Akshrabhyasam Puja

Aksharaabhyasam or Akshara abhyaasam or Vidyaarambham or Akshara arambham is a traditional religious function in which the child is given initiation of education so that the child is ready to receive formal education. This ritual involves Goddess Saraswati puja.[1][2]

This ritual very common in Hindu families of KarnatakaKeralaAndhra Pradesh and Telangana. Akshara means ‘letters/alphabets’ and Abhyasam means ‘practice’. Together they mean “the study of practical letters”. The ceremony is performed by the Maternal Uncle (Mother’s brother)/ Father/ Paternal Uncle (Father’s brother) along with the family keeping the child in his lap holding the child’s right-hand forefinger and make the child write the Om followed by the panchaakshari mantra ‘Namah Shivayaah’. In Kerala Om Harisree Ganapathaye Namah mantra is used.

Om symbol which is treated as a Beejaakshar (Beeja in Sanskrit means the origin). Gnana Saraswati Temple in Basar, Telangana is a popular temple where such ceremonies are held in large numbers.