The day which marks the transition of the Sun from southern hemisphere (Night of God) to the Northern hemisphere (Day of God) is called as Makar Sankranti. This day is widely known as Makar Sankranti because the Sun enters (transition of Sun from one sign to another is known as Sankranti) in to Capricorn sign (known as Makar) of the zodiac. It may also be noted that excepting the Sankrantis all the Hindu festivals are governed by the lunar movement whereas the Sankrantis are driven by the transition of the Sun.
The Sun stands for Pratyaksha-Brahman – the manifest God, who symbolizes, the one, non-dual, self-effulgent, the karaka of soul and was the first discipline of Lord Krishna. This glorious divinity when leaves the Sagittarius Sign and enters the Capricorn Sign, the world enthrals due a number of reasons. The foremost being, the people get respite from the cold wave which now eases off and the warmer and the longer days begin.
This thought has been propagated since the Vedic and Mahabharta times that the period six months from Makar Sankranti called Uttrayan is deemed fit for all Vedic and sacred rituals and due to this fact Bhisma Pitamaha of Mahabhrata, who had the boon of selecting for him, his time of death, chose this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, to let his soul go.
Makar Sankranti is also sacred because from this day the negativity in the atmosphere gets wiped off and pleasant positivity takes over. This is so because on this very day Maha Bhagwan Vishnu massacred all the demons and their (demons) heads were buried under the Mandar hill.
This day also symbolises as the day when the faith and respect to all the elders of the family (dead or alive) is reiterated by the younger ones. On this very day Gangaji descended to the earth after Maharaj Bhagirath won the heart of Shivji through his prayers and worship. Gangaji decended on to the earth for the redemption of the sixty thousand sons of Maharaj Sagar, as the sons of Maharaj Sagar were turned to ashes due to the curse of Kapil Sage. This conduct of Maharaj Bhagirath is praise worthy and laudable, who for the sake of redemption of his ancestors took the path self sacrifice.
There is a natural enmity between Saturn and Sun in spite of the fact that the relation between them is of Son and Father. Advent of Sun (Father) in Capricorn( House of Saturn) also symbolises the Hindu tradition where it is the duty of the son to live up to the expectation of his father and the father leaves no stone unturned to let his son achieve all that and it may be to the extent of living in his son’s house. Morals always kept ahead of the grudges.
All these astrological, Vedic and Poranik thoughts make this festival most pious and if anybody wants to draw some profit from this confluence of Sun and Saturn then worship the Sun while taking a holy dip in the Ganges or the river near you by sunrise on the day of Maker Sankranti. Paying respect to the elders of the family especially your father is also an essential ritual to be followed.
Jyotishacharya Vinay Sheel Saxena is a prominent Indian astrologer and Vastu expert. He has been practicing Indian astrology methodologies and techniques more than 20 years and provides best astrological services as daily horoscope , vastu tips, business and education readings.