Table of Contents
What is Basant Panchami?
This is the first day of spring in India (Northern Hemisphere), marked on the fifth day of the waxing moon. The spring season represents new life and joy, which Mother Nature expresses via budding flowers and growing trees. On this day, people also worship Mother Saraswati, the goddess of education, creativity, and music, who has immense significance. It is also said that on Basant Panchami, Brahma created the goddess Saraswati. That is why we worship Mother Saraswati on this particular day.
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When will it be celebrated in 2024?
Vasanta Pancami is usually held in January or February and commemorates the first official day of Spring. In 2024, it falls on February 14th. It is also Srimati Visnupriya Devi’s appearance day, Saraswati Puja, the disappearance day of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and the appearance days of Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Raghunandana Thakura, and Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami.
Why Do People Observe this Day?
Basant Panchmi commemorates the start of new life for every living creature in Vrindavan when Sri Krishna lived on this earth; even ducks and other birds engage in Krsna’s lovely pastimes during the springtime.
In Bhagavatam 10.12.08 Sukadeva Gosvami describes the following to Maharaja Parkshit
“Some boys imitated flying birds by running after the bird’s shadows on the ground, some imitated the beautiful movements and attractive postures of the swans, some sat down with the ducks, sitting silently, and others imitated the dancing of the peacocks.”
But when hearing the sound of Krsna’s flute, the fish, ducks, and other birds ceased swimming and flying and became silent “Krishna would play His flute, and together the sounds became so sweet to hear that together the aquatics, the cranes, swans, and ducks, and other birds were charmed. Instead of swimming or flying, they became stunned. They closed their eyes and entered a trance of meditation in worship of Krishna.” (Bhagavatam 10.35.11)
jaya jaya sundara nanda-kumāra
“O handsome son of Nanda, O Lord who enjoys springtime pastimes in the fragrant forest of Vrndavana, all glories to You! All glories to You!”
– Srila Rupa Goswami
Basant Panchami & its Spiritual Aspect
Worshipping Mother Saraswati & her rendered services to Supreme Lord
According to Vedic literature, Lord Krishna blessed goddess Saraswati that on Basant Panchami, she would be worshipped everywhere. Even today, we can see that people offer their obeisance and worship goddess Saraswati on every Basant Panchami.
In Rigveda, mother Saraswati has been glorified as below –
“Prano Devi Saraswathi, Vajhebhir vajinavathi, Dhinam avithri avathu”
It means – Supreme consciousness in the form of goddess Saraswati protects our intelligence, mind, and psychology. Whatever character and intellect we got are because of mother Saraswati who has unique opulence in terms of prosperity and form. Here supreme consciousness means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, the original cause of all causes.
However, goddess Saraswati never forgets that the supreme personality of Godhead is her master and all demigods-demigoddess are being engaged in His service. This can be illustrated by the below example –
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also known as Nimai pandit at the time, was on the Ganges River bank. There, He met Keshav Kashmiri and requested him to write a sonnet praising the Ganga. Keshav Kashmiri, a skilled scholar, wrote 100 verses in a few minutes. Keshav joyfully recited all 100 verses to Nimai. Nimai not only mastered all 100 verses quickly, but he also pointed out several grammatical faults in the 64th verse. Nimai also cited flaws in a few further passages. Keshav Kashmiri was shocked and stunned by this.
Keshav Kashmiri was perplexed as to how a tiny boy in Sanskrit grammar school could detect flaws in his compositions. As a strong devotee of goddess Saraswati, he finally saw her in his dreams. She instructed Keshava Kashmiri to seek refuge at the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. She also informed him that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was none other than Lord Shri Krishna. In this way, Keshav Kashmiri became a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Appearance Day of Srimati Vishnupriya Devi
Srimati Vishnupriya Devi is the second wife of Vishwambhara (Chaitany Mahaprabhu). It was believed that she was an extension of Srimati Satyabhama Devi, one of Krishna’s primary wives.
Shri Vishnupriya Devi’s devotion and austerity were vital in the spread of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Her acceptance of the mood of separation, her commitment to her Lord’s purpose, and her expression of the pangs of separation all contributed to the establishment of the ideal of union in separation, which is the foundation of Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy.
She softened many people’s hearts and eliminated the jealousy or hostility they had towards Mahaprabhu at the time. In Bengal, she facilitated Nityananda Prabhu’s preaching and chanting of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
10 Things To Do On Basant Panchami
1.Wear Vedic Atair
Celebrated at the start of spring, it represents the commencement of new life, with yellow mustard flowers blooming and nature at her majestic finest. Thus, the festival’s hue is yellow, and people are used to donning yellow outfits on this day. Women are dressed in yellow and white sarees with Vaishnava Tilak on their foreheads, creating a spiritual mood.
2.Offer Fruits, Leaves & Flower to Lord
In Vrindavan, this holiday is celebrated quickly. To welcome the arrival of spring in Vrindavan, offer Krishna a variety of leaves and flowers, as well as fresh shoots of springing grasses. Things that represent life and new growth.
3.Paint the Deities
Following in the footsteps of the Vraja-basis of Vrindavana, one should paint designs on His (Krishna’s) body and perform a special aratrika for Him.
4.Sing & Chant the Glories of the Lord
As this is the day which is celebrated as the first day of spring which indicates the starting of new life one should also sing & chant the Holy name of Lord Hari.
5.Offer Prayers to the Lord
As we have readed above, the Goddess of Wisdom Mother Saraswati is imported by the Lord for giving wisdom to the peoples according to their karmas. So in this respect we should always take shelter at the Lotus feet of Lord; the cause of all causes.
6.Perform Fertility Rites
As it is the first day of spring many fertility rites are performed at this time – for the family, for the women folk, for the crops, for the cows, etc. It’s a very festive time.
7.Worshipping of Mother Saraswati
The puja on this day is dedicated to Saraswati, and we should pray to her for wisdom in understanding the highest knowledge meant for human society. Children put their books at the goddess’ feet. There were no books touched that day, indicating that the goddess was blessing the books.
8.Take Inspiration from our Great Acharyas
This is the day of the disappearance day of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and the appearance day of Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Raghunandana Thakura, and Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami.
So we need to read about these great Acharyas & try to implement their instruction in our life to go Back to Godhead.
9.Distribute Prasadam to Local People
After the worshipping, we should distribute the offered foods as prasadam to all our relatives, neighbours & needy peoples.
10.Do Charitable Work
On the auspicious day we should also do some charitable services for the pleasure of the Lord.
In the Universe all things belong to the Lord Hari, by giving things in charity, it multiplied by unlimited times.
1. What is the Importance of Celebrating Basant Panchmi?
Basant panchami is the first day of Spring which is the significance of new life. People are performing various fertility rites on this day due to its being too auspicious.
2.What is the special significance of Worshipping Mother Saraswati?
There are many demigods who deputed for the management of this material world, the same way the Mother Saraswati is incharge of Wisdom. She provides the Wisdom for understanding the real goal of human life.