The Goddess of learning Bhagawathi Saraswathi is the embodiment of learning and knowledge without which the world comes to a standstill. She is the one who dispels the darkness and ignorance of mind and the giver of knowledge through which the mind and soul radiate with light. Such a divine form is worshipped ardently across India in prominent places wherein devotees throng to have a darshan of her especially on the auspicious day of Basant Panchami.
Maihar Temple, Chitrakut – Located on the Trikut hill, one takes 1063 steps to reach the temple of Sharada Devi located on the top of the hill. Legend says that when Bhagwan Shiv was carrying Devi Sati’s body, the necklace from her body fell at this place, and hence the place came to be known as Maihar ( Mai- mother and Haar – necklace). The Chandel warriors were quite famous in this place and were known for the wrestling activities. Even till date, there is a wrestling centre (Akhara) located here where competitions in wrestling are held after praying Bhagwathi Saraswathi.
Saraswathi temple, Pushkar – The only temple where Brahma is worshipped as the main deity is the place of Pushkar alongside where a temple is dedicated to Bhagwathi Saraswathi, the consort of Brahma Ji. It is believed that Brahma Ji wanted to perform a Yagn at this place and he awaited the presence of Bhagwathi Saraswathi. But when she did not arrive at the stipulated time, he married Mata Savitri and completed the Yagn. However, when Bhagwathi Saraswathi arrived at the place, he pacified her by making her the main deity of the place along with him. The Pushkar fair at this place is one of the most popular fair destinations of India.
Shringeri Shardamba temple, Sringeri – The temple of Bhagwathi Saraswathi here, was founded by Shri Aadi Shankarachary in the 8th century. The unique feature of this temple is that Bhagwathi Saraswathi is in a standing posture with a Veena in her hands. Additions were made to the temple later on by the Vijayanagar rulers. This divine place is also famous for the penance of Rishyshring Maharshi on whose name the place has been given the name of Shringeri.
Gnana Saraswathi temple, Basar- Located in Telangana state, Bhagwathi Saraswathi is worshipped here as the personification of learning, and hence the name Gnana (knowledge) Saraswathi. After the Kurukshetra war, Maharishi Ved Vyaas had come down to the South and meditated in a cave for thousands of years. Hence the place got its name on the name of Rishi Ved Vyas as Vasar. In course of time and the influence of Marathi language, it later came to be known as Basar. It is also believed that Brahmarshi Vishwamitr too had done his penance here. Huge numbers of devotees arrive here to perform to initialise their children into education which is the Aksharbhyas ceremony and believe that the goddess would bless their child with knowledge, success and fame.
While celebrating Basant Panchami in these temples, one understands that one of the purposes of human life is to seek and gain new knowledge which can be attained only through understanding its essence which is represented in the worship of Bhgawathi Saraswathi who blesses us with knowledge and removes the darkness of ignorance from our minds.