Makar Sankranti 2020
By: Future Point | 11-Jan-2020Views : 1762
Considered an important festival in the Hindu religion, Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and in several parts of India with great fervor and zeal. The festival also marks the change of season as per the legends. In Vedic Astrology, the Makar Sankranti festival is the day when Sun enters Capricorn zodiac sign. It is believed that this is also the Sun Solstice or उत्तरायण in Hindi.
हिंदी में पढ़ें: मकर संक्रांति 2020: इस बार कब है मकर संक्रांति
Meaning of Makar Sankranti
The meaning of the festival lies in the interpretation it gets in gets in Vedic Astrology. Celebrated on the day that Sun enters Capricorn, Hindu scholars and legend hold it that the day Sun Transit in Capricorn happens, it is considered an auspicious one. According to the scholars, after the Sun Solstice or Uttarayana, the nights become shorter and the days become longer. Before Makar Sankranti, the Sun is in Dakshinayan wherein the nights are longer and the days are shorter.
Why is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
‘Sankranti’ as a word means the Transit of Sun; which when correlated to Makar Sankranti becomes Sun Transit to Capricorn. There are numerous legends and fables that are constructed to explain why Makar Sankranti has been given so much importance, but the changing of seasons and the impact of Sun Solstice holds greater importance. The festival is dedicated to the Sun Lord. On the day Sun who moves away from its Solstice position to one of Dakshinayana. This phenomenon happens in 6 months in Uttaranayana and 6 in Dakshinayana. In the Vedas, the Dakshinayana is called the Night of the Devas, and the Sun Solstice or Uttarayana is called the Day of the Devas. This is because while entering the Uttarayana the Sun is moving towards the light from darkness, which is why it is considered extremely auspicious.
In the Mahabharata, there’s an interesting story where Bhishma Pitamah, after being severely wounded by the arrows from Arjuna is lying on his death bed in agony but is still not able to die. Since he was given the boon of choosing his own death, Bhishma Pitamah wanted to wait for the Sun Solstice to take his last breath. As per the Mahabharata, The Bhagawat Geeta, and sacred Vedas- one who dies in a Sun Solstice or Uttarayana attains salvation or Moksha and is free from the cycle of birth & death. To get rid of the cycle of birth, Bhishma Pitamah wanted to die on the day of Sun Solstice or Uttarayana.
Muhurat of Makar Sankranti in 2020
The auspicious muhurat for celebrating Makar Sankranti is:
Tithi Start Time: 2:22 a.m. 15th January 2020
Makar Sankranti Punya Kaal: 07:15 A.M. to 05:46 P.M.
Duration: 10 Hours 31 Minutes
Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kaal: 07:15 A.M. to 09:00 A.M.
Duration: 01 Hour 45 Minutes
Importance of Makar Sankranti
In Religion, the festival of Makar Sankranti finds its roots in the Bhagawat Geeta and Mahabharata since both of them depicted and placed heavy faith on the importance of Sun Solstice. In Geeta, Uttarayana is considered the symbol of light. If someone dies during the solstice it is considered highly auspicious. One gets rid of the cycle of birth if they die during the solstice.
The day is also when a father spends time with their children. It is believed that Lord Bhanu (Surya Deva) visited his son, Shani on this day. Since Saturn governs planet Capricorn, the day came to be known as Makar Sankranti.
In Hindu scriptures, the rays of the Solstice Sun are considered to be extremely good for health. Apart from this, the day also marks the crop harvesting season in the areas of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and the major regions of India’s crop-growing community.
Rituals Related to Makar Sankranti
There are a lot many fables and tales that are associated with the festival of Makar Sankranti than what meets the eye. On this day, people serve and devour sweet delicacies, donate to the needy, and go for a dip in the holy river of Ganga. Apart from this, people all over the country organize different Kite-flying championships and tournaments to celebrate Makar Sankranti.
Delicacies Prepared During Makar Sankranti
Makara Sankranti is celebrated in the winter season which allows for a variety of warm & rich dishes to be prepared to celebrate the festival. Falling in the Hindu month of Magh, Makar Sankranti falls shortly after the festival of Lohri every year. Dishes made out of Jaggery & Sesame seeds (Gud & Til) are served to the guests and at home since they produce warmth & heat in the body. It is the norm to prepare dishes that are nutritious and at the same time scrumptious. In some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, a special Khichdi is made to be served to guests. Laddoos made out of Til, Gajjak, and Revdi are distributed to everyone. It is believed that distributing sweets and having them increases the sweetness in relationships.
Importance of Donations on Makar Sankranti
Mahabharat mentions the importance of Donations in a Shlok:
माघे मासि महादेव यो दद्यात् घृतकम्बलम्।
स भुक्त्वा सकलान भोगान् अन्ते मोक्षं च विन्दति।।
माघ मासे तिलान यस्तु ब्राहमणेभ्य: प्रयच्छति।
सर्व सत्त्व समाकीर्णं नरकं स न पश्यति।।
The first line refers to the month of Magh, which holds the view that when one donates anything during that particular time, he attains salvation. One who donates Til (sesame seeds) to a Brahmin doesn't get to the see the face of hell. This is what has been prophesized in the shlokas mentioned in the Mahabharata.
Relationship Between Ganga Snan & Makar Sankranti
The Ganga Snan & Makar Sankranti have been related to each other since the beginning. On this day people from all ranks and sections come to the banks of Ganga to take a dip in the holy water. In the famous words of Goswami Tulsidas in Ramcharitmanas, the shlok states:
माघ मकर गत रवि जब होई। तीरथ पतिहिं आव सब कोइ।।
देव दनुज किंनर नर श्रेनीं। सादर मज्जहिं सकल त्रिबेनी।।
The above line states that when Sun enters Capricorn in the Magh month, the pilgrims and devotees flock to the banks of river Ganga. On this day the Devatas, Daanav’s, Transgenders, and other humans flock to the banks of the river Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati, and taking a bath in this holy water absolves one of all sins.
Makar Sankranti 2020 Pujan Vidhi & Mantra
The below-mentioned Mantra is to be chanted during the festival of Makar Sankranti before the Sun rises. On this day wear red clothes and observe a fast without eating anything savory. Worship Suryadeva and offer him water in a copper vessel. Infuse this water with red flowers, sandalwood, and til. Chant the mantra mentioned after offering water to Sun:
ऊं घृणि सूर्यआदित्याय नम:
After this chant the following mantra as per your zodiac sign:
Aries: ॐ अचिंत्याय नम:
Taurus: ॐ अरुणाय नम:
Gemini: ॐ आदि-भुताय नम:
Cancer: ॐ वसुप्रदाय नम:
Leo: ॐ भानवे नम:
Virgo: ॐ शांताय नम:
Libra: ॐ इन्द्राय नम:
Scorpio: ॐ आदित्याय नम:
Sagittarius: ॐ शर्वाय नम:
Capricorn: ॐ सहस्र किरणाय नम:
Aquarius: ॐ ब्रह्मणे दिवाकर नम:
Pisces: ॐ जयिने नम:।
Future Point wishes you a happy & prosperous Makar Sankranti in 2020!