Why is Makar Sankranti Important for India ~ 2
Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Makar Sankranti, or the entry into zodiacal Capricorn, is the only such gateway celebrated as a national holiday in India – yet, none really know why the start of Capricorn’s 30-day period should merit a national celebration. Nor do we know why this makar (crocodile) is Ganga’s vahana. Indian tradition gives pride of place to the vahanas of the Gods and Goddesses, and in most cases the connection between carrier and rider is rather clear; not so in Ganga’s case.
In view of the subdued reception my Ganga Monograph received, even among my close associates, I have decided to go deeper into its value and why I hold it as perhaps the most important evidence of the applicability of the new Cosmology, and hence the destruction done to the Dharma by the current Nirayana system of computation. What I present here will finally expose the indefensibility of continuing to use the Nirayana/Sidereal system for establishing the timings of rituals, festivals, temple functions, and individual horoscopes. Lamentably, the fiat of the Nirayana pundits controls what is of utmost importance for Hindus throughout the world: the cosmic connection. A prime example is their timing of the Makar Sankranti that separates it by 23 days from the December solstice, the true temporal gateway into the tenth zodiacal sign Capricorn, the precise timing of which is indispensable for that real and not fictitious cosmic connection.
Hindus pride themselves on the belief that this connection exists and makes Hinduism unique in a certain important sense. In fact, if we carry the probing deeper, it is recognised that the countless Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon are simply personifications of those cosmic energies – all of which makes sense provided, however, that the cosmic connection is real. Presently it is not.
It all hinges on a simple factor: the correct location in time of the Makar Sankranti, which implies the correct timings of the other solstice and the equinoxes; in other words, a time measure balanced on the four pillars that the Earth experiences as the seasons in her annual revolution around the Sun. The Nirayana system has eliminated this seasonal structure entirely – with certain consequences: for one, a disconnect with Nature and her self-evident harmonies; and the much more important disconnect involving veda and dharma, both intrinsic to India fulfilling her mission for the world. This is what I will explain in the present analysis as a compliment to the Ganga monograph. The latter highlights the discrepancy that currently exists in two areas regarding Ganga – time and space; but while the spatial factor is honoured – because the physical location of her mouths, for example, cannot be fudged – the time factor is totally askew. Therefore, in terms of participation of the human element, through which evolution expresses its progress on Earth, there is a huge dissonance: time and space do not harmonise. This would indicate that Ganga’s own dharma is forsaken right in the land where it is meant to be fulfilled. Esoteric tradition would represent this disharmony in symbol form thus ✝ – the off-centred cross. Indeed, all the woes that burden the human condition from the more subtle layers down to the physical that impede it from expressing the higher potential and purpose it is meant to serve, can be explained by this off-centredness – everything from wars and the seemingly insatiable appetite of the human being for destruction and death, down to the plight of the near-starving millions, including the inability of the human body itself to carry the consciousness it houses to a higher level as it is presently structured, given its serious limitations that allow for disease and death.
Ganga, the physical river itself, tells a different story; or rather, she reveals just how to heal what is amiss and to attain the Kailashian heights her soul embodies and carries to Earth. The operation is simple enough. As explained in the monograph, the myth of her descent to Earth is factual. There is only higher knowledge therein and nothing of superstition; but to appreciate the higher reality the myth contains, we have to play by the rules of the game. We cannot invent and impose new rules on the Dharma such as the Nirayana/Sidereal system does to secure the cosmic connection, and in the same breath pretend to honour the ancient Vedic Way; and adding to the confusion, by claiming to have the support of modern science for the imposition of this distortion. The science of astronomy as we know it today cannot carry out the simple operation that Ganga does: to connect the heavens to the Earth. Firstly, it sees neither sense nor purpose in doing so. Indeed, it has de-mystified the cosmic surround and in the place of the luminous truth-conscious supramental Light, it sees only darkness: dark energy and dark matter. This happens when the Earth stands cut off from that harmony of the cosmic surround.
There is only one nation on Earth that can legitimately make (or re-make) that connection. It is India. The reason is mathematical, or rather cosmic, but not speculative; it is real, factual. In hailing the support of modern astronomy to justify the loss of the cosmic connection, Nirayana pundits disclose that the only loss is what their reliance on contemporary science reveals: they no longer appreciate the recondite, higher dimensions of reality and are blocked at the first rung of perception without hope of any penetration of a higher light.
The Makar Sankranti, or entry into zodiacal Capricorn, holds the key – i.e., the December Solstice, or the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, better known as Uttarayana in India and celebrated in ancient civilisations and their scriptures as the highest and best segment of the year.
Herein lies the key: the Makar/Capricorn Sankranti is special and has been honoured as such by sacred Traditions throughout the world precisely because it is the highest northernmost peak of the zodiacal ecliptic plane, its very own Mt Kailash; and given its function of determining the point in time when the Earth appears to stand still (the Latin solstitium, from sol ‘sun’ and sistere ‘to stand still’) and the light begins to increase; that is, the days grow longer after the contraction that began at the September Equinox. Our year is thus a play of contraction and expansion, resting on the pillars of Equinoxes and Solstices for this play of energies. We imagine that winter is just the opposite. It seems to be the season when the light struggles to hold its own. But in point of fact, the marvel it offers is its hibernation capacity. The measure of Ganga helps us understand this miracle of Nature: her spatial stretch over the Indian landmass when viewed on the backdrop of the cosmic harmony she brings to Earth is precisely the segment of the year during which that Seed of supramental Light is gestated in the temporal/spatial expanse of Bharat Mata, as if in her very womb. For is it not Ganga herself who carries the ‘seed’ of Shiva for the birth of his victorious Son? Indeed, that ‘light’ is the beacon of Victory, even as her Son rides the Peacock, the national Bird of Victory. Her divine Measure extends from Mt Kailash to the mouths of Ganga where she flows into the sea, bringing thereby her grace to the entire world. This is her spatial measure; her time measure is 21-22 December (her mouths in the Bay of Bengal) to 5th January (Mt Kailash, the peak she alights upon in her descent to Earth.)
Though the Makar Sankranti or Capricorn gateway is the same for the whole globe, it is only India that can make the real and not imaginary cosmic connection because she is the embodiment of Makar/Capricorn as the symbol-map reveals – which means, according to what the new cosmology reveals, that she is the soul-centre of the Earth from where any connection with the surrounding heavenly harmony can be made. What holds for the macrocosm holds for the micro: the individual incarnation makes that connection with the cosmos through that same soul channel as well.
on the map of Akhand Bharat
The Vedic formula/aphorism upon which the sacred connection can be made is simple: The circle is one. This is easy enough to grasp even for a layperson. Every circle, large or small, macro or microcosmic contains the same 360 degrees – no more, no less. Our Earth year extends beyond these 360, in calendar time only, by 5 days. The marvel of the new cosmology is the unique revelation of joining the calendar to the surrounding cosmic harmony – that is, the way we transpose that 360 measure to our Earth experience in a factual manner. The 5 days over the 360 have been considered as ‘out of the calendar’, and were hence an especially sacred period in ancient cultures. According to Ganga’s measure on the Indian landmass, that would be equivalent to 5th January. Those 5 days are measured into her body and, as stated in the Ganga monograph, they are explained in the myth as the day (5th January) when she alights on Mt Kailash/Shiva and disappears from the surface as he mitigates her flow. These five days are the time of seeding, both for the individual and for society as a whole; in this case, they are especially important because Ganga carries that seed of the Sanatana Dharma to the rest of the world when she surfaces again on the calendar equivalent of 3rd January, her Source in time. That ‘seed’ is where time and space are harmonised and then carried to the sea to benefit the entire world, symbolised in this case by the equal-bodied centred cross, ✚ (or else the Swastika which is based on the same equilateral cross 卐).
This brief explanation should clarify what the real function of the Capricorn Sankranti is. This solstice, honoured in all the ancient traditions, is when the Zero Points of both circles – cosmic and earthly – join. We may recognise that all circles are one because of their content of 360 degrees, no matter the diameter, but to join them, to hitch our Sun’s chariot to the greater Sun and move along the Milky Way where ‘those herds of light go travelling’, as it is described in the Rig Veda, we must find access to the zero entry point or the start of the wheel; if not, our perception of reality must be relativistic and not based on the absolutism of the supramental Truth Consciousness. This entry point each year, without any adjustment or correction required, is Mahavishuva, the Equinox falling on 21-22 March. However, when the connection is made, it is not carried along only on the annual journey of the Sun, but integrated into the larger cycles of the Astrological Ages – again, a synchronisation that cannot be realistically achieved without locating the true Zero Point. The March equinox is zodiacal Aries, or Agni, leader of the hosts. The tenth thereafter is Makar/Capricorn, indeed the 10th day/sign of the Vedic Victory.
The focus of the Ganga monograph was principally to draw attention to the zodiacal script, the twelve signs which were revealed at the dawn of time to serve as guide to the initiate’s journey through the Earth year. The importance of those months and years is made amply clear in Rig Veda II. 24-5, the former being the annual revolution in twelve months, and the latter referring to the passage of the Ages in 25,920 years:
‘…Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being,
their doors are shut to you (or, opened) by the months and the years;
without effort one (world) moves in the other,
and it is these Brahmanaspati has made manifest to knowledge…’
(Sri Aurobindo’s translation from his ‘The Secret of the Veda’)
This Script, the ‘key’ with which Brahmanaspati opens the doors to Knowledge, is virtually non-existent in India today except in the hidden meaning of iconographic symbolism such as Ganga’s vahana, or else Agni’s Ram, and many more. The key simply does not fit the lock; or better, there is no key and the lock it would fit into long ago passed us by – by 23 days, to be precise. We have the Nirayana pundits to thank for this colossal loss. Without the Rishi’s revelation of this sacred Script in the form of the zodiac, there is no sense or meaning in the passage of the year: Capricorn can mean anything and everything – or nothing at all, which is presently the case, though the entire nation celebrates this particular Sankranti and no other.
Why? None can explain her Makar connection and the connection to the other signs/months of which Capricorn is the tenth on the Journey and attached inextricably to the solstice of December 21-22 each year, and certainly not the 15th of January, the currently celebrated timing, with no relationship in contemporary India to the surrounding cosmic harmony. When Capricorn loses its meaning and relevance, and thus its correct temporal position in the Earth year, it can fall anywhere, it can be shifted by even 23 days, as is presently the case. And so, we on Earth and especially in India fail to make use of the opening the Sankranti offers to hitch our Sun’s chariot to the cosmic surround and join the ‘herds of light’ of the Rig Veda at the exact moment of the Solstice so that the connection to Swar, the solar realm of the Immortal Ones, can offer a perfect two-way thoroughfare – here to there – but, above all, there to here.
More importantly, starting at the December solstice and over the following 15 days, the physical Earth experiences perihelion, her closest approach to the Sun in her elliptical orbit, thereby offering a concrete expression of the sacred joining this approach indicates, which affects the entire globe and not just one or the other of its hemispheres. It is only when this marriage takes place in full awareness that the Divine Life Sri Aurobindo foresaw for the Earth can become a reality and the Sanatana Dharma’s rightness in all things can freely manifest.
(To be concluded)