156 – Basant Panchami

Basant Panchami is a celebration of the arrival of spring and it is called also Saraswati Puja. Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati describes true birth:

“Saraswati belongs to the realm of sattwa. Her work, her duty, her dharma is to bestow knowledge, understanding and wisdom… The moment you take birth in knowledge, it is defined as the real birth… If there is no knowledge, understanding and wisdom, how will you know how to do things.”

Today Basant Panchami is celebrated. Yellow is the favourite colour of the Goddess. It is associated with auspiciousness, wisdom and teachers. Yellow flowers are offered to the Goddess, with a yellow tilak on the forehead. I am writing about three mudras for Saraswati, as described by Swami Niranjanananda.

Veena Mudra (lute gesture)

Saraswati plays the lute. Hold both hands as if playing the veena. The left arm is bent at the elbow, with the left hand held up, palm facing backwards as if holding the frets and the right hand below as if strumming the strings. Shake the head gently from side to side.

Vyakhya mudra (gesture of speech)

Join the tips of the thumb and index finger of the right hand and then bring them apart. Vyakhyana means a lecture or recital. This mudra represents Saraswati as the goddess of speech.

Pustak mudra (gesture of reading)

Pustaka means a book. Saraswati is the goddess of learning. Hold the slightly cupped left palm facing upwards and towards the body.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by Alysa Bajenaru on Unsplash

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