Vasanta Pañcamī (वसन्त पञ्चमी : Vasant Panchami)

Significance of Vasanta Pañcamī (वसन्त पञ्चमी)

Māgh-sukla-Panchamī (This Year : 1st Feb 2017) in Shishir (winter) is an indication of Vasanta-Ritu (spring season) is coming, when Sun comes into Kumbha Rashi (zodiac) from Makara Rashi, then Panchami (fifth day) is called Vasant-Panchami.

Saraswatī-Pūjā (Worship of Bhagavatī Saraswatī)

On Vasant-Panchami, Bhagavatī Saraswatī devī is especially worshiped in every household. Saraswati Ji is the adhisthatri-dēvī (presiding goddess) of knowledge and speech and arts, etc. She keeps singing the Rāmāyana and the glories of Bhagavan. She herself says wherever there is the story of Śrī Rāma, she is eternally present there, therefore when Ved-Vyasa did penance to please her to get her grace, then she appeared and instructed Ved-Vyasa to study the eternal seed of all scriptures - Śrī Rāmāyaṇa to get her grace so that he could author Mahābhārata and Purāṇas.

Saraswatī Dēvī is also present in Mādhurya-leelā of Śrī Śrī SītāRāma as the female-companion (Sakhi) of Śrī Sītā Jī : —

लहकौरि गौरि सिखाव रामहि सीय सन सारद कहैं ।
रनिवासु हास बिलास रस बस जन्म को फलु सब लहैं ॥
(श्री रामचरितमानस)

lahakauri gauri sikhāva rāmahi sīya sana sārada kahaiṃ ।
ranivāsu hāsa bilāsa rasa basa janma kō phalu saba lahaiṃ ॥
(śrī rāmacaritamānasa)

“Pārvatī jī and Sarasvati jī have assumed the forms of Sakhi-s (female-companions) of Sītā jī in Mithilā. In Kohbar (where only Sakhis are present with the divine newly married couple, there is no male entry here), Pārvatī jī herself teaching Śrī Rāma how to offer a morsel of the food in mouth of Sītā jī, while Sarasvati jī is teaching Sītā jī to do likewise with Śrī Rāma. Sakhi-s who were with Sītā and Rāma, were absorbed in the delight of merry-making, and everyone enjoyed the fruit of their birth.” (Shri Ramacharitmanas)

Worship of Śrī dēvī on Vasant-Panchami

On this day if Śrī dēvī (Sītā Jī) is worshiped along with Saraswati, then it becomes *Śrī-Panchami* and bestows greater fruits and devotion of Bhagavan !

Worship of Kama (love-god) and Dēvī Rati (the consort of Kama)

On Vasant-Panchami, one should also worship Vasanta (spring, the king of all seasons), Rati (the consort of Kāma-Dēva) and Kāma (love-god).

Vasanta (Spring) always goes with Kama-deva to help him. Śrī Lakshman is the original Vasant who always accompanies Shri Rama - the Supreme Kama-deva when Kama-deva proceeds to Vana (chitrakoot , dandakaranya etc in Ramayana) to enchant sages engaged in Tapasya, and Sita is the Supreme Rati devi. Wherever they are, pramod-vanam (the heavenly forest of bliss) of Ayodhya is there only.

Therefore on this festival, a Vaishnava should worship Śrī Rāma as the Supreme Kāma-dēva (the love-god) and Sītā as the supreme Rati dēvī, and Shri Lakshmana as the original Vasanta. Sita is the pleasure-potency (Supreme Rati devi) of Shri Rama - the Supreme Kama-deva, they disport together in Vana and enchants whole creation and enraptures the minds of all.

Bhagavān Vālmīki says in Śrī Rāmāyaṇa, Śrī Rāma is the Kāma-vardhanah (means mere a sight of whom infuses love towards him in all, not in just women, but even among men, from animals even to ordinary creepers-plants-trees and rivers, all feel a strong attraction and love towards him in Shringaar i.e. romance, such Kaam-vardhanah he is). One doesn't need to chant a separate Kāma-mantra for Śrī Rāma, as the name ' *Rāma*' itself means *the one who is foremost among all those who delight others* (rāmō ramayatāṃ śrēṣṭhaḥ । [Śrīmad Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa 2.53.1]; 'Rāma' means the one who gives bliss; And bliss (ananda) is the most subtle and essence of all. Śrī Rāma is the only one in whole cosmos who can delight (give bliss to) 'Śrī Jī' (Sītā Jī), none else.

अनन्तो भगवन्मन्त्रा नानेन तु समाः कृताः।
श्रियो रमणसामर्थ्यात् सौन्दर्यगुणसागरात्॥
(हारित-स्मृति ३.२४०)

anantō bhagavan-mantrā nānēna tu samāḥ kṛtāḥ ।
śriyō ramaṇa-sāmarthyāt saundarya-guṇa-sāgarāt॥
(hārita-smṛti 3.240)

“Out of infinite names and Mantra-s of Bhagavān, none could become equal to or greater than Śrī 'Rāma' nama, because only Śrī Rāma Nāma manifests the capability to bestow the supreme bliss and delight (रमण का आनन्द) to even Bhagavati 'Śrī Jī' (Sītā Jī, and also her all other aspects: Lakshmi-s, bhu, Neela, etc), as also being the very ocean of all-beauty and innumerable auspicious qualities ! (Hārit-Smriti 3.240)”_

Therefore, on the day of Vasant-Panchami, one should chant the mantra of the divine couple Śrī Śrī SītāRāma, thinking them as the supreme Kāma and Dēvī Rati personified in the groves of Ashoka-Vanam and infusing love in Sakhis and every creation present there who sees or participates in their divine loving-sports.

Agastya Samhita which is one of the most ancient texts of Vaishnavaism on Shri Rāmōpāsanā says:

ध्यात्वा च मन्मथं रामं सीतामपि रतिं स्मरेत् ।
(अगस्त्य संहिता)

dhyātvā ca manmathaṃ rāmaṃ sītāmapi ratiṃ smarēt ।
(agastya saṃhitā)

“One can meditate upon Shri Rama as the manmatha (Kama-deva) and Sita as his Rati-devi (the pleasure potency of Shri Rama) in Japa-Homa-meditation etc. ”

From such meditation, Sita and Rama comes in the bondage of love very easily, love is the only thing from which even Supreme can be won. One should meditate upon them in such way as the maid-servant or the sister (Sakhi or female-companion) of Sita Ji to get their divine loving-devotion.

On Vasant-Panchami, a devotee-Vaishnava should worship the divine couple Shri Shri SitaRama with fruits, berries, sweets, scents, flowers, and Garlands of flowers for the divine couple. One should also offer Gulal (the dry color extracted from flowers) to the divine couple Shri Shri SitaRama.

Śrī Rāmāvat-Vaishṇava-āvchāryas have authored many divine-compositions full of nectarine mellows (Rasa) on the Vihaar-leela of Śrī Śrī SītāRāma during Vasanta-season in the heavenly forests of Ayōdhyā Jī on the bank of the Sarayū-river.

Sītārāma-Caraṇ-Cañcarīk, SiyaRaghavendra Sharan


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॥ श्रीसीतारामचंद्रार्पणमस्तु ॥