This festival falls on the 14th of January.
On this day, the sun enters the house of Capricorn (or Makara
as it is known
in the Hindu Almanac), so it is known as Makara Sankranthi.
It marks the commencement of the sun's journey to the Northern
Hemisphere and is considered to be of great spiritual significance
in the scriptures. It is also the time when farmers rejoice
after the toils of the year result in a bountiful harvest
in the fields, and is celebrated all over the country. Indeed,
the harvest festival is common to many cultures all over the
world and is an occasion of joyful celebration and warm conviviality.
In Prasanthi Nilayam, the festival coincides with the valedictory
function of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet of Bhagawan’s
educational institutions, when the prizewinners of the various
events and competitions held during the year are felicitated.
“Makara Sankranthi marks the movement
of the Sun from the southern horizon to the northern horizon.
This northward movement of the Sun has immense spiritual significance.
The north is symbolised by Himaachala. Hima means snow. It
is pure, untainted and soothingly cool. All these endow it
with the quality of Prashanthi (perfect peace). Achala means
that which is steady and unshakeable. Himaachala does not
refer to the physical Himalayan mountains. It represents that
which is cool, peaceful and steady. From this day the Sun
is said to move towards such a state. The Sun symbolises the
vision of man. The northward movement of the Sun is a call
to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is
cool, peaceful and unchanging, i.e. towards the divinity within.
- Divine Discourse: 14 January, 1994
“Sankranthi day marks the arrival in
the farmers' houses of the grains that are the fruit of their
labors. It is also a cherished day of rest after a period
of hard work when they can enjoy peace of mind. "Samyak
kranthi iti Sankraanthi." Sankraanthi confers peace and
heralds a welcome change. It brings out the inner joy in people.
It effects a change in life-style. It generates sacred thoughts”.
- Divine Discourse: January 14, 1997
Pray wholeheartedly for the welfare of humanity
- Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the
world be happy). You can be happy only when the world is happy.
There is an intimate and inseparable relationship between
you and the world. Chant the Divine Name. Pray for the welfare
of the world and participate in service activities”.
- Divine discourse: January 14, 2002
“The Sankranthi festival should be
regarded as the day on which man turns his vision toward God.
Man's life may be compared to a stalk of sugar cane. Like
the cane, which is hard and has many knots, life is full of
difficulties. But these difficulties have to be overcome to
enjoy the bliss of the Divine, just as the sugar cane has
to be crushed and its juice converted into jaggery to enjoy
the permanent sweetness of jaggery. Enduring bliss can be
obtained only by overcoming trials and tribulations. Gold
cannot be made into an attractive jewel without subjecting
to the process of melting in a crucible and beating it into
the required shape”.
- Divine Discourse: January 15, 1992