According to Hindu beliefs vidya (knowledge) is an epithet of the Hindu goddess Sarasvati, she has superior spiritual feminine energy which purifies, empowers, and uplifts the individual, and hence she is called the goddess of knowledge. Thus from the ancient times we respect the books or papers that gives us knowledge because knowledge is the only source that differentiate an individual and lead one’s to excellence. Thus stepping on or accidently dropping these books on floor or kicking the school bags or burning the books all shows disrespect for goddess of knowledge which is considered sinful among Hindus. Therefore whenever books or paper falls down or comes under one’s feet we are asked to touch with hands what was stamped and then touch with eyes as a mark of apology.
In the 21th century people still follows the ancient belief and they follow all the traditions in order to get blessings from the goddess of knowledge, Childers in India even respect new books, pen, pencil, etc. by taking them to the nearest temple so that the priest may sanctify them at goddess Sarasvati’s feet, they believe that by doing so they get blessing from the goddess which will give them sweet fruits but in this same century the meaning of vidya or respecting the sources of vidya changed.
Now books and note books are the only things which considered as vidya, an example to my above statement can be proved by giving an example from the daily life of the people living in the 21th century. Newspaper which also gives as abundant knowledge about the world, in which we are living, is not respected as equal to books. We use notebooks and newspaper’s paper to wrap food items or any other things; we put it on the ground to sit so that our dress won’t get mess up and after use we throw it away and others step on it. People don’t consider newspaper or any other ordinary paper as valuable although it gives us knowledge, why? Is it not a sin? Isn’t this showing disrespect for goddess of knowledge? There are plenty other examples which we can easily take from our surroundings. This single example would be enough to prove my point.
The respect for knowledge changed although the beliefs and customs are same but the devotion towards the knowledge is different from the early age, the beliefs of the early age is fluctuating.