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Legend Swamiji's Discourse

Date: January 14; According to the lunar calendar, the sun moves from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. Makara Sankranti thus marks the commencement of the sun's journey to the Northern Hemisphere. Other Events
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Legend: "You celebrate the Sankranti with a feast, where you prepare a dish out of green gram, rice and jaggery. The gram is Lord Vishnu, the rice is His Consort (Sri or Plenty and Prosperity), and the jaggery is the Principle of Divine Love. So, it is not that dish that marks the festival, it is the contemplation of the Divine that has to be established in the wayward mind."

"From this day of the Tropic of Capricorn, Makara Sankramana as it is called, the Sun appears to move from South to North, and so, this solstice day is celebrated as an auspicious festival since ages. But, you are concerned more with your own journey, which is nearing its end with every sunrise.

You yearn to escape the consequences of birth and the aftermath of death. You desire peace and joy; for this, you have to cleanse the mind so effectively that it is well nigh eliminated. This is possible only when you identify yourself with the Atma rather than with the body which is the casket of the Atma, earned as a reward for one's activities of mind and body."

"The day of Sankranti has a special significance. Sankranti means ‘Sam’ coming together, ‘Kranti’ means a radical change. The Sun into Makara Rashi (Tropic of Capricorn) heralds the beginning of a great change from this day. It marks the entry into a Divine phase. It signifies the attempt to turn man's mind towards God. It is the day when we pray to the Sun, who is the presiding deity for the eyes, to direct our vision to the pure, and holy, the sacred and the Divine. The Makara month is holier than all other months. It is the day when man dedicates his activities for the higher purpose of attaining Divinity, by following the Northward path, the Uttarayana, the Nobler path. The Sun Itself is seen to take it from this day. We have to effect a remarkable, spiritual transformation in the world on this day. Only then has the observance of Makara Sankranti a meaning. External changes with no change in one's outlook and attitude will not signify 'Kranti' (Radical Change)."

Discourse: Makara Sankranti, Jan 14, 1985

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