Saraswati Puja Celebrated by The Assamese Youths in Delhi

On the last 23rd February, the Asssamese students assembled at the puja venue for performing the puja. Decorative pendals with the odour of incense and flowers could attract the attention of the passers bye. There is a tradition of wearing traditional Assamese dresses in Saraswati Puja and many Assamese students followed the traditions in Delhi exhibiting Assamese culture.

The effort to organize the ceremony by some enthusiastic Assamese youths namely PRABHAT BARUAH (Jorhat), TUBLA BORA (Tejpur), JUBIL LALUNG (Guwahati), MANJIT BASUMATARY (Guwahati), SUBHRA GOGOI (Sibsagar), DEBO MORANG (Dhemaji), MAITRAYEE BARUAH (RRL, Jorhat), KARNIKA DEKA (Dumduma and many others is highly appreciated by the whole Assamese community.

Formerly restricted to the schools and colleges, now-a-days Saraswati Puja has also been celebrated at various social institutions. It offers the student to get together on an auspicious day. Various students studying at different institutes can get an opportunity to meet each other. Interestingly, most of the schools students anxiously wait for this day, as there is a traditional belief that studies are forbidden on this day. So, for them it’s a day of merry making without any worry for studies.

The Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped as the Goddess of Learning, the fountain of fine arts and science, and the symbol of knowledge. The prayer of Saraswati finally concludes as, \\"Oh Mother Saraswati remove the darkness (ignorance) of my mind and bless me with the eternal knowledge.\\"

Saraswati is also the Goddess of speech. In Sanskrit, She is known as Vak Devi, meaning the Godess of speech. It is believed that Saraswati was the Goddess of the mythical River Saraswati. On the banks of the River Saraswati, the ancient sages developed knowledge. With the advancement of Aryan art and culture, they created an embodiment of knowledge and arts. And thus the deity of Saraswati came into existence

Saraswati is depicted as gracefully seated on a Swan wearing white dress, holding a veena – a musical instrument, and the scripture. The veena symbolizes knowledge of the arts. The scripture is the symbol of knowledge. The swan denotes the discrimination between right and wrong.

She is a daughter of Durga. In some ancient scriptures she is also mentioned as the wife of Brahma –the creator. Sometimes Saraswati is visualized with four hands too - symbolizing learning, intellect, alertness and ego respectively.

Saraswati Puja has much significance among the Assames community. The students seek blessings before the formal commencement of their studies. There can be little knowledge without dedication, devotion and determination. The deity of Saraswati is the embodiment of devotion to knowledge and here lies the significance of Sarswati Puja.

PANKAJ SHARMA DREAMSWALA