On January 21, the Hindu Student Council held Saraswati Puja in the multi-faith prayer room. The event was organized in the honour of the Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswati, who plays an integral part in an intellectual setting, such as a university, according to the beliefs of the Hindu religion.
Hindu Student Council members Eric Madan, Amee Patel, Abhinav Chakra and Shahil Kumar organized the event. Its primary objective was to bring about excellence in academics, especially with midterms hovering close at the end of this month.
Through the course of the worship ceremony, the presiding Pandit Roopnauth Ji encouraged students to apply the knowledge and not just gain it and be well educated and well trained. The council discussed topics such as the essence of happiness and university graduation in the light of knowledge and the religious significance of Saraswati. Roopnauth Ji also encouraged students to pray for the devastated people of Haiti.
Approximately 45 students showed up to the event, which was advertised mostly by word of mouth. The attendance was much larger than in previous years. Students washed the Goddess feet with water, provided flower and fruit offerings and distributed a sweet-meat called prasad, while invoking Saraswatis blessings.
Not a lot of students get a chance to actually go to a temple and pray, so the Puja provided a good outlet for students to get in touch with their spiritual side, said Meena Tayal, vice president of HSC. We wish to continue with more events like this in the upcoming years.
Sweta Dalal, one of the attendees at the religious ceremony, also noted the spiritual benefits of the workshop. The puja filled our minds with calmness and stability. We sought the blessings of Lord Sarasvati and Ganesha to help us maintain our focus and attention towards attaining our goals through the semester, said Dalal.
The Saraswati Puja is just one of the many events organized by the Hindu Students Council. In the past, the council also organized the Havan Puja, and plans on organizing a semi-formal that is quite popular amongst the student body in the future.