Background: Saraswati Puja 2021

Saraswati Puja 2021 is on the thirteenth of the Hindu month Dhanteras. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the daughter of Heaven. She is considered the Mother of all the Gods and beings in this universe. On this day she is believed to have been born from a divine egg (Bhagavat) after her husband Rahu crashed into the waters at Vrindavan.

Who is worshiped: Saraswati Puja 2021

Saraswati, being a worshiped goddess, was not originally conceived as a moon woman. The mythological story says that when Shiva, the lord of plants, heard of Saraswati, he decided to come to earth and offered his wife Bhasma, with the wish that her son Brahma should be born in their home. When Bhasma refused to grant Shiva his wish, Shiva locked his eyes on Bhasma and went on to create the first ever moon goddess. Later on, Saraswati was known as Moon-Sakhi, or Lord of the Night.

Cultural Importance: Saraswati Puja 2021

Saraswati puja 2021 has a rich cultural and historic tradition in India. It is the oldest organized religious exercise in the country. Its roots can be traced as far back as the period of Magadh, which was around 600 BC. At that time it was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by kings and rulers of various Indian states.

On this day, the devotees gather at the shikara or praying hall, of the temple of any temple in the vicinity. This is followed by the recitation of hymns, and the display of dancing and music. Initially, the dance associated with Saraswati did not conform to the norm but gradually it evolved.

Traditional dance form: Saraswati Puja 2021

The traditional dance form is ‘Sarvangasana’. This is a combination of various dance postures, called ‘Pranjali Samskaras’, performed by men and women. The danse of fire is the central feature in sarvangasana. The dancer steps into the fire or the bow is extended in front of him and the head is covered with the ashes of the lord. Various other rituals, performed separately, are ‘Rasnapura’, ‘Shashtikshali’, ‘Naadi Nagar’ and ‘Chaturanga’.

The three moon darshan

The three moon darshan has a special meaning in gurukula. The lord is seated facing the hydra (corona or light radiance) and holding a lamp in his hands, symbolizing purification and perfection. The conch, a bell, and the moon combine to signify the triumph over the ‘Vishnu’ or lord Vishnu. The conch is an auspicious sound, whereas the moon gives birth to a dew, which is a symbol of the arrival of ‘Kriya’ or success. The other two elements, the bell and the conch represent the sun and the moon respectively.

The ‘Panchamrut’ or the full dressage is a sequence of dance performed between the lord and his consort. It is done either in the open air or inside the hall and involves a number of ceremonies, recitation and special requests made to the lord by his female consort. The sequence usually starts with the lord carrying the consort in his arms and going up to her. Then the couple sits on the tiled floor and the consort holds her head with her hands, representing the moon and represents herself as the moon.

The ‘Panchamrut’ is concluded by a map. The dancer steps out from behind the couple and makes a gesture of adoration to the lord, accompanied by garlands and flowers. The garlands are designed in a floral pattern and are used to cover the head, neck, arms and shoulders, while the flowers are green, representing the moon. The pump is then concluded with a donation of sweets to the lord at his home.

Another ritual performed during the Puja is ‘Sattva Samudra’. This ritual is basically a connotation based on the ancient teachings of Shastra. ‘Sattva Samudra’ is a form of a request made to the lord for good health, prosperity, and safety. The connotation is that the lord hears the wish and grants its fulfillment if the request is fulfilled.

A special power is conferred upon the lord during the entire course of the puja, which can only be achieved if the request is properly executed. This power is known as ‘Moksha Magda’. The ‘Moksha Magda’ is actually an important part of the ritual and is performed after the lord is seated on the seat of the granth sahib. The entire ritualistic sequence is then followed by lighting the fire (chitar) in the presence of the lord and his consort, who hold the candles in their hands, symbolizing the moon and sun.

Closing Words: Saraswati Puja 2021

Then the dancer performs a pool and enters inside the lord’s home. The couple then proceed to the main hall where the lord is seated on the bed of the gold-plated couch. This act signifies that the wedding between the lord and his beloved is finally finalized and the couple is now joined in matrimony and are taken to the halls of eternity. The couple then takes a round of the lord’s other relatives and friends to perform various functions such as cutting of the hair, blessing the guests, etc. Once all the procedures are completed, the couple gets escorted away from the place by the father of the groom and the bride’s parents.

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Raushan Kumar
A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

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