A Festival to make good resolves: Uttarayana

Move ahead with the feeling of belonging to God!

Uttarayana etymologically implies the day on which the sun begins to move northwards. Likewise, O man! You begin to move towards progress and bring about right revolution. Obtaining the golden city of Lanka, attaining big external posts, getting engrossed in building one house after another, having one company after another- all are but demoniac progress. If physical progress is not counterbalanced by the spiritual progress, it is a demoniac progress. Ravana possessed the golden city of Lanka, but did not have inner peace and happiness. Then of what use is such progress? Of what use was the progress attained by the likes of Hitler and Alexander? It only led to them to utter ruin. The progress made by King Janaka, King Ashwapati and King Ramaji was true progress. Ramaji was not elated when preparations for his coronation were being made; and he did not grieve when all of a sudden he was exiled to forest due to Kaikeyi’s mischief. In the battlefield, horses were neighing and elephants were trumpeting around; blood thirsty warriors impelled by attachment and aversion were attacking one another; Lord Krishna, contented with the bliss of inner self, was as delighted as if He was playing on His flute. Arjuna’s delusion was destroyed and he regained the memory (Knowledge) through Krishna’s instructions in the form of the Gita. The gift of Self-knowledge given by the Giver of true progress through the Gita, the book of flute player’s realizations, helped Arjuna pass beyond sorrow and delusion; and that knowledge of Gita is guiding innumerable people treading the path of true progress even today. O man! You attain such a great majesty of Atman through its realization!

One may think, ‘I shall do this and that with my own power…’. However, should one succeed in achieving some goal on one’s own strength, he will be knocked down by the resultant egotism; and if on the other hand he fails to do it, he will be depressed. Hence "Xodmo ^yËdm Xod§ `OoV² &' i.e. ‘One should become divine in order to worship God.’ Move ahead after meeting God, considering yourself of God and you will be well protected and elevated. You will not only lead a supremely joyous and blissful life but also attain the Giver of life (God). The bliss of consciousness will manifest in your life. Worldly enjoyments only deplete your energy. Carnal pleasure appears as love in the beginning, but brings dejection, disease and senility in the end; whereas, divine joy blesses you with divine vision and equips you with divine Knowledge, divine Peace and divine Power.

Do not go against Nature And undertake a journey to the inner self

Offering oblation to the sun fulfils our wishes. Taking a sunbath in soft sunrays, visualizing the sun at your navel (center) cures indigestion and gives health-benefits. Doing Surya Namaskara (sun salutation) increases your strength, vigour, and brilliance. Is the sun far away from you? Is the sun beyond your reach? Is the sun others’? Covering the body with many layers of clothes is to go against Nature. The man who does this wanders like a petty selfish animal, living from hand to mouth, and gets exhausted in the end. Do some inward Sadhana, and undertake a journey to the inner self. The Vedas say:

{_Ìñ` _m Mjwfm gdm©{U ^yVm{Z g_rjÝVm_² & (The Yajurveda: 36.18)

i.e. “I am friendly with all beings. I love all, and they look at me affectionately. I wish everyone’s good, I am a friend of all.”

This is why the people in Maharashtra prepare Laddoos on the Uttarayana festival by mixing sesame seeds (unctuousness) and jaggery (sweetness), and give them to one another. Likewise, you continue to shower affection and sweetness on all around you along with the joy of your Atman, the Supreme Self.

Accomplish the task of thousands of births in one life

This is the festival of Uttarayana. On this day the Sun god embarks on a northerly journey leaving the southerly one. Similarly, O Sadhaka, you march to higher chakras from the lower ones. This Uttarayana or Makara Sankranti brings about the change of season. It marks the victory of the summer over the winter; and of light over the darkness; of zeal over lethargy and awakening over sleep. O Sadhaka! You too make a resolve to move ahead to become victorious over the slumber of delusion with the awakening of knowledge.

Uttarayana is that period for which Grandsire Bhishma waited to give up his body. The day of the Uttarayana festival is the dawn for the devas (gods). They wake up on this day and spread pious vibes all around. They turn bad muhurta into good muhurta. Likewise, O Man! Your life will be blessed if you turn your bad actions, knowledge, company and demand into good ones. Good demand… ‘I aspire for Self-Knowledge’; good friend… ‘I want satsangi friends’, Good actions… ‘I want to do benevolent acts’. May you develop such perspective in your life. Learn the language of the world; learn the language of nature. The nature that makes people act at gunpoint, can also motivate you do the same act affectionately. Co-operate with Nature and the Lord; they only wish your progress.

Accomplish the task that may take thousands of births, in a single life! Let the chariot of your life move northwards. Make a strong resolve on this day, ‘Now, I will move northwards, i.e. make auspicious resolves, keep good company and attain good knowledge.’

Let this Uttarayana become Grand Uttarayana!

Uttarayana is the day for doing charity. Donate your ego and petty desires in the village of your own heart on this great festival of Uttarayana. Donate love and even your individual self to that Giver, Lord! What bigger charity can you ever do?

The change in the season also affects our body and mind; similarly, the awakening of the gods and even the day of Uttarayana affects our body and mind. If you only add the love for Lord Hari along with collective chanting of His Name Divine thereto, it will ensure your quick progress.

Irrespective of whether you are a learned person or illiterate, you surely have the ability to love; so just bring the unctuousness of sesame seeds and sweetness of jaggery to your behaviour and dole out your affection to all –this is the message of the Uttarayana Festival. Just combine the affection in your heart with the benign love of the Lord, and then this Uttarayana will become the grand Uttarayana for you.