Saraswati Puja is an important part of the Navaratri festival, especially in South India. Saraswati Puja is observed at different times in different parts of India. The last three days of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Saraswati Puja is also observed in Gujarat during the same period but in a different manner. Below is a step by step guide to how Saraswathi Puja is observed in South India.
- Image or idol of Goddess Saraswati
- A white cloth (vastram)
- Flowers – louts, lilies or jasmine.
- Mango leaves or other decorations
- Locally available Fruits
- If you are already doing Navratri Puja, then you can use the same decorations etc.
- If you are only doing Saraswati Puja, then get your house cleaned.
- Keep all the books arranged.
- Clean all the tools.
- Keep the computer and laptop clean.
- Everything must be ready by the evening of the 8th day of Navratri.
- If you are already doing Navratri Puja, then you can place the idol of Goddess Saraswati in front of your Navratri Bombe display. If not, then you can place the idol in prominence in the puja area.
- Decorate the image or idol of Goddess Saraswati using flowers, garlands etc.
- A white cloth is used to cover the idol of the Goddess. If you are using an image you can skip the white cloth or place it on tray near the image.
- Pray to Lord Ganesha first by chanting a simple prayer.
- You can light the lamp.
- Next venerate Goddess Saraswati with flowers, agarbhatis, incense and chanting any shloka dedicated to Goddess.
- Now that you have invoked the Goddess, you can keep books and other objects that you wish to keep for puja before the idol.
- Sprinkle some flowers on the books and objects.
- You can also apply a small dot of turmeric paste and kumkuma on books and objects; but turmeric stains are hard to remove so do it carefully.
- After this you can place some flowers and akshata (uncooked rice with turmeric) on the deity.
- You can offer the prasada or neivedya that you have made.
- You can chant any shlokas or remain in meditation for sometime.