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According to the Hindu religion, Devi Saraswati is regarded as the goddess of knowledge, education, wisdom, arts and culture. In every state, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped in different ways. Usually, she is worshipped mainly on Basant Panchami, but people in South India worship Goddess Saraswati during the Navratri. This year people in the rest part of the country will be celebrating Basant Panchami on 16 February 2021. Let us see how Saraswati Puja is performed in South India.
How to perform Saraswati Puja in South Indian states?
In the states, like, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the last three days of Navratri is dedicated to Devi Saraswati. Not only in households, but the puja is also celebrated in corporate offices, art schools and colleges with pomp and vigour. The procedure to perform Saraswati Puja in South India is different than other parts of the country.
If you want to know how to perform Saraswati Puja, you must not confuse it with the Basant Panchami Puja. This puja is also known as Ayudh Puja. There are also some differences in the procedure to perform Saraswati Puja in South India. When it is celebrated on the ninth day of Navaratri in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka celebrate it on the tenth day with Dusshera. How to perform Saraswati Puja on Navratri? Have a look-
1. Clean Your House- If you are already celebrating Navratri, you must have cleaned your house. For Saraswati Puja, you not only clean your house, but also keep all books arranged and keep all the musical instruments (if any) in order. Your computer or laptop should also be cleaned.
2. Don't Touch the Books- In many households, Saraswati Puja is performed on the evening of the ninth day of Navratri. Books and tools should not be touched during the puja. This is the first step of how to perform Saraswati Puja.
3. Placing and Decorating- If you celebrate Navratri already, place the idol of Devi Saraswati in front of the Navratri Golu. If not, then decorate the puja place with white and yellow flowers and place the goddess's idol there.
4. Worship Lord Ganesha- As you know every puja starts with worshipping Vinayaka, you can start praying Lord Ganesha by chanting his mantra. With simple prayer, you worship him first and then prepare to worship Goddess Saraswati.
5. Venerate Devi- Lit the lamp and venerate Goddess Saraswati with flowers, incense sticks and diyas. You can chant Saraswati shlokas to please the goddess. This means you are invoking Devi to appear at your puja place.
6. Keep Books and Other Materials- arrange books, laptops, tablets or anything you use to learn something in front of the idol and sprinkle flower on it. You can also put small dots of turmeric paste on each object and pray to Goddess to give you knowledge and wisdom.
7. White Naivedyams- As Goddess Saraswati is the symbol of purity, you should prioritise white on her Puja. Like decoration, you should offer white coloured items as naivedyam. Prepare rice kheer, white milk, poha, desserts with coconut, etc. and offer her.
8. Saraswati Dhanam- In many households, Saraswati Dhanam is performed, where young girls are gifted with dress materials, bangles, cosmetics, beetle leaves, beetle nuts and bananas. They are the symbol of Devi Saraswati.
This is how to perform Saraswati Puja on Navratri. The books and tools remain untouched till the next day, Dashami. After the prayers of Vijaya Dashami, those are removed from that place.