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Heralds longer, brighter days
The Times of India, Jan 15 2016
Longer, Brighter Days With Makara Sankranti The Sanskrit term `sankranti' translates as `transference' and is used to indicate the `movement' of he sun from one constellation to the next through the year ... Indic ancients had studied the science of energy , the hakti of the various heavenly bodies and the changes in energy pattern of creation as they underwent transition. Surya or Sun is a shakti, which is of special importance to us on earth.
It is the energy which sustains life on he planet.
The rishis of yore followed the sun.The Bhagwad Gita says, you become what you follow. And so the rishis glowed like the sun and had acquired powers comparable to the sun. To quote an example, according to mythology , Rishi Vishvamitra, who followed the un and to whom is attributed the Mahamantra Gayatri, is known to have created a parallel universe by chanting his mantra only . Surya is the devta of jnana, of infinite knowledge and secrets of Creation. He is the Guru of Hanuman and the progenitor of the Suryavansha, in which were born heroes like King Bhagirath, King Raghu and Lord Rama.Surya existed before religion, and provides heat and light to every entity on earth irrespective of their religion, race or birth. The Sun knows no religion.
Interestingly , a western university recorded the sound of the Sun and found that the sound it emits closely resembles the sound of Aum, the primordial chant. It is sound which manifests as colours which further manifest into the five elements that constitute everything in physical creation. Rishis of Bharatvarsha, tapped into the sound of Creation and thousands of years ago, gave us the mantra Aum.
Makara Sankranti was of special significance in the ancient world, for it corresponded with the onset of the apparent northward movement of the sun uttarayan, in Sanskrit. That it is no superstition is evident from the subsequent naming of the southernmost latitude in sun's trajectory as the Tropic of Capricorn by modern scientists after the constellation Capricornus (Makar, in Sanskrit) in which the Sun entered at the point, marking the beginning of the auspicious period when the days would become longer and brighter.
Bhishma Pitamah in the Mahabharata, is believed to have waited for this day to leave his body to facilitate his moksha.
The sun was special not just to Bharatvarsha, but all cultures across the world.Ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun as Atum and Horus, Mesopotamians as Shamash, Germans as Sol, Greeks as Helios and Apollo.
For a beginner, a simple practice is prescribed to tap into the energy of the sun in transit on the day of Makara Sankranti. At the time of sunrise, sit or stand facing the direction of the sun.Pay reverence to the energy of the guru and keeping the awareness of the sun at the point between the eyebrows begin with the chant of Aum. Continue with the chant as you take your awareness to the centre of the chest cavity and finally to the point of the navel. By now the sun would be visible in the morning sky ,a soft pink hue. Offer water to the Sun at this point and close your eyes.Distribute the prana or life-force of the sun so acquired in your entire body .After sometime, open your eyes looking at your palms or a green patch. Feel the difference. A word of caution: Do not look at bright sun directly . Practice under supervision.