Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vastu for Home

This science is complete in itself. Happiness to the whole world it can bring. All the four benefits it bestows on you Rightful living, money, fulfillment of desires and bliss Are all available in this world itself
~ Viswakarma in Vaastushastra

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Makar Sankranti: The Symbol of New Life

Makar Sankranti: The Symbol of New Life

Makar Sankranti is one of the highly auspicious days in a Hindu calendar, dedicated to the worship of Lord Sun. On this day the Sun enters into the zodiac Capricorn. It is also known as Uttarayana Punyakalam. The day time of Devas begins with the Makar Sankranti and lasts for six months. Days and nights both are of equal length on 14th January. Makar Sankranti is the first day of Uttaraayana. During six months of the year, the days are longer than the nights. Summer season begins due to the movement of Sun towards northern hemisphere. Heat and light of Sun starts increasing. As a result of this, there is a development of awareness and energy among the creatures.

This period is ideal for all kind of auspicious activities. In 2011, the date of Makar Sankranti is January 14. Auspicious time of Sankranti in all regions in India is on January 15 from sunrise to Sunset. A day in Hindu tradition is calculated from sunrise to next sunrise. Therefore the transition of Sun into Makar Rashi takes place at the evening of January 14. Punyakal of Sankranti will start from Sunrise to Sunset on 15 January 2011.

Legends Associated with Makar Sanktanti

  • The counting of days of Devas begins from this day. When Sun is in Dakshinayan, the period is called as night of Devas and 6 months of Uttarayan is called as day. Six months of human beings is equal to one day and one night of Devas.
  • According to legends, goddess Sankranti killed a demon called Sankarasur hence the name Sankranti.
  • According to Mythological in the Mahabharata, Bhishma who lay wounded on a bed of arrows is said to have been waiting for the period of Uttarayan to set in, in order to breathe his last since It was believed that the person who dies on this auspicious day of Sankrant escapes the cycle of birth and re-birth and that his soul mingles with the Almighty.
  • According to one of the beliefs, lord Shiva had showered his blessings on his devotees, especially on sages, on this day. Some people believe that lord Shiva had donated self-knowledge to lord Vishnu on this day.
  • Apart from this, it is also believed that Sun goes to meet his son Saturn on this day. This meeting of Sun and Saturn is celebrated as “Makar Sankranti”.
  • It is said that on this day, Ganga followed Bhagirath to reach the hermitage of saint Kapil and had fallen into the ocean. That is why, bathing in river Ganga and making donations on shrines is considered especially significant.

This auspicious day is known in different names at different places in India. In south India, the Tamil year begins from this date. This festival is known as “Thai Pongal” in South India. Sindhi people call this festival as “Tirmauri”. This festival is known as “Makar Sankranti” in North India and “Uttarayan” in Gujarat. The people of Assam celebrate it as ‘Bihu’ and the people in the South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh celebrate as Pongal. Other names of this festival are as follows: Lohri in Punjab, Uttarayani in Uttarakhand, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Khichadi Sankranti in Garhwal.

On this day people get up early in the morning and after having bath they worship the rising Sun, by offering water, flowers & then pray with folded hands by chanting the Gayatri Mantra. Bath and Donation are the two very important factors of the Makar Sankranti. According to ancient scriptures native should donate food and cloth after having bath on this day. Eating and donating Til on this day is considered auspicious. Donation of Til, i.e., the karak product of Saturn, and jaggery, i.e., the karak product of Sun is considered highly auspicious.

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