Yesterday was Shree Panchami, also known as Basanta Panchami and Saraswati Pooja. Shree means wealth and prosperity. Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity; Saraswati, that of knowledge and art. Is something wrong? Absolutely not.
Knowledge is wealth. Art symbolizes prosperity. Laxmi and Saraswati are different. Laxmi loves red, Saraswati is clad in white. Laxmi is the spouse of Vishnu, Saraswati that of Brahma. They are different. Yet both represent the same thing: Shree.
Shree Panchami is one of the most auspicious days in Nepal. It’s the day for Aksharambha (अक्षराम्भ)- commencement of learning words. Bratabandha and wedding can be conducted even without the advice from the jyotish (astrologer).
This is also the day, we believe Spring (Basanta) begins. Priests organize Basanta Shrawan singing hyms in the praise of season of joy. The Royal family used to attend the ceremony, which is now attended by the President.
Yesterday, Lata Mangeskar, one of the most celebrated female Bollywood singers, passed away at the age of 92. In India, Basanta Panchami/Saraswati Pooja was celebrated on Saturday, a day before in Nepal (I don’t understand why). Yesterday was Saraswati bisarjan there. I saw a few tweets which said that Goddess Saraswati took her favourite disciple with her. I don’t know if it is so. The singer lived a long life. Her melodies are going to live longer.