Vedic Holiday: Makara Sankranti – A New Beginning

January 14th 2019

 Sun enters Capricorn

Sun moves into Capricorn on Jan. 14th—and it is a larger event than you might imagine. In the Vedic calendar, it is the real beginning of the New Year where the days start lengthening, and more light descends on the planet.

Surya, the Sun God, is regarded as the symbol of divinity and wisdom, and is one of the most important planets (heavenly bodies) of the zodiac and our daily lives. It represents a new kind of New Year — a “new beginning” for which we want to strengthen the Sun within in our lives.

Surya actually means self, representing in our Jyotishis (Vedic Astrology) charts both the big Self, and our little individual egos. As the Self, or Atman, Surya stands for and represents that Divine quality that all of us have within us. Thus, it is good to give some attention to this element within us. So, it represents a day to celebrate our individuality and the Divinity within.

The equivalent for Westerners would be for us to clean a closet out on Monday, January 14th and take stuff to the dump or give stuff to the second hand store which becomes symbolic of discarding the old and then on January 15th to celebrate our own individuality as well as, the Divine within and revisiting our New Year’s resolutions or making a list of intentions if we did not get to it on January 1st when the Western culture tends to do so.

Apart from a harvest festival, Makara Sankranti is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the ‘holy phase of transition.’ It marks the end of an inauspicious phase, which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid – December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified this day onwards.

It represents realization, transformation and purification of the soul by imbibing and inculcating Divine virtues. So, think of Monday as a time to release the old, to release the past and move forward.

Enjoy the rich symbolism and ritual of the Makara Sankranti, the Sun moving into Capricorn.

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