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Makar Sankranti - Uttarayan Parv 2018

The Sanskrit term “Shankramana” means “to begin to move”. The day on which the sun begins to move northwards (Uttarayana) is called Makara Shankranti (मकर संक्रान्ति).

Among the Tamilians in South India this festival is called the Pongal.

To many people, especially the Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home.

Makar Sankranti is on Sunday, 14th January 2018

(Maagh Sankranti/Surya in Makar 14:00 hrs, 14 Jan 2018)

Snan (HolyBath) : 7:20 hrs to 20:40 hrs (14th Jan 2018)

Daan & Parv Muhurta 7:20 hrs to 20:40 hrs (14th Jan 2018)

Mahapunya Kal : 14:00 hrs to 14:24 hrs (14th Jan 2018)
Note: Recommended to perform all Makar Sankranti rituals before your local SUNSET TIME.           * Sunset 17:41 hrs (Delhi)      

धर्म-सिंधु के अनुसार-मकर संक्रांति का पुण्य काल संक्रांति समय से 16 घटी पहले और 40 घटी बाद तक माना गया है। मुहूर्त चिंतामणि ने पूर्व और पश्चात् की 16 घटियों को ही पुण्य काल माना है। यदि संक्रांति अर्धरात्रि के पूर्व हो तो दिन का उत्तरार्द्ध पुण्य काल होता है। अर्ध रात्रि के पश्चात संक्रांति हो तो दूसरे दिन का पूर्वार्द्ध पुण्य काल होता है। यदि संक्रांति अर्द्ध रात्रि को हो तो दोनों दिन पुण्य काल होता है।

मकर संक्रांति के दिन पूर्वजों को तर्पण और तीर्थ स्नान का अपना विशेष महत्व है। इससे देव और पितृ सभी संतुष्ट रहते हैं। सूर्य पूजा से और दान से सूर्य देव की रश्मियों का शुभ प्रभाव मिलता है और अशुभ प्रभाव नष्ट होता है। इस दिन स्नान करते समय स्नान के जल में तिल, आंवला, गंगा जल डालकर स्नान करने से शुभ फल प्राप्त होता है। इस दिन विशेषतः तिल और गुड़ का दान किया जाता है। इसके अलावा खिचड़ी, तेल से बने भोज्य पदार्थ भी किसी गरीब ब्राह्मण को खिलाना चाहिए। छाता, कंबल, जूता, चप्पल, वस्त्र आदि का दान भी किसी असहाय या जरूरत मंद व्यक्ति को करना चाहिए। उत्तरायण काल में ही सभी देवी-देवताओं की प्राण प्रतिष्ठा शुभ मानी जाती है।

मकर संक्रांति पर भगवान शिव की पूजा अर्चना भी शुभ मानी गयी है। इस दिन काले तिल मिलाकर स्नान करना और शिव मंदिर में तिल के तेल का दीपक जलाकर भगवान शिव का गंध, पुष्प, फल, आक, धतुरा, बिल्व पत्र चढ़ाना शुभफल दायक है। कहा भी गया है कि इस दिन घी और कंबल का दान मोक्ष-दायक है। इस दिन ताम्बुल का दान करना भी श्रेष्ठ माना गया है।

The six-month period (Uttarayana) during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life. It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all. The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.

The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane. Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!

The sun, symbolising wisdom, divine knowledge and spiritual light, which receded from you when you revelled in the darkness of ignorance, delusion and sensuality, now joyously turns on its northward course and moves towards you to shed its light and warmth in greater abundance, and to infuse into you more life and energy. In fact, the sun itself symbolises all that the Pongal festival stands for. The message of the sun is the message of light, the message of unity, of impartiality, of true selflessness, of the perfection of the elements of Karma Yoga. The sun shines on all equally. It is the true benefactor of all beings. Without the sun, life would perish on earth. It is extremely regular and punctual in its duties, and never claims a reward or craves for recognition. If you imbibe these virtues of the sun, what doubt is there that you will shine with equal divine lustre! He who dwells in the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, and by whose power the sun shines—He is the Supreme Self, the Indweller, the immortal Essence. Tat Twam Asi—“That thou art”. Realise this and be free here and now on this holy Pongal or Makara Shankranti day.

In Maharashtra and in North India, spiritual aspirants attach much importance to Makara Shankranti. It is the season chosen by the Guru for bestowing his Grace on the disciple. In the South, too, it should be noted that it was about this time that Mahadeva favoured several of the Rishis by blessing them with His beatific vision.

Servants, farmers and the poor are fed and clothed and given presents of money. On the next day, the cow, which is regarded as the symbol of the Holy Mother, is worshipped. Then there is the feeding of birds and animals. In this manner the devotee’s heart expands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures. Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.