SIGNIFICANCE OF KARKATAKA SANKRAMANAM
RAMAYANA MASAM OF KARKKIDAKAM" begins on Saturday 16th July 2016. So 15th of July - Friday is the Karkkidaka SANKARAMAM.
Hindu calendar is broadly divided into two periods (Ayanas) of six months each comprising of six seasons (Ruthus) of two months each and twelve lunar/solar months of 30 days each (Maasas). The two broad periods around which all the spiritual and religious activities in Hindu philosophy rotate are referred to as Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana. Sun is the focal point for all these activities and the movement or transit of Sun around the zodiac forms the basis for deciding a particular season or a month.
We have 12 houses in the zodiac (360 degrees) starting from Aries and ending with Pisces with each house comprising of 30 degrees. Sun moves one degree in a day of 24 hours and accordingly it takes 30 days for the Sun to move from one zodiac house to the other during which time we have 30 sittings and 30 settings of Sun. Movement of Sun from one zodiac house to the other is called as transit (Sankramana) of Sun and is denoted by the name of that particular zodiac house. Suppose, if it is Aries it is called as Mesha Sankramana, if it is Makara it is called as Makara Sankramana and if it is Karkataka it is called as Karkataka Sankramana so on and so forth.
What is Dakshinayana? What is its significance?
Broadly, Uttarayana or Dakshinayana comprising of six months each is the time taken by the Sun to travel from one house to the other during these periods. Starting from Makara (Capricorn) up to Mithuna (Gemini), the travel of Sun is called as Uttarayana and starting from Karkataka (Cancer) up to Dhanus (Sagittarius) it is known as Dakshinayana. We all know that Dakshina means South direction and Aayana means travel or movement. So accordingly the movement of Sun in the Southern direction is called as Dakshinayana. The time when the Sun leaves Mithuna Raasi (Gemini) and enters Karkataka Raasi (Cancer) is called as Karkataka Sankramana or Karkataka Sankranthi when the period of Uttarayana ends and Dakshinayana begins.
San means to come together and Kranthi means radical change. That means plenty of radical changes start taking place in the nature from this time onwards based on which the human activity depends. For example in case of Karkataka Sankramana that also marks the beginning of Dakshinayana coincides with the monsoon (rainy season) which is also a sowing season for crops when agricultural activities get activated. Similarly it also coincides with the winter season. Spiritually the sacred period for performing austerities and rituals Chaturmasam (Sravana to Karthika Masam) correspond during Dakshinayana.
These four months are said to be very dear and pleasing to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu when He enters into Yoga Nidra (Divine slumber) on Aashada Sukla Ekadasi day called Deva Sayani or Hari Sayani Ekadasi. He gets up from Yoga Nidra on Kartheeka Sukla Dwadasi day called Uttana Dwadasi. Thus, when the Lord SriManNarayana is in yoga-nidra it is befitting to set aside mundane activities and participate in special religious pursuits.
Majority of the major Hindu festivals like Naga Chaturthi, Vara Maha Lakshmi Vratha, Upakarma (Sravana Pournima), Krishnashtami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Rishi Panchami, Anantha Chaturdasi, SharanNavarathri (Devi Navarathri), Vijayadasami, Deepavali etc. occurs during Dakshinayana.
The period of Dakshinayana also coincides with Pitru Paksha the sacred time to perform sacred rites to the forefathers. It is believed and said that Uttarayana represents Devathas and Dakshinayana represents Pithrus. It is also said that Uttarayana is the day time and Dakshinayana is the night time for devathas. Dakshinayana is also called as Pitrayana. It is said and believed that Pitrus descend on Earth during the period of Dakshinayana awaiting their off-springs to perform sacred rites enabling them to attain better placement in the other worlds. Hence, lot of significance is given during this period for performing Pitru related activities.
Generally we observe major festivals taking place during Dakshinayana. That means to say that Dakshinayana is sacred for both the Devathas as well as Pitrus.
During the period of Dakshinayana night will be longer than the day and power of Sun gradually decreases as he moves from Karkataka to Dhanus. When Sun transits into Libra he becomes debilitated. Astrologically, Libra is the house of debilitation for Sun.
What is to be done on the day of Dakshinayana?
Generally during any parva kala sacred bath, prayer, japa, charity, and tarpana to forefathers are prescribed.
Tharpana should be given to all the fore fathers (Sarva Pithru) by those who are eligible with black sesame seeds (thil) during parva kala. If the day is coinciding with Ekadasi thithi tharpana should not be performed.
One should desist from sensual pleasures. Take only sattvik (vegetarian) food.
Charity can be given to the deserving in the form of Anna Dana (food charity), Thila Dana, and Vasthra Dana.
Worshiping Lord Vishnu, Lord Sri Krishna, Sun God, reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stothram, Purusha Sooktha, Aaditya Hridayam on this day is preferred.
Generally transit of Sun is not considered auspicious as there will be certain disturbances in the organization of solar forces and such times are not recommended for taking up any new activities/ventures. On the contrary they are held to be auspicious for meditation, initiation into secret mantras and performance of certain religious rites which are held to purify both the body and soul.
Sun transit takes place every month but all transits are not considered as sacred ones. It is only when the transit coincides with the confluence or sandhi of two periods' viz. Uttarayana and Dakshinayana it is known as Parva Kala and accordingly that particular moment becomes very sacred and celestial for performing certain austerities.
Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah.(- RIG VEDA)
"Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions"
Miss.Shaija Vallikatri Bhaskaran
Posted by: Shaija v bhaskaran <email@example.com>
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