Makar Sankranti 2018: Significance, Story and Puja Benefits
Makar Sankranti 2018: The festival of New Beginning
Makar Sankranti is celebrated as a very important festival in India. Itâ€™s a multifaceted festival and represents multiculturalism in todayâ€™s society where many different states and cultures celebrate the festival in their own way. Itâ€™s a festival for farmers as the harvesting is complete and they celebrate it. Itâ€™s a festival of celestial significance as the sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makar (the Capricorn) from the Tropic of Cancer. And itâ€™s a festival of new beginning. Makar Sankranti is also regarded as Makara Sankranti or Maghi, associated with Surya, the solar deity. The festival is celebrated on the specific solar day in January.
Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on 14th January 2018.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with utmost happiness and zest in every state of India. The playful nature of festival allows everyone to fly kites during day time, and therefore it is also known as the flying kite festival. Not only this, but the festival had many religious beliefs. This festival is cited in many religious manuscripts which enlighten us about the festivalâ€™s religious significance.. Common customs are preparation of sweets and performing the Makar Sankranti Puja Vidhi or rituals. Some people perform Makar Sankranti Homam to gain divine blessings of the Lord. The Sankranti festival is celebrated in different ways across the country. In Tamil Nadu, it is called Pongal and is celebrated for four days. There is a custom of discarding old clothes and a sweet dish made of rice is prepared. In Maharashtra, ladoo made of Sesame and jaggery is prepared and distributed among friends and relatives. In Punjab, Kheer made of rice and sugar is prepared and people dance around bonfires. In Bengal, this festival is celebrated for three days by preparing sweets made of Date jaggery, rice, coconut and milk. In North India, Sankranti includes celebrating the kite flying festival. Many people also celebrate this day by taking dip in Holy Ganga water and reciting Gayatri mantra while offering traditional salutations to Lord Sun.
As per Hindu mythological Scriptures it is believed that on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, Lord Surya visits his son Lord Shani, who is also the representative of Capricorn. To celebrate the healthy relationship between a father and son, despite their differences, Makar Sankranti is considered significant. It is also believed that if a father visits his son on this particular day, their conflicts get resolved and positivity is shared with happiness and prosperity. Another legend who is associated with Makar Sankranti is Bhisma Pitamah, who was blessed with a special boon of choosing his death time. He was lying on the bed of arrows but he waited for the auspicious time of Uttarayan. So whoever dies during this period achieves salvation.
Makar Sankranti 2018: Sankranti Snaan, Holy Dip In Holy Waters
Scriptures enjoin that on the day of Makar Sankranti one should take a holy bath and be giving donation (daan). Snaan or holy bath epitomizes purity and Satvikta (mode of goodness). One should offer waters to the sun while bathing. Sun entering the Capricorn sign increases the energies of sun that enter our body through the sun rays.
Taking bath in the waters of Ganga is considered highly auspicious. Legend has it that Ganga earth due to sever austerity of Bhagirath. Ganga had a conjunction with the ocean for the retrieval of ocean. It is said that the day Ganga dissolved in the ocean was the day of Makar Sankranti. If it is not possible for you to take a dip in the Ganga River, you can use Ganga jal at home. Just mix it with your regular bathing water and chant the following mantra
Those who want to celebrate Makar Sankranti and conduct a holy puja at their home must consider the special Makar sankranti Puja vidhi. Please follow the below steps:
Before you start the Puja keep the Punya kaal muhurta and maha punya kaal muhurta in mind. And make sure all the images or idols are clean and properly placed in Puja altar. This Puja will be conducted to seek blessings of Lord Surya, so keep his idol or image at altar.
Take the plate to keep four black and four white Til Laddoos. Keep some money in the plate.
An offering to the deity consists of Ghevar (a sweet dish), four laddos made of black tils and four made of white til alongwith some coins. Put all this in a plate.
Keep this plate of offering in front of the idol of Lord Surya. And start the Puja prayers.
During Puja processing ladies must cover their heads with Dupatta or Sareeâ€™s pallu.
Chant the Surya mantra for minimum 21 times or 108 times. Surya Mantra: 'Om Hram Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah'
Some devotees wear 12 mukhi Rudraksha during the Puja or they start wearing it after energizing Rudraksha in Puja. Among gemstone Ruby is worn on this day. The Punya Kaal Muhurta is between 07:50 hrs to 18:17 hrs (IST) Total Duration of 10 Hours 26 mins. The Sankranti Moment will begin at 07:50 hrs. The Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta will be between 07:50 hrs to 08:14 hrs. Total Duration of just 24 mins.
Benefits of Conducting Puja on Makar Sankranti:
The Consciousness or Cosmic intelligence increases to many levels, so by conducting Puja you can derive benefits of higher consciousness.
The Spiritual emotion enhances the body and purifies it.
The offerings done during this period yields successful results.
Itâ€™s a holy time to spread Spirituality and Dharma in society.
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Makar Sankranti 2018: Significance, Story and Puja Benefits
Makar Sankranti 2018: The festival of New Beginning Makar Sankranti is celebrate
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