Vidyarambham in Kollur Mookambika temple is very auspicious and popular since Kollur is the home of Devi Saraswati. Like it is mentioned earlier, people consider their child to be highly fortunate if they could have their vidyarambham through pujaris and pundits of this particular temple. Mookambika Temple has intricate arrangements, particularly for this ceremony.
On this occasion of Vidyarambham at Kollur, young kids are introduced to the world of letters or alphabets while they take their initial step in the world of knowledge. This customary ceremony of theMookambika temple Vidyarambham is performed on the final day of Navratri or Vijayadashami. However, the initiation in this world of letters or alphabets generally starts with writing of 'Om Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah' mantra, where hari means the Lord, and Sri depicts the prosperity. At first, this mantra is written in a plate of rice grains or on sand and after this, the teacher or master or any elder would write on the tongue of the child with gold. Well, there is a symbolism behind writing on rice grains and writing on sand. To write on sand basically indicate practice while to write on grains indicates acquisition of knowledge that results in prosperity. Moreover, writing with gold on the child's tongue beseeches Devi Saraswati, who is the Goddess of Learning and through this the child gains wealth of true knowledge.
Sri Mookambika is considered to be the goddess of VIDYA (the word 'Vidya' connotes mental / intellectual faculties as well as skills). Sage Shankaracharya performed penance at Mookambika Temple and extracted a boon from Goddess Mookambika that all those worship Her would become wise and excel in their intellectual pursuits. So it is believed that commencing the formal learning process (Vidyarambham) in the presence of Sri Mookabika would make the child studious and excel in education. Similarly, artists perform their stage debut in the presence of Mookambika to seek her blessings. Thousands of parents from far off places bring their kids to Mookambika Temple to initiate them into the path of learning in the presence of mother Goddess. It is also believed that performing Vidyarambam at Mookambika Temple of school going children who lag behind in studies or suffer from inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, would help them overcome these maladies. So Vidyarambham of school going children is also done at Mookambika Temple.
Vidyarambham is a significant but simple ceremony lasting about 30 minutes. It is conducted during the morning/noon session of pooja, that is between 6 AM and 1 PM, on all days of the year. Aspirants need not bring anything to conduct Vidyarambham. Saraswathi Mantapam inside Mookabika temple premises is the place where writing ceremony is performed. A fixed fee has to be paid at the temple office to perform Vidyarambham. There is no age bar for performing Vidyrambham at Mookambika Temple.
How is the Vidyrambham ritual performed?
• During this ritual, a child has to get up very early to take bath and then dress up in the traditional clothes
• On the Vidyarambham day, ardent devotees offer prayers to Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, and Goddess Saraswati. God Ganesha is initially entreated for propitious starting the process of learning
• In this Mookambika temple Vidyarambham ceremony, the child writes the mantra 'Om Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah' first by either tracing it in a plate of rice grains or on the sand. This process is performed under the guidance of a priest or a guru
• However, this part comes in handy for those parents who have a plan to do a quiet ceremony at the house. The individual who will perform it is known as Guru or teacher
• Right from the olden days, teachers or gurus play an important role in everyone's life. They are highly esteemed for the valuable and significant gift they offer us and that is, the gift of knowledge. Besides a priest, Vidyarambham ceremony could be done by the grandfather of the child, father or his uncle who would be the guru. The child will be sitting on his guru's lap during the process
• Guru would hold the child's index finger and write the mantra mentioned earlier on sand or plate of rice grains
• After completing the above process, he would take a gold ring and then write the same would write tongue of child. Through this mantra, they basically pray for the blessings of God Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles
• And writing the would write child's tongue with the gold ring means that we are seeking the blessings of Devi Saraswati.
This simple Vidyarambham ceremony reminds that knowledge is the most precious possession which an individual can attain during his or her lifetime.
Right Age for performing Vidyarambham for children
Mookambika temple Vidyarambham is performed before your child goes to school. It is usually done between 2 to 3 years of age. Thus, if you have any plan to send your child to play school, you will be able to perform this ceremony on the Vijayadashami. That said, even old aged people also perform vidyarambham at Kollur Mookambika Temple.
Dress Code of little one on Vidyarambham ceremony
Vidyarambham is an auspicious occasion when a child is introduced the first time in the world of knowledge and learning. On such a valuable occasion, the little one should have to take a bath prior to the function. Then, they dress up in their traditional clothes. A little boy can wear a small dhoti (mundu) and a little girl can wear pattu paaavadai, which means silk blouse and skirt.
Procedure of Mookambika Temple Vidyarambham
You should reach Kollur one day in advance as you will be able to begin a bit early on this day. Temple would be crowded especially on special days. Mookambika Vidyarambham would be performed in Saraswati Mantap which is outside the Kollur's main temple. You need to purchase a ticket at the counter. The queue line would be quite long for this ritual on special days. The pundit or pujari would perform this ritual to one group of 8 to 10 families at a stretch.
Things to carry while attending the vidyarambham at Kollur
Vidyarambham in Kollur Mookambika temple on Vijayadashami during Navratri is a crowded affair. Remember one thing while visiting this temple for Vidyarambham that the crowd could be huge with the sun shining on the top. It could even mean waiting for quite a long time. Crowds and heat are the two things that are equivalent to a grumpy baby. For avoiding a worse situation, you shouldn't forget to carry some milk or water along with some light snacks. This will prevent the child from dehydration and be getting fussy. The child should wear a comfortable dress as crowds could make it hot. You should carry all the necessary items needed for the ceremony along with a well-stocked baby bag and a disposable bag.