Our ancient Rishis meditated on the great significance of the northern movement of the Sun that begins from the winter solstice around December 21, which now occurs when the Sun is around six degrees of Sagittarius. After this time, the days get progressively longer and the Sun appears higher and more northerly in the sky.
Sankranti is the important time when the Sun moves from one sign of the zodiac to another. The transition from Sagittarius to Makara (Capricorn), which occurs in mid-January, is particularly important as it is the first transition to occur during the northern course of the Sun. Some nearly two thousand years ago it actually marked the winter solstice. The auspicious time at which the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn ushers in the New Year in the several India calendars, particularly in the south of the country.
Surya, the Sun represents divine Cosmic Light, jnana or wisdom energy, prosperity and abundance. Makara Sankranti celebrates the expansion of the Sun’s light moving in its northerly course.
Makara Sankranti Sankalpa
This is an auspicious day for every spiritual seeker on the Yogic path to set a Sankalpa or sacred intent! Our sankalpas unravel our spiritual paths and sadhana. The Sankalpa forms the spiritual basis of our four purusharthas or aims of human life – dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kama (bodily pleasures), Moksha (beatitude). Cultivating conscious dharmic virtues helps us towards our spiritual realization with clarity and grace. Sadhaks who have been with us during our Yoga Shakti Retreats are guided into this beautiful ritual. Mantras to the Sun are chanted and sacred offerings made with the prayer for the Light of Wisdom to flow into our lives removing all negativity and darkness from our existence. Our Sankalpa must hold to the peace and happiness of all beings unfolding the divine grace in our lives.
Makara Sankranti Celebrations and Puja
The Sun’s rays are propitiated first thing in the morning with sacred offerings, rituals, mantras and bathing in the sacred rivers of India. In northern India bonfires are lit to propitiate the harvesting of crops. Offerings of sesame coated sweets (revri) are made into the bonfires.
This is also a powerful time to honour our Ancestors, to allow their blessings to flow into our lives. The Ancestors’ or departed souls affect our existing lives in several ways. This is why most ancient cultures and traditions propitiate through rituals harmonizing the remembrances of the departed souls.
This is a time for us to clean up the home and clutter and prepare for the inviting the auspiciousness of the New Year. A time for us to create new resolutions for our well-being and spiritual growth.
Only when everyone on our Mother earth is happy and nurtured will there be prevailing peace and calm. Sharing our prosperity with everyone helps to unfold this bliss in the universe. In India we make offerings of food and clothing to the less fortunate, a token of sharing and caring!~