• Saraswati

Basara Saraswathi Devi Temple

The Basara Saraswati Devi Temple is dedicated to Saraswati, and is located in Basara, Mudhole, Andhra Pradesh. Legend has it that after the Mahabharata War, sage Veda Vyasa wanted to find peace. He reached the serene Kumaranchala hills on the banks of river Godavari and meditated and propitiated the Goddess who eventually appeared before him and granted her presence in the form of the divine trinity. The Goddess ordered the sage to place three handful of sand at three places every day. Miraculously these sand dunes transformed into the idols of the divine trinity i.e., Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Kali. These are the presiding deities of Basar today. Despite the presence of the trinity, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. The Vedavathi Sila, the Ashtateertha are other places of interest around Basar. Thousands of devotees bath in the river Godavari and seek the blessings of the Goddess during the Maha Shivarathri, Dassera Navrathris and Vasantha panchami. Gnana Saraswati Temple is a Hindu temple of Goddess Saraswati located on the banks of Godavari River at Basar, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the two famous Saraswati temples in India, the other being in Jammu & Kashmir. Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and learning. Children are brought to the temple for the learning ceremony called as Akshara abyasam. Basar is a census town in the Adilabad district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is about 30 km (19 mi) from Bhainsa, 15.5 km (10 mi) from Dharmabad, 34.8 km (22 mi) from Nizamabad, 70 km (43 mi) from Nirmal, and 205 km (127 mi) from Hyderabad. According to legend, Maharishi Vyasa (Veda Vyasa) and his disciples and sage ?uka decided to settle down in a cool and serene atmosphere after the Kurukshetra War. In the quest for a peaceful abode, he came to Dandaka forest and, pleased with serenity of the region, selected this place. After his ablutions in the Godavari, Maharishi Vyasa used to bring three fistful of sand and place it in three small heaps and made images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali with his mystic power and later conducted prayers. This idol made of sand has its face smeared with turmeric. Eating a little bit of this turmeric paste, it is believed, will enhance one's wisdom and knowledge. Since Maharishi Vyasa spent considerable time in prayers, the place was then called "Vasara" and turned into Basara due to the influence of the Marathi language in the region. However, according to the Brahmanda Purana, the poet Vyasa Maharishi installed Saraswati and wrote Mahabharata here. There is a marble image of Maharshi and his Sam?dhi near the temple. Historically, 'Bijialudu' a Karnataka king, who ruled the province of Nandagiri with Nanded as his capital in the sixth century, constructed the temple at Basara. Many pilgrims come to Basara to perform the "Akshara abhyasam" ceremony for the children before they start formal school education. The children perform the exercise of letters, and devote books, pens, pencils notebooks to the goddess of knowledge. The Puja at the temple starts at 4 am in morning with Abhishekam which carries on for an hour. At 5:00 AM they start the Alankarana whereby the new sarees are adorned to the goddesses. The whole atmosphere is very pious and pure. At 6:00 AM, in the rays of the morning sun, the aarti starts at the temple after which the prasadam is given to the devotees. Special poojas and celebrations are held at the temple during Maha Shivaratri, beginning 15 days before (Vasantha Panchami) and continuing 3 days after the festival. Devi Navarathrulu is celebrated for ten days during Dasara. The temple also has a Mahakali idol situated on the 1st floor very near to the main temple. Devotees often go to the nearby mountain which has an Idol of Goddess Saraswati on the top of the rock. The image of Lakshmi stands besides the Goddess Saraswati in the sanctum sanctorum. Due to the presence of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali, Basara is considered as the abode of the divine trinity. Saraswati is the hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, lakshmi and parvathi. All the three forms help the trinity of brahma, vishnu and shiva in the creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe. The Goddess is also revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India.As per Skanda Purana Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva.Saraswati is considered to be a daughter of Durga along with her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya. The Sarasvati River is an important river goddess in the Rigveda. The Sanskrit name means "having many pools". In Telugu language Saraswati is also known as Chaduvula Thalli, Sharada. In Konkani, she is referred to as Sharada, Veenapani, Pustaka dharini, Vidyadayini. She is also addressed as Sharada (the one who loves the autumn season), Veena pustaka dharani (the one holding books and a Veena), Vaakdevi, Vagdevi, Vani (all meaning "speech"), Varadhanayagi (the one bestowing boons) and many other names.Saraswati is strongly associated with flowing water in her role as a goddess of knowledge. She is depicted as a beautiful woman to embody the concept of knowledge as supremely alluring. She possesses four arms, and is usually shown wearing a spotless white sari and seated on a white lotus or riding a white swan.In the Rigveda, Saraswati is a river as well as its personification as a goddess. In the postVedic age, she began to lose her status as a river goddess and became increasingly associated with literature, arts, music, etc. In Hinduism, Saraswati represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, eloquence and power. Hindus worship her not for "academic knowledge", but for "divine knowledge" essential to achieve moksha. Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas, and chants to her, called the 'Saraswati Vandana' often begin and end Vedic lessons. Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She has sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus – the symbol of true knowledge – in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on a string instrument called the veena. She is dressed in white – the symbol of purity – and rides on a white swan – symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity and discrimination. Saraswati is also a prominent figure in Buddhist iconography the consort of Manjushri. The learned and the erudite attach greater importance to the worship of goddess Saraswati. As a practice, only educated people worship her for knowledge and wisdom. They believe that only Saraswati can grant them 'moksha' the final liberation of the soul. Saraswati's birthday Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha. Hindus celebrate this festival with great fervor in temples, homes and educational institutes alike. Maha Saraswati. In the Devi Mahatmya, Saraswati is in the trinity of Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. She is depicted as eight-armed and is often portrayed holding a Veena whilst sitting on a white Lotus Flower. Her dhy?na shloka given at the beginning of the fifth chapter of Devi Mahatmya is: Wielding in her lotus hands the bell, trident, ploughshare, conch, pestle, discus, bow, and arrow, her lustre is like that of a moon shining in the autumn sky. She is born from the body of Gowri and is the sustaining base of the three worlds. That Mahasaraswati I worship here who destroyed Sumbha and other asuras. Mahavidya Nila Saraswati Nilasaraswati is another form of Mahavidya Tara. There are separate dhyana shlokas and mantras for her worship in Tantrasara. Saraswati Jayanti is the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. The festival is celebrated as Vasant Panchami every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha month (January February) with great glory in goddess temples, educational institutions, and houses. This is the reason why when a person’s foot accidentally touches a book or any written material or another person’s leg, an apology in the form of the person touching the object with the finger tips and then the forehead or chest.

Significance

Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Academic prowess
  • Prowess in arts and other science
Shlokas

Ya Devi Stuyate Nityam Vibhuhairvedaparagaih Same Vasatu Jihvagre Brahmarupa Saraswati

Meaning -May Goddess Saraswathi who is the Goddess of knowledge and is appreciated by the learned ones who have mastered the Shastras and who is the wife of the creator, reside on my tongue.

Shrii Saraswatii Namahstubhyam Varade Kaama Ruupini Twaam Aham Praarthane Devii Vidyaadaanam Cha Dehi Me

Meaning -I bend down unto you O Goddess, the one who grants all her devotees' wishes, to uplift me with knowledge.

Gnanananda Mayam Devam Nirmala Spatika Kruthim Aadharam Sarva Vidyanam Hayagrivam Upasmahe

Meaning -I commit myself to the embodiment of knowledge and bliss, the Goddess who is very pure and forms the basis of all learning.

Yaa Kundendu Tushaarahaara Dhavalaa Yaa Shubhra Vastraavritaa Yaa Veenaa Varadanda Manditakaraa Yaa Shveta Padmaasanaa Yaa Brahmaachyuta Shankara Prabhritibihi Devaih Sadaa Pujitaa Saa Maam Pattu Sarasvatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha Jaadjyaapahaa

Meaning -May the blessed Saraswathi, Goddess Bhagavati, who is the deity for learning and who removes our laziness, protect us. She who is like the jasmine flower, pure and white, who is like the full moon, who is dressed in a clean robe and holds the veena. She who sits on a white lotus and is revered by the holy trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and other Gods.

Timings

4:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

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