Saturday, 24 January 2015
Saraswati Pooja / Pujo in London
Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of Learning / Wisdom / Education / Culture / Music / Arts. She is One of the Main Trinity of Hindu Goddesses along with Parvati and Lakshmi.
She is often depicted in a white sari. Her 4 arms hold a book (for knowledge), a garland or prayer beads (for meditation/spirituality) and 2 arms hold her veena (stringed instrument for music / creative arts / sciences). She is often portrayed with either a White Swan or a peacock in the background. She could be seated on either this white swan or on a white lotus.
Saraswati Puja is performed on the Day of Basant Panchami which also heralds the arrival of Spring (towards the end of January - exact date depends on the Hindu Calendar). Yellow is the colour that marks this occasion and you may observe people in yellow clothes ranging from a pastel lemon to Canary to blinding sunshine yellow shades.
Being away from India and with our shipment not yet arrived with our pooja ghar, we decided to attend one of the Saraswati Poojas in London, that was organised by the Sanaton Organisation This year it was held at Kingsley Hall near Bromley by Bow. Incidentally Mahatma Gandhi lived in this same building in 1931.
The pooja was held much earlier in the morning, but we did get a darshan (viewing) of the lovely Goddess and the decorations around. It did feel like we had stepped into a time warp and been transported right back into India, with all the ladies, so beautifully decked up in their saris and high heels. There was food being served, but we were quite stuffed already, so after our quick darshan, we just headed back home.