‘Akshara’ means alphabets or letters, while ‘Abhyasam’ stands for a practice. So, the Sanskrit word ‘Aksharabhyasam’ represents the act of studying letters. Akshar Abhyasa is a traditional ceremony to introduce the child to the world of education by worshipping Goddess Saraswati.
Aksharabhyasam is not about learning the art of writing. Instead, it is about the development of pre-writing skills when the age of the children is around 2 years. As it is a religious ceremony, children and their parents need to perform some rituals.
Since it is one of the most important rituals for a child’s education and learning, booking a pandit for the Akshar Abhyas may help you reap the maximum benefits for your child’s bright future.
Our professional expert pandits at SmartPuja may help you with hassle-free pandit booking for Akshar Abhyas and other religious ceremonies. We at SmartPuja aim to facilitate a smooth pandit booking experience for 400+ unique pujas and homas, astrology services, e-puja services at the comfort of your screen, and other catering, photography, decoration, and additional benefits. Our services can be availed in different parts of India, including Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, and many more.
If you’re planning for the Akshar Abhyas or any other puja, connect with our experts at 080-61160400 to know more.
Significance Of Akshar Abhyasa
Also known as Vidyarambham, Akshar Abhyas, or Aksharabhyasam, is one of the significant rituals for kids. In Malayalam, the term ‘vidya’ signifies knowledge, while ‘arambham’ indicates a new beginning. You need to make special preparations to celebrate this ceremony to make it one of the most crucial ceremonies for your child’s life.
Akshar Abhyasa marks the final day of Navaratri. In other words, the ceremony is observed on Vijayadashami day. Although some couples perform the puja in temples, others do it in their houses. So, you can book priests from SmartPuja to celebrate the event at your home. The process of initiating learning is also associated with the Ayudha Puja ritual.
According to popular Hindu beliefs, the Akshar Abhyasa puja helps a child get blessings from Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. On this day, the teachers or Gurus also receive Gurudakshina on this special day.
Historical or Scriptural Context
As per historical reference and Hindu scriptures, Maharishi Vyasa and Sage Suka, his disciple, were hunting for a serene and cool place after the Kurukshetra war. Maharishi discovered the Dandakaranya forest, later called Basar, and experienced rejuvenation and pleasant. They made images of Goddess Gowri, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswati in the river Godavari’s banks and sanctified them with his power. Since then, the ritual has been performed during Guru Purnima or Vyasa Purnima.
Aksharabhysam Dates in 2023
The date for celebrating Akshar Abhyasa varies depending on where you live. In some regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, this puja starts during Navaratri. Based on the child’s horoscope, the pundits decide on the dates and best muhurta. In Bengal, the Basant Panchami festival- Saraswati puja, is chosen for Akshar Abhyasa (referred to as Haathe Khori).
In 2023, Akshar Abhyasa will be celebrated in most Indian states on 24th October. The Dashami tithi for this celebration starts at 17:45 on 23rd October and ends at 15:15 on 24th October.
What Is The Procedure For Akshar Abhyasam Puja?
The process for performing Akshar Abhyasa puja involves worshipping different gods, goddesses, and accessories related to education.
Worshipping Lord Ganesha
The child has to offer an akshat, red thread, and flowers to the idol of the Lord Ganesha. The Lord awakens the children’s conscience and blesses them for positive development. Worshiping the Lord also ensures the growth of intellect.
Worshipping Goddess Saraswati
Akshat, thread, and flowers are offered to the Goddess while praying with mantras.
Worshipping The Writing Tools
Children have to hold a quill during Vidyarambh Sanskar. Dhriti, the Goddess of the quill, signifies virtues like curiosity and interest. Every individual needs to have a passion for acquiring knowledge. Without this passion, they will be unsuccessful. Kalam Pujan is performed to pray to the Goddess Dhriti. It will increase the child’s interest in expanding knowledge.
Children should also worship the inkpot, as it is always related to the quill. Pushti, the Goddess of Dwat, is the symbol of concentration. Thus, your kids will become more focused by praying to this Goddess.
Slate is another accessory that needs to be worshipped. Tushti is the Goddess of Slate and stands for perseverance. Children will become more industrious and remove obstacles from their path.
Benefits of the Ritual
- The rituals of Akshar Abhyasa make children enter the education world, a crucial milestone of success in everyone’s existence.
- This day teaches the child the alphabet and letters, a tool that exhibits their thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
- Children write on grain or rice, which makes this ritual establish that they are connected with nature and Mother Earth.
Alternative Methods or Regional Variations
In many Indian states, Akshara Abhyasa is conducted on the victory day against ignorance and darkness, Dussehra, the Vijaya Dashami. The three powers or shaktis come along to provide wisdom and knowledge to the devotees. These energies include the following:
- Energy of action- Kriya
- Energy of knowledge- Jnana
- The energy of desire or will- Ichcha
Aksharabhyasam Kit for Puja Samagri
Things that you need for the puja are-
- Kumkum or Sindoor
- Incense sticks
- Sandal paste
- 20 Betel leaves
- 10 Betel nuts
- 5 Kg uncooked rice
- 2 coconuts
- 21 coins
- Floral garlands and flowers
- 2 flat plates
- A bell
- A slate
- Chalk box
- Children participating in the Akshar Abhyasa puja should get up early in the morning. After taking a bath, they should put on traditional clothes.
- As Akshar Abhyasa is the auspicious moment of beginning the learning process, the priests worship Lord Ganesha, Vishnu, and Goddess Saraswati.
- On the day of the ceremony, kids have to write the Ganapataye Namah. They can trace it in a rice grain-filled tray or sand. The priests will always supervise these rituals.
- The Guru uses gold to write down the mantra on the child’s tongue.
These are standard practices for the Akshar Abhyasa puja. The practice of writing on grains signifies the act of acquiring knowledge, which brings prosperity. Writing on sand particles represents practice. Finally, writing the mantra with gold involves the charm of the Goddess.
Duration of the Ritual
The duration of Akshara Abhyasa ritual is approximately thirty minutes and may vary as per regional customs and practices.
The post-ritual practices of Akshara Abhyasa include the following:
- Formation of words and sentences
- Spelling practice
- Improving handwriting
- Building vocabulary
- Creative writing
- Teaching phonics
- Communication and listening skills
- Practicing language
- Evaluating the progress
All these post-Akshara Abhyasa practices assist children in getting knowledge and education while enhancing their reading, writing, and communication skills. Their continuous practice enhances their abilities since they are evaluated and assessed, and their skills are polished with improvements made.
The beginning of laying a strong foundation for the child’s literacy skills and language is with Akshara Abhyasa’s post-ritual practices.
Things To Consider During The Akshar Abhyasa Ceremony
- According to Hinduism, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati are symbols of intelligence, knowledge, and education. Thus, you should place their idols properly while celebrating the ceremony.
- Chalk, notepad, inkpot, and slate should be made ready as a part of the puja arrangements.
- If the Guru or teacher is present, the child must pay them homage. Usually, the coconut symbolizes the teacher. So, in the absence of the teacher, you can worship coconut.
After making these preparations, devotees have to offer their prayers to Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha.
Akshar Abhyasa Puja – Get Online Puja Service From SmartPuja
Akshar Abhyasa is one of the beautiful Hindu traditions of introducing children to the world of education. Grandparents, parents, and other elders of the children’s family can participate in the ceremony. However, the puja rituals are performed under the supervision of priests. So, you can hire priests online from SmartPuja. With their Vedic knowledge, they perform the puja to let your child get the blessings of gods and goddesses. Well-experienced purohits will go through the prescribed procedures with a proper sankalpam.
It is easy to book pundits from SmartPuja for Akshar Abhyas. You can send a message or make a phone call to the team. The dedicated priests ensure authenticity and punctuality, and you will get a pleasant puja experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no strict rule regarding the minimum age for this ceremony. Most commonly, pundits recommend it for children of 2 to 3 years. But, in ancient Kerala, this puja was conducted for boys and girls when they were about 7.
Little girls can wear a new blouse and silk skirt (pattu paavadai), while the boys have to wear a new dhoti (known as small mundu).
The best Nakshatram for starting your child’s education includes Purvaphalguni, Ashwini, Pushya, Shatabhisha, Dhanishtha, Punarvasu, Pushya, and Purvabhadrapada.
The popular temples for performing Akshara ABhyasa include Sri Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, and Sri Padmavathi Temple, Tiruchanoor.
Akshara ABhyasa can be performed at any place, including the temple and home, by following the necessary rituals.
Akshara Abhyasa assist children in getting Goddess Saraswati’s blessing; it makes their fingers and hand strong, develop their skills, and assist in getting visual perception.
The mantras for Akshara Abhyasa include the following:
Om Bhurbhava: Sva: Tatsavitur Varenya Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Na: Prachodyat ॥
Om Hram Hrim Hram Sah Suryay Namah ॥
Om Shran Shreen Shran Sah Chandraya Namah ॥
Om Gran Green Gran Sah Gurve Namah ॥
Om Sram Sreem Sram Sah Ketve Namah.
Besides, beej mantras are recited, including Raksha Beej Mantra, Tejo Beej Mantra, Shanti Beej Mantra, and Yoga Beej Mantra. While Om is the basic beej mantra, they are further elaborated into specific mantras.
It usually takes about 30 minutes to complete the Akshara Abhyasa ceremony and may be expanded as per the added ritual to be performed.
Both boys and girls can undergo Akshara Abhyasa ritual and expand their knowledge, skills, and wisdom.
The offering for Goddess Saraswati during the Akshara Abhyasa ritual includes fruits, vegetables, and flowers.