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Makar Sankranti and Sun becoming Uttarayan

By Kshitij Sharma, December 28, 2014

The day of Makar Sankranti will be celebrated in India on 15th January 2015. As in Bangalore, Sun enters Capricorn, i.e. Makar rashi on January 14th, 2015 at 18:57 hours. However, on 14th, sunset is indicated to be 18:07 hours, which is before the astronomical event and hence the festival will be celebrated on 15th January. On this day, Sun is also called Uttarayan, i.e., beginning its northward journey. This day is very important in Hindu mythology.

A sankranti is an astronomical event of Sun entering any sign in Niryana system. Every month, there is one Sankranti, e.g. just now we had Dhanu Sankranti, when Sun entered Sagittarius. Not all of these Sankrantis are celebrated as festivals. Two other sankranti’s are important – Mesha sankranti, when Sun enters its exaltation sign and Karka Sanktranti, where Sun is Dakshinayan, i.e., Sun is in its southward journey.

Out of these, Makara Sankranti is celebrated as a major festival all over India. The agrarian societies celebrate this as an agricultural festival throughout India – Lohri in Punjab and northern part of India, Pongal in South India, Bihu in Assam and each region has its own unique way of celebrating this festival. An international kite festival is organized on this day in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In West Bengal, there is a fair by the place of Ganga sagar where Ganga flows in the ocean.

In Puranas, the great India mythological/historical books, it is mentioned that on this day, Bhagirath was able to call Ganga to Earth from heavens, Shiva took Ganga in His air and Bhagirath was finally able to do tarpan of his forefathers with the holy water of Ganga.

During the battle of Mahabharat, Arjun had wounded Bhishma very badly and the latter was on a bed of arrows. But since Bhishma had a vardaan of ichchha mrityu, he did not choose to die on the same day. He decided to leave his body and proceed to heavens on the day when Sun is Uttarayan.

Astrologically, Capricorn, i.e., Makara is owned by Shani (Saturn). Saturn is son of Sun, but is always at odds with his father. Father and Sun are two extremes – they are natural enemies. The signs owned by them (Leo by Sun and Capricorn & Aquarius) by  show major differences in attributes. One stands for light and warmth and the other thrives in cold and dark places. Sun stands for the enlightened king and Saturn is the representative of illiterate masses. On this day, Sun enters his son’s house and stays there for a month. This is followed by Sun’s sojourn to Aquarius, so Sun is under the influence for two months starting on Makara Sankranti day.

As per mundane astrology, the chart of three events – Makar Sankranti, Hindu New Year as well as Mesha Sankranti are very similar with Jupiter in Lagna in Karka Rashi. Since the lagna is karka rashi, the position of other slower planets – Saturn & Rahu/Ketu is the same as well. Saturn’s position in 5th house as a lord of 7th (maraka) and 8th (inauspicious) house is not good for speculation. In mundane astrology, 5th house indicates shareholders, investors for a company. It also indicates high officials (apart from the CxOs). This logic can be extended to a country and 5th house is for stock market, stock brokers. Officials means the bureaucracy.  Investors mean FIIs. These are going to have a hard time. I am a huge Modi fan, but I am not sure if we have a path for अच्छे दिन…

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