Makar Sankranti Blessings
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy Makar Sankranti, a beautiful Hindu festival celebrating the sun’s return to the Northern Hemisphere that is always the traditional beginning of the Maha Kumbh Mela, being held this year in Haridwar.
Our last Kumbh was held in Allahabad, officially known as Prayagraj, this time two years ago when over 12 crores (120 million) divine souls made the pilgrimage to the divine city to take a sacred snan in Mother Ganga that absolved them and their ancestors of sin, thus ending the cycle of rebirth.
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji reminded us that we bathe in Ganga out of our love and devotion for Her ever-flowing love and grace. He so beautifully shared: “Kumbh is not an external exhibition, but is for internal Self discovery. During this Kumbh let us take care of our future by remembering that our culture and nature must go hand in hand. This is the message we must take from our sacred festivals that help us remember and strengthen our connection with our nature and our culture.”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji shared about the significance of this auspicious day. “As we welcome the sun (Surya) back to our cities, countries and our hemisphere, let’s not only be grateful for the return of the light and warmth of the external sun, but let us also remember to welcome our own internal light back. So many of us live in darkness — darkness of ego, ignorance, anger and separation. On this day let us welcome back the light of our true divine Selves.”
Due to the movement of the planets, this year’s festival has fallen on the 11th year instead of 12, so the Kumbh Mela period has been reduced from 120 days to 48 days. There will be a total of four royal baths (Shahi Snan) on Kumbh made by the combination of Jupiter and Sun. No official date for the start of Kumbh has been announced, but from Makar Sankranti, bathing in Maha Kumbh will begin. The first royal bath in Kumbh will take place on 11 March Shivaratri, the second royal bath on 12 April Somvati Amavasya and the third main royal bath on 14 April Aries Sankranti.