of all seasons because this season is free from the intense
heat of the summer, from the shivering colds of the winter and from the havoc
of rain. This season is also important because Sri Krishna himself has described
this as flowering season, in his magnificence.
Basant Panchami festival falling on the fifth day of dark lunar days in Magh (February)
has been observed as a festival for worship of Saraswati since the Vedic and Puranic
age. On this day Brahma created Saraswati to dislodge the dumb insipidity of the
creation. By bestowing a Veena in her hands, he allotted the function of speech
through her to the world. She was thus named as "Veena Vandini" and "Vani Dayyani"
(the Veena player and the awarder of speech).
| By the grace of Saraswati, not only men but also
gods can recognize and are made conversant with good behavior, intelligence, influence,
brilliance, music, speech, poetry, and differentiation between proper and improper.
Therefore there is the tradition of the worship of Goddess Saraswati on Basant
Panchmi festival. The worship is with sweet smelling flowers and powdered sandalwood.
On this auspicious occasion, great saints and teachers admitted Brahmin children
to their schools for teaching.
Sri Krishna also worshipped Saraswati on this day by virtue of which he becomes
an expert in sixteen arts and in all others. Even in the modern days, especially
in Bengal it is on this day that the kids are made to start education, so that
they receive blessings from Goddess Saraswati, after her worship. In the times
past, many kings and rulers used to organize literary seminars and symposia; poets,
dramatists and writers were felicitated and rewarded on this occasion. Great dramas
of Kalidasa and other dramatists were played before the audience on this festival.
The scientific reason for the observance of Basant Panchmi festival is that this
festival gives us a warning to bring about a change in our food and clothing.
With the arrival of Basant season, the body begins gaining extra energy, creation
of a light fluid in the blood. Ayurvedic practitioners have described this season
as relishing and passionate. The fluid created in the blood influences sexual
desire. They have, therefore advised gradual reduction in the hot and inciting
foods after this season, which affect our health adversely. They have advised
the massage of the body with mango sprout, on this festival, as beneficial. By
its consumption, cold, cough and bile are got rid off; diseases of the blood are
eliminated and destroy effects of the poison.
Basant Panchmi is the festival, observed on a large scale in Punjab and the North
when the mustard crop is ripe. The people put on garments in yellow color. They
cook yellow rice. The famous folk dance 'Bhangra’ of Punjab glorifies the congregations
on this festival. This is a festival of jubilation when the farmers are rich with