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The first day of Goddess Saraswati puja during the Navratri Durga Puja celebrations is known as ‘Saraswati Avahan’. This ritual is observed to invoke the blessing of Maa Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati (सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu Goddess of wisdom, learning, arts and music. Goddess Saraswati is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The three forms help the trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh (Shiva) to create, maintain and regenerate the Universe respectively. The Saraswati Avahan is observed during the favourable muhurat of Mula Nakshatra. People also observe a fast on Saraswati Avahan Festival.
2016- 07 October
2017- 27 September
2018- 16 October
2019- 05 October
Saraswati in Sanskrit is a composite word of surasa-vati (सुरस-वति) which means "one with plentiful of water" Saraswati is celebrated as a Goddess with healing, purifying powers of abundance, flowing waters connotes a river deity. She is known by different names like ‘Mahavidya Nila Saraswati’, ‘Sharada’, ‘Vidyadayini’, ‘Veenapani’, ‘Sharadamba’, or even ‘Pustaka Dharini’. In Book 2, Rigveda Maa Saraswati is mentioned as the best of mothers, of rivers, of goddesses.
अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति | – Rigveda 2.41.16
For the Avahan of Maa Saraswati special vedic mantra is recited to get her blessings. In this mantra, Maa Saraswati is praised and the worshipper seek her guidance and protection. Usually the last three days of Navratri or Durga Puja is dedicated to worship Maa Saraswati. The practice of Saraswati Avahan Vidhi is observed on the ‘Mahasaptami’ (seventh day) during the Shukla Paksha (the waxing phase of moon) in ‘Ashwin’ month. In the holy Hindu texts, the times for worshipping Maa Saraswati are explicitly mentioned.
It is specified that Goddess Saraswati Avahan should be performed during the ‘Mul Nakshatra’, Balidan puja should be performed during ‘Uttara Ashadha Nakshatra’, the puja rituals should be performed during ‘Purva Ashadha Nakshatra’, and lastly the Visarjan of Maa Saraswati should be performed during ‘Shravana Nakshatra’.
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