Saraswati Puja 2018 (Vasant Panchami): How to perform puja, what is needed
Saraswati Puja 2018 falls on Monday January 22. Basant Panchami 2018 is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja.
Goddess Saraswati is the fountain head of all learning and art forms. Students, professionals, artists, musicians and scholars worship Maa Saraswati seeking wisdom, artistic and technical skills, academic excellence and a good heart. Vasant Panchami and Navratri are some special occasions when Saraswati puja is popularly performed. You can, however, perform Saraswati puja in your home on any day you feel.
How to perform Saraswati Puja
Wake up early in the morning and take bath in water dropping some neem leaves and Tulsi leaves in it. Before bath, some people apply the paste of neem and turmeric on their body which is believed to have great medicinal effects on the skin. After the bath, wear white or yellow clothes. Clean the home and puja place. Gather the family members and do a team work to prepare for the puja. The preparations for the puja also include cleaning the minds and heart. Let a peaceful atmosphere prevail in the home during the puja.
What is needed
An idol or picture of Maa Saraswati, a kalash set up (copper pot with pure water with fragrant materials and spices - bunch of mango leaves inserted from top - a coconut placed on the set up - decorated with turmeric paste, chandan paste, kumkum and flowers) a white cloth, fragrant flowers, bel patra, Mango leaves, turmeric paste, chandan paste, kumkum, lamps, oil, wicks, camphor, incense sticks, betel leaves, durva grass, fruits, coconut, Holi colors, books and musical instruments. Prepare some nice dishes for offering at the end of the puja.
The person doing the puja must have an early morning bath. Before taking the bath, the person must apply a mixture of neem and turmeric paste on his/her body. It is said that this ritual purifies the body.
One should then place the Idol and kalash on a clean platform on top of a white cloth. Decorate it with turmeric, kumkum, rice, garlands and flowers. You can also keep your books, ink pot, pen or any other thing that you need to (such as a musical instrument, paint brush etc) Also offer some colours to Goddess Saraswati. Fill the kalash with water, place a sprig of five mango leaves, put a betel leaf over it. You should also keep an idol of Ganesha alongside the idol of Saraswati.
Chant the mantra: "Yaa kundendu tushaaradhawala, yaa shubhra vastravrutha Yaa veena varadanda manditakara yaa shweta padmasanaa".
Yaa brahmachyuta shankara prabhrutibhi devai sadaa vandita, Saa maam pathu saraswati bhagavati nishshesha, jadyapaha. Aum saraswathyae namah, dhyanartham, pushpam samarpayami."
Light the lamp in front of Goddess Saraswati and offer her Prasad. Also offer the belpatra and mango leaves. Finally, sit in silence in your puja room and invoke the Goddess and ask her to shower her blessings on you. After you consume the prasad, offer to friends and family.