Makar Sankranti, a festival that teaches us to speak sweetly everyday!
1. Makar Sankranti, a festival that provides an opportunity to vanquish the defect of using foul language
Dear friends, let us learn about the Makar Sankranti festival..
1 A. Speciality of Makar Sankranti : You may have noticed that every festival of ours falls on a particular date according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar (also known as tithi); but the Makar Sankranti festival does not follow this. This festival is celebrated on the day the Sun transits into the Makar rashi (zodiac Capricorn).
1 B. Talking spitefully is like nurturing a demon of personality defect and it is necessary to vanquish this demon! : ‘Sankranti’ is considered a Deity. There is a story that tells us how this Deity vanquished a demon called Sankarasur. So on this day we should pledge to get rid of our personality defects which are like the demons that trouble us.
Dear friends, today many children speak spitefully or use words that hurt others. For example, some children tell their mothers ‘You will not understand all this, you are stupid’ or their father ‘I don’t have to listen to you. I know much more than you do’. Children also address their friends like ‘idiot’ ‘stupid’ ‘dog’ etc. Such behavior of ours causes pain to others. So we have to pledge to destroy this personality defect of ours.
1 C. It is important that we provide bliss to others through our words : On the day of Sankranti, we distribute sesame seeds and jaggery and wish each other with sweet words. We wish that our speech is always pleasant and never hurtful to anyone. Just as we wish someone, our speech should actually be pleasant and provide bliss to the listener.
1 D. Let your speech be pleasant every day and not just limited to Makar Sankranti : Dear friends, is our speech pleasant every single day? Shouldn’t our speech provide joy to everyone every day? Is that the case today? We notice that some children do not speak properly with their parents. They are rude to their elders. Even in school you may have noticed children abusing each other! When this is the truth, wouldn’t speaking sweetly for a day be like putting on a show?
1 E. From this Makar Sankranti onward, let us harbor the emotion that we are conversing with God : Dear friends, from this Makar Sankranti onward, let us pledge to create a feeling of closeness in everyone we meet. While speaking pleasantly let us harbor the feeling that we are conversing with the God in the person in front of us. If God materializes before us, how would we speak/behave? We need to cultivate the same feeling about each and every person we meet. So dear friends, let us pledge to do this on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
2. Resolve to never hurt others with our words !
Let us celebrate a meaningful Makar Sankranti! Making a resolution to never hurt others through our speech is celebrating Makar Sankranti in its true sense. When our speech is hurtful, it amounts to sin. Do you want to have this sin in your name? No! So, try to follow the following points from this auspicious day
2a. Instead of behaving arrogantly with your parents / elders, speak with humility and love.
2b. Don’t abuse your friends, even in jest.
2c. Do not behave arrogantly with your teachers, siblings or neighbors.
2d. Do not mock anyone’s name, illness or shortcomings.
2e. Do not hurt anyone in the name of pranks.
3. A day to increase devotion
Another aspect of Makar Sankranti is that the divine consciousness in the environment is more, so let us pray to our family Deity (Kuladevata) on this day. By chanting more, we are able to receive more divine energy. Also, let us pray that this divine energy helps us to overcome our personality defects.
4. On Makar Sankranti, let us gift only Holy Texts
or sattvik items that spread divine consciousness!
Giving gifts is like surrendering our mind, body and wealth to the God in that person. While gifting something, we should have the emotion that we are telling God ‘this mind, body and this wealth all belong to You’. That is why, even the gift should be spiritual and sattvik in nature. A plastic container will not give this emotion! It is useful only to store something. But if your gift something like a Ramaraksha Stotra booklet, booklets on Deities Ganapati, Sarasvati etc., it is like spreading knowledge about our Dharma. It will increase their devotion about God. Even God will be pleased with such sattvik Gifts, is it not? So dear friends, let us request our parents to gift such sattvik articles on this Makar Sankranti.
5. Importance of using Sesame seeds
Makar Sankranti occurs during the winter season. Ayurveda recommends the consumption of sesame seeds in this weather as it is beneficial to one’s health. Also, by consuming sesame, we are able to attract the divine energy towards ourselves. With this divine energy we will be able to get rid of our personality defects. With that, it is easier to imbibe qualities. By distributing sesame seeds, we are distributing divine consciousness. Dear friends, on this day, let us distribute happiness and divine consciousness even through our speech and actions. That will be celebrating Makar Sankranti in its true sense.
– Shri. Rajendra Pavaskar (Guruji), Panvel