Sankranti – A time to inculcate divine qualities – Summary of Divine Discourse on 15 January, 2016

The whole world is always full of activity which is prompted by three qualities. The first is the tamasic, second is the rajasic and the third is the satvic quality. Thus we find in every human being, there are the three qualities: the animal qualities, the human qualities and the divine qualities respectively. The ultimate goal of life is to rise from animal qualities to human qualities and finally from human qualities to divine qualities.

There are four things which are common to human beings and also animals: food, sleep, fear and procreation. Only when we develop divine qualities, human life finds fulfilment. On the day of Sankranti, there is what is called a Bhogi manta, or a fire, which is created out of the grass from the harvest. Into this, we put all our unwanted qualities and burn them. In the bhogi fire, we have to put our instincts of bhoga or enjoyment and then rise to the level of yoga. On this day of bhogi, when we give up our instincts and urge for worldly enjoyment, then we can rise to the level of yoga and enjoy divine joy.

From this day onwards the Sun stops moving towards the south and starts moving northwards. On the day of Sankranti, such divine transformation should happen in our inner beings. We should stop thinking it is only an external festival; more importantly we have to cleanse our inner beings and move towards divinity. Only when we attain divinity we can say that we have meaningfully celebrated the Sankranti festival. Sankranti is not about bathing in the morning and putting on new clothes alone. Apart from external cleanliness, inner cleanliness is always very important. The Uttarayana or the upward movement will happen only when we develop divine qualities. Each of the many festivals that we have in India’s tradition and culture remind us that we have to move towards divinity. On the day of Sankranti, it is customary that we mix til seeds with jaggery and distribute it and share it among friends and family. The inner meaning is that we have to make all our words, actions and thoughts good. On this day, we should also resolve that we will speak sweet and act sweet and make the changes that are required in our personalities and in our life. Only when we love everyone and we serve everyone can we become free from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, on Sankranti we should take a pledge that we will love everybody and we will serve everybody.

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. That is how it started with thoughts and ultimately it will shape your destiny. If you want to develop good habits, first and foremost you should develop good thoughts. Only when you are in good company, you can develop good thoughts. Therefore, you should be always in good company.

All animal qualities are full of selfishness and self interest, they are not selfless. Divine qualities are always selfless. Whatever has happened has happened; let us forget about it. From now onwards, let us put in the right effort to do things in the right way and enjoy.

Talk sweetly to everybody and develop that kind of sweet relationship of love with everyone.