Sunday, 21 June 2015

Vidyarambha - 10th Shodasa Samskara

Good education is a vital aspect in a child’s life. Every parent wants to see their children excel in studies and do well in all activities. Vidya means knowledge and ārambha is beginning.

In the Vedic tradition, Saraswati is the goddess of learning and knowledge. In the Vidyārambha ceremony Saraswati Pooja is performed to seek the blessings for the child. The child sits on the father’s lap and writes “” the primordial sound in a plate filled with rice grains. Subsequently the child is introduced to the world of alphabets. The child is then made to gift books and pens to other children. This cultivates generosity and the value of sharing in the child.

When the child was prepared to receive education, Vidyārambha is performed to mark its beginning, and alphabets, are taught. It marks the commencement of primary education. The ceremony is performed in the fifth year or the seventh but surely before the Upanayana ceremony. 

When the sun is in the northern hemisphere, an auspicious day is fixed for performing Vidyārambha. The child is required to bathe, be scented and decorated. Then Vinayaka, Sarasvati, family devata and Brhaspati are worshipped. Narayana, Lakhsmi, are paid respects. Homa is offered. The teacher faces the east, the child the west. The phrase “Salutation to Ganesha, Salutation to Sarasvati, salutation to family devas and devatas and salutation to Narayana and Laksmi”. After this “Om namah Siddhaya or salutation to Siddha”. Then the child gives salutation to the teacher, and the latter make the child read thrice what was written. The child presents clothes to the teacher, make three circumambulations round the devatas and seek everyone’s blessings.

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