Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Jayanti

Goddess Saraswati -
Goddess Saraswati -


Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago will celebrate Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Jayanti on February 13.

Vasant Panchami is an annual Hindu festival that honours Mother Saraswati, the Hindu goddess representing knowledge, music, and art. In the Hindu calendar, this festival falls on the fifth day (Panchami) of the month of Magh (January-February) and heralds the end of winter and the onset of spring.

Sadhvi Ananda (Sadhvi ji), general secretary of the Brahma Vidya Peetham International in Caratal, Gasparillo, said, “This season not only offers respite from the chill of winter but also heralds the blossoming of mustard crops, initially painting the landscape in vibrant yellow. This hue signifies attributes such as knowledge, illumination, vitality, prosperity, and harmony. Consequently, it is deemed a propitious period to embark on new endeavours such as marriage, home acquisition, or career initiation.”

Offering a deeper interpretation, Swami Brahmaswarupananda, founder of Brahma Vidya Peetham International in TT, said, “The word vasant embodies three essential elements: Vasant signifies novelty or freshness; sant represents the utmost refinement and purity (sattvic), and anant denotes eternal and everlasting aspects. During the Vasant period, the entire cosmos experiences rejuvenation, emitting a profoundly sacred, pure, and perpetually divine energy, signalling a new beginning. Panchami denotes five, which means that with the blessings of Goddess Saraswati, our five senses will become elevated.”

Who exactly is Mother Saraswati?

Brahmaswarupananda replied, “During Brahma’s (the creator of the universe) creation, there was an initial silence. Brahma then invoked the manifestation of Mother Saraswati. Even though the entire creation existed, there was silence despite the wind blowing, water flowing, birds present, and all humans lacked the ability to speak. With Saraswati Ma’s blessings, however, all beings, including humans, were endowed with the gift of speech, words, and language (
Shabdha Chetana). Through her grace, each entity in creation acquired its unique sound and language.

“Ignorance is ever present and shrouds the world. Yet, transcending this ignorance reveals knowledge and wisdom, which is Saraswati Ma’s energy. Mother Saraswati embodies wisdom, knowledge, and consciousness, as elucidated in the Sama Veda, the Supreme scripture detailing all arts and music. She is the epitome of knowledge and consciousness.”

During this period reverence is also paid to Kamadeva (God of Love) and Rati (goddess of love).

“Renowned Sanskrit poet Kalidasa extolled the virtues of the Vasant Ritu in numerous works. He also highlighted the symbolic significance of yellow during this celebration: people adorn themselves in yellow attire and venerate Mother Saraswati bedecked in yellow, and relish yellow sweets. Yellow symbolises purity, festivity, and love.”

Asked how Vasant Panchami relates to Saraswati Jayanti, the he pointed out that Vasant Panchami doubles as the birthday celebration of the goddess Saraswati.

“It also marks the occasion when she bestowed her blessings of incredible intelligence and wisdom upon Kalidasa, who eventually became a highly renowned Sanskrit poet. According to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, on this day the specific impulse of creative intelligence, which bestows enlightenment, wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and good memory in the life of individuals, families or nations, is most accessible and lively in nature.”

As for the symbolism of Mother Saraswati, Sadhvi ji described the goddess as being gracefully seated upon a white lotus in padmasana (or lotus pose).

“She is draped in a pristine white silk sari, epitomising purity and brilliance. Her countenance exudes an aura of serene tranquillity and majesty. Both her eyes radiate boundless compassion. Her four hands signify distinct aspects of human learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. Sacred scriptures rest in one hand, while a lotus –a symbol of true knowledge–resides in the other. With her remaining two hands, she evokes the harmonious melody of love and life upon the veena (a string instrument originating in India).

About the veena, Brahmaswarupananda said, “Veena means sweet sound. If your sound is not sweet then that is like a vaan (arrow) but when sweetness and gentleness is present in your speech that becomes vaani (sweetness of speech). Veena is a symbol of the sweetness of human speech that resonates with our compassion for humanity. The veena has seven strings which symbolise the seven chakras or divine centres in the human body. When these seven strings are aligned, we will echo sweet and melodious sounds for the betterment and happiness of society.”

He then explained that the swan associated with Goddess Saraswati symbolises purity and discrimination.

“The swan has the unique ability to separate water from milk and drink only the milk. This represents the power of knowing what is true and false and to distinguish right from wrong. It is a great lesson for us all to live in this world but to extract the goodness and positivity for a more holistic life. This ability of the swan is the highest state of enlightenment and cosmic consciousness. Also, Goddess Saraswati’s blessing hand is a symbol of fearlessness and the holy book she carries is the repository of all knowledge.”

How is this event celebrated?

Sadhvi ji said, “Traditionally, offerings of food are made to holy persons, children receive instruction in writing their initial words and special prayers are done to worship Goddess Saraswati on Vasant Panchami with emphasis on prayer for success in education.”

“With her grace, the mute, it is believed, have been able to speak and people have been blessed with the ability to write or compose poems. Musicians perform puja and hold first-time performances on this auspicious day. Notebooks, pencils and pens are kept at the Devi’s feet for blessings and then used by the students for education and exams. It is believed the goddess blesses them for good and positive results.”

Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Jayanti will be celebrated in temples across the country. Brahma Vidya Peetham International, under the guidance of Brahmaswarupananda, will be celebrating this festival with a day of prayer, puja, havan, bhajans and kirtans. Inspirational messages will also be delivered by Swamiji Brahmaswarupananda, Sadhviji and Professor Dilip Dan, president of Brahma Vidya Peetham International (as well as many other distinguished guests).

A student offers prayers to Mother Sarwaswati for educational success. -

Sadhvi Ananda, general secretary of the Brahma Vidya Peetham International in Caratal, Gasparillo, -

Swami - Brahma Swarupananda - founder of the Brahma Vidya Peetham International in Trinidad and Tobago -


"Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Jayanti"

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