Marking the onset of spring, Basant Panchami is widely observed across the Indian mainland. One can easily spot the dominance of yellow colour on this day. From clothes to dishes, everything has a tinge of yellow. In many parts of the country, Basant Panchami is celebrated as Goddess Saraswati’s birthday.

On today’s auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami, let us have a quick look at some of the lesser known facts about Goddess Saraswati.

1. Saraswati Puja takes place in the Magha months of January and February. The goddess is worshipped after placing books near her statue or picture. People refrain from reading books on this day.

2. She is also referred to as Druga for fighting against Drug, a female demon in the ancient Vedas

3. Her four arms represent the various aspects of human personality — learning, mind, intellect, alertness and ego. These four arms are also known to reflect the 4 Vedas — Rigveda, Atharvaveda, Samveda and Yajurveda.

4. Goddess Saraswati is also known to guide the souls of the deceased to find peace in their afterlife. ‘Moksha”, as they say, is a part of the “divine knowledge” imparted by the goddess.

5. One often sees Honey being offered to this goddess. Honey is symbolic of perfect knowledge and a lot of importance is attached to it.

6. According to the Rigveda, Saraswati is a river but started losing her significance as a river in the post-Vedic age. She started being associated with literature, arts, music etc. In Hinduism, Saraswati is symbolic of intelligence, consciousness, creativity and education.

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7. Apart from Hindus, Goddess Saraswati is also worshipped by people of Jain religion in western and Central India.

8. As per the Vedantas, she represents the feminine energy and the knowledge aspect of Brahma.

9. Goddess Saraswati holds a book in one of her hands. It represents that she is the epitome of true knowledge. The rosary of crystals, in another hand, signifies the power of meditation and spirituality. The musical instrument — veena — stands for her expertise in various art forms. The fourth hand has a pot of sacred water that is symbolic of creative and purification powers.

10. Saraswati is also associated with anuraga. It refers to the fondness and respect for the rhythm of music used to express emotions and feelings.

Read also: This Festive Season, Reimagining Indian Goddesses