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Re: Significane of Sankranthi??

From: Rajeev Karamchedu (
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 14:49:58 PST


Makara Sankranti is celebrated when the Sun begins the northward
journey, marking the beginning of the "uttaraayaNa puNyakaalam".
Sun enters the sign of "Makara", (Capricorn) from Cancer at this time.
(This is also called equinox, when the day and nights are exactly
the same). Starting this day, the duration of day starts to increase
till "dakshiNaayanam" comes.

Lord Surya on His dazzling chariot that has thousands of spokes and
magnificent wheels, and driven by seven horses (seven colors of the
spectrum) begins His journey northward into the Makara Rasi, filling 
ourlives with light and getting rid of the darkness that has loomed for the 
past few months. This light not only fills our material life and helps our 
plants grow at seeding time, but also gets rid of our "internal" darkness, 
showing the path of moksha. Another reason why
the month of Margazhi precedes the Holy event of Sankranti.

On this day, the devotee prepares a dish made of green grams, rice
and jaggery - representing Lord Narayana, Laxmi and the Divine love.
The festival reminds us that we need to establish that Divine Love
within ourselves and give a direction to this "chanchala buddhi" and
fix it our Lord Narayana, who brings light in our lives.

In Mahabharata, Sri Bhishma Pitamaha waited on the bed of arrows
till the "uttaraayaNa punyakaalam" has arrived, and then breathed once
more, for the last time. It is believed that one escapes the cycle
of life and death, if dies on this day.

I also believe that "sesame oil" is used in making sweets and dishes,
particularly on this day but do not have too much idea as to why. In
chaturtha prasna (MahaNarayanopanishad), it is mentioned that
sesame seeds are used for purificatory purposed (or as being
auspicious - "tila juhomi sarasaagum sapishhThaam gandhaara mama
chitteramanutu swaaha", "tila krishnaa tila shevataa tila saumyaa
vashaanugaa"...). I am requesting the learned members of this group
to enlighten us in this regard.

-- Rajeev
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