Sunday, January 27, 2008

Makar Sankranti

Yeah!.... it’s too late to wish Makar Sankranti for this year, but the reason I am mentioning it is not to wish you all. I have always know Makar Sankranti as the day of holiday in school and to eat pitha (Bengali dessert made during marakar sankranti) tilgur, pongal for my south Indian friends and a day that everyone tries a hand on flying a kite! I always thought that Makar Sankranti was a harvest festival. This year a day before Sankranti I just did what I love to do most of the time ! google’d- Makar Sankranit; I was so amazed by what I read.

According to Vedas, Makar Sankranti is the time when our planet Earth is farthest from Sun and after day the days start to become longer. Sankranti means to go from one place to another (to change direction). The time when the Sun changes direction from one constellation (of the zodiac) to another is known as Sankranti. During this time Sun moves from zodiac Sagittarius(Dahu rashi) to Capricorn (Makar rashi). Hence it is called Makar Sankranti. From this day onwards the sun starts travelling northwards, the Bhagavad Gita mentions the importance of the northern path of the sun at the time of death. This was the reason why Grandsire Bhishma, who was wounded in battle and in semi conscious state, while lying on the bed of arrows, chose to wait it out, awaiting the northward path of the sun, before choosing to die. It is believed that those who die in this period have no rebirth. The other reasons to celebrate Makar Sankranti are ofcourse what is commonly known harvest festival.

What amazed me was not the belief of getting Moksha for those who die during this time. But by the accurate knowledge of Vedas. How accurately could they calculate the time of earth’s orbit to sun; and their predictions based on the same. During the time when there was no telescopes or any advance equipments. Though Vedas do not mention heavy terms like Perihelion and Aphelion, but the study on it is so exact. That is when I remember what my dad always use to tell me “Everything we study today is already mentioned in Vedas, Mahabharat & Ramayan.” During ramayan-mahabharat days on TV when we use to watch those battle scenes… where one arrow shot becomes multiple arrows, dad use to say “the concept of atom bomb comes from here”. And when I think now it sounds blizzard but relative.

So, there is so much knowledge already with us and we ignore it saying Antha vishwas or say that purani batien hai… But if we take a little effort to find more we can learn so much about our culture and religion, and learn deeper meanings attached to them. I hope, I didn’t chew too much of my readers brains… thanks for reading!


POORNIMA said...

lovely blog
lov punnu

Padma said...

Had no clue about the cosmic significance of Makar Sankranthi, thanks for writing about it. Although, i did always believe, that we might be losing out on a lot of ancient knowledge because of our blind belief that mankind is making great strides ahead only because of modern science.

Ok i will stop :) great post, keep them coming.

Unknown said...

very well written, with nicely picked words to complete the blog

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