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Wish you all a Happy Makar Sankranti 

Wish you all a Happy Makar Sankranti

By Chandan Singh

A fresh start...

The Sankranti of a month is considered auspicious because it signifies a fresh start.

According to Hindu astronomy, it is on this holiest day in the Hindu calendar, that the sun enters the zodiac of Makara or Capricorn, heralding the northern journey of the sun. Makar Sankranti is the turning point, which takes us from the dimmingDakshinaAyanam to brightening UttaraAyanam.

The Sankranti of a month is considered auspicious because it signifies a fresh start. Throughout the year the sun passes through twelve constellations (similar to the 12 zodiac signs in Western astrology), one of which is Makara or Capricorn which occurs in the month of Paush.

Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti (comes from Sanskrit word Shankramana), meaning  ‘to begin to move’ or transition;  transition of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn, during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is thus known as Makar Sankranti.

The day is also of special significance, because on this day, the day and night are of equal hours; from this day begins the six-month long Uttarayana , and is considered very auspicious.

While the traditional Indian calendar is basically based on lunar positions, Shankranti is a solar event, so while dates of all festivals keep changing, the english calendar date of Makar Sankranti is always same.

In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh it is celebrated as the three day harvest festival of Pongal. It is a time to give thanks to God for nature and a good harvest. In Assam it is known as Bhogali Bihu and in Punjab it is called Lohri.

To aspirants all over the world this day has a special significance. The 6 month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favorable for aspirants for their march towards the goal of life.

In Maharashtra and in North India it is the season chosen by the Guru for bestowing his Grace on the disciple.

The sun, symbolizing wisdom, divine knowledge and spiritual light, which receded from us when we revelled in the darkness of ignorance, delusion and sensuality, now, joyously turns on its  northward course and moves towards us to shed its light and warmth on us, and to infuse us  with positive, vibrant life and energy.

The great Bhishma, grandfather of the Pandavas, waited on his deathbed of nails until the onset of this season before finally departing.This is the beginning of auspicious time ahead.

On the feast of Sankranti ,til (Sesame) is very important because it is said to have medicinal qualities in this season. Til is mixed with jagari or sugar to make a sweet.Tilkut is one such popular sweet out here.

The message of the sun is the message of light, the message of unity, of impartiality, of true selflessness, of the perfection of the elements of Karma Yoga.

He who dwells in the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the

sun is, and by whose power the sun shines—He is the Supreme Self, the

indweller,  the immortal essence.

Tat Twam Asi—”That thou art”.

Lets realize this and be free here and now on this auspicious day…and shine in whatever work we are doing and spread warmth and happiness all around us.. specially to the poor and the helpless. This is a humble prayer on this Shankranti day..

Twadeya Punya Karyesmin Vishwa Kalyan Sadhake
Tyag Seva Vrutasyayam Kayo Me Patatu Prabhu..

Let’s work together in this New Year for our motherland, our Bihar, and contribute selflessly, positively and continually, in our own limited and small ways, to dispel the smog of failure that threatens to obliterate our illustrious land and its heritage, unjustly judged on our performance for the last few decades.

Let us work hard to get the sunlight in, to bathe our beautiful land with success and pride.   Sixty years of relative stagnation cannot decimate centuries of excellence.

Best wishes to all of us. Happy Makar Shankranti  !

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