Saraswati is regarded as the Goddess of knowledge and the arts. Saraswati represents consciousness and wisdom. She is also regarded as Vaagdevi, the goddess of sound and speech. Saraswati is revered as the dispeller of chaos and confusion. She is the daughter of lord shiva and godess durga.
Goddess Saraswati (Sarasvati) possesses the powers of speech, wisdom, and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego.
Saraswati is depicted as clothed in white, seated on a white lotus playing the instrument veena. The four vedas are considered to be her offspring. Her mount, the swan is said to personify pure knowledge. Any institution of learning is regarded as Saraswati’s temple. Musical instruments are also regarded as symbols of Saraswati. Saraswati is said to be the bestower of knowledge that dispels ignorance and unhappiness. She has sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in the second. With her other two hands, she plays the music of love and life on the violin (veena).
Saraswati is worshipped as the consort of Bhrahma the creator.
Legend has it that Brahma the creator acquired the power to think and create only through the power of Saraswati and that it was Saraswati that enabled Bhrahma to listen to the naadabhrahmam, the primordial sound which is revered as the source of all creation.
Saraswati is also referred to as sharada the fountainhead of knowledge who leads seekers from darkness to light and from ignorance to spiritual uplift.
There is a lone temple dedicated to saraswati near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. There are shrines to Bhrahma and Saraswati at Uttamar Koyli near Tiruchirappalli in Tamilnadu.
The festival “Vasant Panchami” is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning. She represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas and chants to her, called the ‘saraswati vandana’ often begin and end Vedic lessons
The festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha the day called ‘Vasant Panchami’. Hindus celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm; temples and households are full of activities on this day. This ‘Panchami’ is also known as Saraswati Day, because it is believed that on this day the goddess was born.
Saraswati is also a prominent figure in Buddhist iconography the consort of Manjushri.
The color yellow is given special importance on Vasant Panchami. On this day, Saraswati is dressed in yellow garments and worshipped. People prefer to wear yellow clothes on this holy day. Sweetmeats of yellowish hues are distributed among relations and friends. Some people feed Brahmins, some perform Pitri-Tarpan (ancestor worship) and many worship Kamadeva, the god of love on this day.
However, the most significant aspect of this day is that children are taught their first words on this day, for it is considered an auspicious day to begin how to read and write. Educational institutions organize special prayer for Saraswati. The great Indian guru Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundations of the world-class academic institution of Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya on Vasant Panchami.
Vasant Panchami is a festival full of religious, seasonal and social significance and is celebrated by Hindus all over the world with verve and a new sense of optimism. The first faint signals of the forthcoming festival of Holi, the festival of colors, also manifest at Vasant Panchami.