In India, every person spectates and becomes a part of many Sanskar ceremonies during his lifetime. Every Sanskar has its specific relevance. One such Sanskar which has supreme importance is Vidyarambh Sanskar. Knowledge and education have an important place in every tradition. However, in the Hindu religion, they are kept on the supreme pedestal. This is the reason why Vidyarambh Sanskar ceremony is commemorated when a child sets foot on the fifth year of his life. The child gets to develop an inclination towards knowledge and studies along with other hobbies and the parents also realise their duties with the help of this ritual. This article will explain intricate details about Vidyarambh Sanskar.
हिन्दी में पढ़ने के लिए क्लिक करें – विद्यारंभ संस्कार
Right Age To Solemnize The Ceremony
Vidyarambh Sanskar should be commemorated so that the child develops a liking for knowledge and studies. According to astrology, the fifth year of a child’s life is considered the appropriate time to organise the ceremony. In contemporary times, people have started to educate their children before the auspicious and accurate age. Considering instances like these, it is appropriate to say that no matter when you begin to teach your child, it is essential to start the ceremony with Vidyarambh Sanskar.
Significance of Vidyarambh Sanskar in Indian Traditions
Knowledge and education have always been an inherent part of Indian psyche, and it has been over and over proved with the presence of ancient universities like Takshashila and Nalanda. In ancient times, students from various parts of the world used to come to India only to gain knowledge from these popular universities.
Considering the importance of knowledge, Indian society has made provisions for children to develop a fondness and curiosity for learning. Through this sanskar, an attempt is made to generate academic interest in the child’s mind. Prayers are offered during this Sanskar so that the child attains proper social and ethical qualities.
Social Acknowledge of Vidyarambh Sanskar
Everyone is aware of the importance of knowledge and education in a person’s life. An educated person contributes generously to the society and helps to improve it. The more a community is educated, the less nuisance it will bear. However, the information solely gathered from books cannot be given the status of ‘Knowledge’. The actual knowledge is the one which enhances your conscience and develops your intellect. The facts mentioned above increases the relevance of Vidyarambh Sanskar in the social context so that with the help of this Sanskar, the child can appropriately use his conscience and knowledge.
Things To Keep In Mind During Vidyarambh Ceremony
- Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha are considered the emblems of knowledge, education and intelligence. Therefore, their idols should be placed in the place where the ceremony will be performed.
- Slate, ink pot, notepad and chalk should be placed in the place where Puja is to be performed.
- If the teacher of the child is present in the ritual, then he/she should be worshipped. Otherwise, coconut can be considered the symbol of a teacher and should be worshipped instead.
After the necessary preparations mentioned above are made, humble prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati. The initial prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha, and then, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped.
The child should be given flowers, akshat or rice and roli or sacred red thread to offer in front of an idol or picture of Lord Ganesha while chanting mantras.
Lord Ganesha is also the guiding force of one’s conscience. One should pray and wish the positive development of the child’s conscience from him. Along with that, prayers should be offered for rapid growth of the child’s intellect.
गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे प्रियाणां त्वा प्रियपतिं हवामहे | निधीनां त्वा निधिपतिं हवामहे वसो मम आहमजानि गर्भधमा त्वमजासि गर्भधम्||”
gaṇānāṃ tvā gaṇapatiṃ havāmahe priyāṇāṃ tvā priyapatiṃ havāmahe | nidhīnāṃ tvā nidhipatiṃ havāmahe vaso mama āhamajāni garbhadhamā tvamajāsi garbhadham||”
“ॐ गणपतये नमः। आवाहयामि, स्थापयामि ध्यायामि||” / “oṃ gaṇapataye namaḥ। āvāhayāmi, sthāpayāmi dhyāyāmi||”
The child should be given flowers, akshat or rice and roli or sacred red thread to offer in front of an idol or picture of Goddess Saraswati while chanting mantras.
Maa Saraswati is considered the Goddess of knowledge, art and compassion. During the puja, wish for the child to gain the blessings of Devi Saraswati and his/her interest in knowledge and art remains intact.
“ॐ पावका नः सरस्वती, वाजेभिवार्जिनीवती। यज्ञं वष्टुधियावसुः।” / “oṃ pāvakā naḥ sarasvatī, vājebhivārjinīvatī। yajñaṃ vaṣṭudhiyāvasuḥ।”
“ॐ सरस्वत्यै नमः। आवाहयामि, स्थापयामि, ध्यायामि।” / “oṃ sarasvatyai namaḥ। āvāhayāmi, sthāpayāmi, dhyāyāmi।”
After offering prayers to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati, the equipment used in school to gain education (ink, pen, pad) should be worshipped. Observing their importance, these tools are blessed with mantras so that their initial impact can motivate and benefit the child.
Adhisdhatree Devi Pujan
- According to the religious science, the dominant Goddesses of quill (an ancient pen made of a feather), slate and ink are Dhriti, Tushti and Pushti respectively.
- Of all the sixteen sacred Hindu Goddesses; Dhriti, Pushti and Tushti are the three Goddesses who represent the three fundamental emotions which are very important and necessary to gain knowledge.
- Thus, while offering blessings to the quill, inkpot and slate, the Goddesses associated with them should also be worshipped.
Worshipping the Pen
During Vidyarambh Sanskar, the child is given a quill to hold for the first time. Dhriti is considered the Goddess of quill and represents virtues like interest and curiosity. A person will grow and develop if he possesses the interest and zeal for knowledge. If the zeal is missing, then the person will remain unsuccessful in life. Without procuring an interest in something, one cannot prosper in life. During Kalam Pujan, prayers should be offered to Goddess Dhriti so that the child’s interest and curiosity towards knowledge keep increasing. Prayers are also offered so that the child gains academic success.
- Deed- The child should offer akshat, flowers and roli to the quill placed in the altar.
- Mantra- “ॐ पुरुदस्मो विषुरूपऽ इन्दुः अन्तमर्हिमानमानंजधीरः।
एकपदीं द्विपदीं त्रिपदीं चतुष्पदीम्, अष्टापदीं भुवनानु प्रथन्ता स्वाहा।” ….-८.३०
oṃ purudasmo viṣurūpa’ induḥ antamarhimānamānaṃjadhīraḥ।
ekapadīṃ dvipadīṃ tripadīṃ catuṣpadīm, aṣṭāpadīṃ bhuvanānu prathantā svāhā।”
- Objective- During the ceremony, the guardians should pray to Goddess Dhriti to bless the child with intellect and focus to gain success towards the attainment of knowledge.
Worshipping the Ink Stand
The quill and the ink pot are incompetent without each other. One can write with a quill, only when it is filled with ink. This is why Dawat Pujan is performed after offering prayers to the quill. Pushti is considered to be the dormant Goddess of dwat (ink pot) and represents ‘concentration’. It is important to offer prayers to Goddess Pushti because a focused mind can understand things quickly. The ink pot is also worshipped with Roli, incense, akshat and flowers after tying a roli on its neck.
- Deed- The child should offer puja materials such as rice, thread and flowers to the ink pot while mantras are being chanted.
- Mantra- “ॐ देवीस्तिस्रस्तिस्रो देवीवर्योधसं, पतिमिन्द्रमवद्धर्यन्।
जगत्या छन्दसेन्दि्रय शूषमिन्द्रे, वयो दधद्वसुवने वसुधेयस्य व्यन्तु यज॥” …. -२८.४१
oṃ devīstisrastisro devīvaryodhasaṃ, patimindramavaddharyan।
jagatyā chandasendiraya śūṣamindre, vayo dadhadvasuvane vasudheyasya vyantu yaja॥”
- Objective- The parents should pray so that the child is blessed with great concentration power under the guidance of Goddess Pushti.
Worshipping the Slate
Prayers are offered to the slate (patti) after the pen and inkpot. The usage of quill (or any other writing equipment) and inkpot depends on the availability of paper or slate. The Goddess of Slate is Tushti and represents the hard work and industriousness. One needs to work hard to attain good knowledge. Many people are blessed with interest, curiosity and concentration power but the absence of industriousness and devotion block their path of knowledge. In order to possess these qualities, prayers are offered to Goddess Tushti.
- Deed- The child should offer the Puja items to the sacred slate while mantras are being chanted.
- Mantra- ॐ सरस्वती योन्यां गर्भमन्तरश्विभ्यां, पतनी सुकृतं बिभर्ति।
अपारसेन वरुणो न साम्नेन्द्र, श्रियै जनयन्नप्सु राजा॥” …. – १९.९४
oṃ sarasvatī yonyāṃ garbhamantaraśvibhyāṃ, patanī sukṛtaṃ bibharti।
apārasena varuṇo na sāmnendra, śriyai janayannapsu rājā॥”
- Objective- The guardians should wish that power of Tushti will keep the child industrious and that he shall become hardworking at every step of his life.
Worshipping the Teacher
A teacher is necessary for the dissemination of knowledge. A teacher removes darkness from his pupil’s life just like a lamp with the luminescence of knowledge. During Vidyarambh Sanskar, the child offers prayers to its teacher. This Sanskar adds to the level of respect a student has for his teacher. The teacher will also be committed to teach the right things. According to Hindu Shastras, a teacher’s position is greater than Lord Brahma. A teacher is kept in such a pedestal because it is only through the Guru that we acquire knowledge about this universe.
- Deed- If the guru/teacher is not present in the ceremony then prayers should be offered to a coconut instead while mantras are being chanted.
- Mantra- ॐ बृहस्पते अति यदयोर्ऽ, अहार्द्द्युमद्विभाति क्रतुमज्ज्जनेषु,
यद्दीदयच्छवसऽ ऋतप्रजात, तदस्मासु द्रविणं धेहि चित्रम्।
उपयामगृहीतोऽसि बृहस्पतये, त्वैष ते योनिबृर्हस्पतये त्वा॥
ॐ श्री गुरवे नमः। आवाहयामि, स्थापयामि, ध्यायामि।” …..-२६.३, तैत्ति०सं० १.८.२२.१२।
oṃ bṛhaspate ati yadayor’, ahārddyumadvibhāti kratumajjjaneṣu,
yaddīdayacchavasa’ ṛtaprajāta, tadasmāsu draviṇaṃ dhehi citram।
upayāmagṛhīto’si bṛhaspataye, tvaiṣa te yonibṛrhaspataye tvā॥
oṃ śrī gurave namaḥ। āvāhayāmi, sthāpayāmi, dhyāyāmi।”
- Objective- In this ritual, prayers should be offered for the development of good virtues in child and also so that he/she understands the lessons provided by the teacher and flourishes in future by his grace.
Writing & Worshipping Letters
The child should write “ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः / oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ” on the slate or a piece of paper. The teacher can write down the mantra first and the parents can help the child to overwrite on it. The teacher can also hold the child’s hand and make him/her write this mantra. In this mantra, Om is supreme name of the Almighty, ‘bhur’ means hard work, ‘bhuvah’ means patience and ‘swaha’ means conscience. The child is made to write these words because they represent virtues which are extremely important to acquire in order to succeed in life. The auspiciousness of the ritual increases if the Guru/Teacher conducts it.
- Deed- The child should offer flowers and akshat to the slate or paper where “oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ” is written by the child while the mantras are being chanted.
- Mantra- “ॐ नमः शम्भवाय च मयोभवाय च,
नमः शंकराय च मयस्कराय च, नमः शिवाय च शिवतराय च।” ….- १६.४१
oṃ namaḥ śambhavāya ca mayobhavāya ca,
namaḥ śaṃkarāya ca mayaskarāya ca, namaḥ śivāya ca śivatarāya ca।”
- Objective- Astrologers believe that if the knowledge gained is not expressed or put to use, it loses its importance. During Akshar Pujan, the child is made to imbibe this virtue. In the first phase of attaining knowledge, the parents try to invoke the virtue of curiosity and expression in the child.
During the last phase of this ceremony, the items required for the special offering or havan must be mixed with sweets, and the child must make five offerings of this mixture. It should be wished that the energy produced by the yagna purifies the child’s character and fulfils his mental development.
Mantra- “ॐ सरस्वती मनसा पेशलं, वसु नासत्याभ्यां वयति दशर्तं वपुः।
रसं परिस्रुता न रोहितं, नग्नहुधीर्रस्तसरं न वेम स्वाहा। इदं सरस्वत्यै इदं न मम।” …..-१९.८३
oṃ sarasvatī manasā peśalaṃ, vasu nāsatyābhyāṃ vayati daśartaṃ vapuḥ।
rasaṃ parisrutā na rohitaṃ, nagnahudhīrrastasaraṃ na vema svāhā। idaṃ sarasvatyai idaṃ na mama।”
After the special offering, blessings, immersion and acclamation should be carried out to commemorate the yagna successfully. With the distribution of Prasad, the Vidyarambh ceremony comes to an end. We hope to benefit you with this article about one of the hindu anskars, Vidyarambh Sanskar.