Makar Sankranti 2009 – Pongal 2009 – Sankranthi 2009

Joyous Pongal
Makar Sankranti 2009 – Pongal 2009 – Sankranthi 2009 Will Be Celebrated January 14th 2009

Sankranti is a national festival in India. The word is derived from sat and kranti, meaning “good movement”. Sankranti means transmigration of the Sun from one Rashi (zodiac in Indian astrology) to the other. Hence there are 12 such Sankrantis in all. But the transition of the Sun from ‘Dhanu’ Rasi (Sagittarius) to ‘Makara’ Rasi (Capricorn) marks the starting of Uttarayana which means the northern movement of Sun. The festival takes place when the sun moves from Dakshanayanam to Uttaryanam and will be celebrated in 2009 on January 14th.

  • North India: Festival known as Makar Sankranti
  • Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka: Festival known as Sankranthi
  • Tamil Nadu: Festival known as Pongal
  • Punjab: Festival known as Lohri & Maghi

INTRODUCTION TO MAKAR SANKRANTI:
Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious day for Hindus and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in a myriad of cultural forms with great devotion, fervor and gaiety. Thousands of people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar & Prayag and pray to Surya Dev (the Sun God).

Gujarati’s not only look reverentially up to the Sun, but also offer thousands of their colorful oblations in the form of beautiful kites all over the skyline.

It is a day for which Bhishma Pitamah kept waiting to leave his mortal coil. Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun-God of Hindus begins its ascendancy and entry into the Northern Hemisphere. Sun for the Hindus stands for Pratyaksha-Brahman – the manifest God, who symbolizes, the one, non-dual, self-effulgent, glorious divinity blessing one & all tirelessly. The Sun is the one who transcends time and also the one who rotates the proverbial Wheel of Time. The famous Gayatri Mantra, which is chanted everyday by every faithful Hindu, is directed to the Sun God to bless them with intelligence & wisdom. The Sun not only represents manifest God but it symbolizes the light of knowledge & wisdom.

Of all the cosmic bodies we can perceive, the Sun is the most glorious & important, thus every sun-centric cosmic event became a very important spiritual, religious & cultural event. On Makar Sankranti, the Sun begins its ascendancy and journey into the Northern Hemisphere, and thus it signifies an event wherein the Gods seem to remind their children ‘Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya’‘From Darkness, Lead Me To Light’.

Wikipedia Reference

Joyous Time Of Harvest

Joyous Time Of Harvest

SATHYA SAI BABA SPEAKS ABOUT SANKRANTI:

Sankranti is the most important of all festivals. Practically, every day is a festival day for humanity. But people, out of their ignorance, have earmarked a few days as festival days and the rest as ordinary days. Many celebrate this festival without actually knowing its significance. On this day, in this part of the world, people pay their respects to cows and bulls. Bulls are decorated daintily with a variety of ornaments and clothes and taken round the streets. They are called gangireddhulu (sacred bulls). Not merely this, a symbolic marriage is performed between the cows and bulls. The person who takes round the decorated bull is called gangireddudasu. He wears a special dress on this occasion. The very sight of gangireddudasu fascinates children. The elder brother lovingly calls the younger brother to go along with him to see the sacred bull and its master.

The festival of Sankranti bestows immense joy on even animals and birds. It is a very important festival for farmers. This is the day he brings home the newly harvested crop and enjoys the fruits of his hard labour. Thus, right from a farmer to the king, everyone celebrates this festival joyfully. Names may vary, but this festival is celebrated by one and all irrespective of religion and nationality. It marks the beginning of the sacred time of uttarayana (sun’s movement toward the north). It confers bliss on one and all.

Everyone aspires to attain bliss. In fact, that is the very purpose of human life. Life has no meaning if one cannot experience bliss. Bliss is your goal.

  • Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhavateetam, Trigunarahitam
    (God is the embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute, the One without a second, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the mahavakya Tattwamasi, the eternal, pure, unchanging, the witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three gunas of sattwa, rajas, and thamas (qualities of purity, passion, and inertia).

Everyone should make efforts to overcome worries and enjoy everlasting happiness. This is the message of Sankranti. People may interpret it in their own way, but few understand its true significance. Amongst the variety of festivals, the womenfolk accord a special place to this festival. The happiness that one enjoys during this season is unique.

Man makes varied efforts to experience happiness. You can find few in this world who do not want to be happy. But one must understand that happiness cannot be acquired from outside. It originates from the heart. Heart is the source of bliss. The happiness we enjoy in the external world is only a reaction, reflection, and resound of the happiness within. Very few are to understand this truth. The apparent joy that one experiences today is artificial and temporary. Only the happiness that springs from the heart is permanent.

Behave so as not to cause hindrance to anyone. Festivals are meant to experience happiness and share it with others. Happiness cannot be purchased in a market, nor can it be acquired by worldly means. It should manifest from within. It is not the nature of Bharatiyas (Indians) to hurt the feelings of others for their own pleasure. One should respect others’ feelings and act appropriately. One should share one’s happiness with one’s fellow people. Welcome the arrival of the bounteous month of Pushya and celebrate Sankranti in the true spirit by manifesting your inner joy and sharing it with others. The word kranti means change. It signifies a change from misery to happiness, from restlessness to peace, and from pain to pleasure. Sankranti bestows joy on everyone equally. That is why everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of Sankranti with enthusiasm. Even birds and animals are happy with the arrival of Sankranti. When the farmer brings home the harvested grain, birds partake of them and express their joy by chirping merrily. The neighbours congratulate the farmer for the rich harvest he reaped as a result of his hard labour.

It is most essential that you understand the significance of every festival and celebrate them in the true spirit. If we do not go deep into their significance, we are unable to enjoy true happiness. One should be prepared to sacrifice one’s body to have the experience of eternal bliss. Body is a combination of five elements, and the mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. One should neither be attached to the body nor follow the vagaries of the mind. Drive away the evil qualities of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya (desire, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, and jealousy) and manifest your inner peace and bliss. Instead of developing peace and bliss, man is destroying them. He is giving scope to unrest even in trivial matters. Neither asanthi (unrest) nor prasanthi (supreme peace) are acquired from outside. People say, “I want peace.” Where is peace? Is it present outside? If peace were to be found outside, people would have bought it by spending any amount of money. But outside, we find only pieces! The real peace is within.

You have to experience such bliss in abundance in the days to come. Let me remind you once again that neither age nor position nor for that matter anything in this physical environment can bring about such bliss. It is only a pure and loving heart that is the source of bliss. The holy festival of Sankranti signifies change or transformation of the heart. It is experiencing bliss arising out of the realisation of the changeless, Eternal Principle. Divinity is the only principle that is changeless. God is ever blissful. In fact, He is the Embodiment of bliss.

Sathya Sai Baba Makar Sankranti Discourse – Jan 14th 2005

Sweet Fruit Of Toil

Sweet Fruit Of Toil

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