Title: Saraswati Jayanti
Saraswati Jayanti is the birthday of Mata Saraswati the goddess of learning, knowledge and wisdom. Sara in Sanskrit means “essence” and Swa means “self”, so Saraswati means “the essence of the self”. Saraswati is the consort of Lord Bramha the Creator of the universe. Saraswati Jayanti is observed on the fifth day during the Shukla Paksha (bright half) of Hindu month – January – February in the English calendar. She is dressed in white (sign of purity) and rides on a white swan. The swan is known for its peculiar characteristic of being capable to separate water from milk, indicating that we should possess discrimination in separating the bad from the good. The seat being a lotus or peacock implies that the teacher is well-established in the subjective experience of truth. When sitting on a peacock she reminds us that wisdom suppresses ego.
On Saraswati Jayanti special attention is paid to the young children and those that attend school at all levels. The children are encouraged to participate in Saraswati puja and appropriate Bhajans are sung to propriate the Goddess of learning. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of the Basant Panchami festival which is observed as Saraswati Puja and ushers in the springtime. Young girls wear bright yellow dresses and participate in the festivities. The color yellow holds a special meaning for this celebration as it signifies the brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life. Yellow colored clothes are worn and many offerings of yellow flowers are made in the performance of puja and gifts to each other.