What is the inner significance of Sankranti?
Without giving up the quality of Tamas or inertia, we cannot realise the Truth. Without giving up the quality of Rajas or passion, we cannot develop true devotion to God. It is the Satvik quality, which helps us to develop devotion. This world is being ruled by three qualities: Tamas, Rajas and Satvik qualities. Tamasik quality presents itself as laziness, inertia and a kind of stagnation in our life. In the Rajasik quality, you have the power to take up activity. The highest quality is the Satvik feeling. Satvik quality is a Divine quality. Selfless love is the basis of Satvik quality. It is very important to understand where the actions that we take up are leading us? Whether they are taking us towards our goal or Gamya? Those activities that are prompted by Satvik quality, give us fruits of bliss. Those which are based only on Rajasik quality, lead us to bondage. We should never do activity based on Tamasik quality. The journey of life is to rise from Tamasik quality to Rajasik quality and finally to the Satvik quality. This is the inner significance of Uttarayana or Sankranti.
Uttarayana means to go or move upwards. ‘Uttara’ is the north. What do you find in India towards the north? The Himalayas. This mountain is always looking upwards. The inner significance of the Sankranti festival is that we have to learn to develop upward vision, spiritual and higher vision. Even on the spiritual path, taking up activity is very important. All activity should be done for the love of God and offered to God. When all our actions are based on love, all the Karma will become Karma yoga and it will become worship. When Satvik love gets into our Rajasik actions, then work is transformed into worship. That is the meaning of Uttarayana. We have to develop divine thoughts. When we think that we are just the body and mind, it is a low thought. The body feeling is Tamasik feeling. When you identify yourself with the mind, it becomes the Rajasik quality. When you identify yourself with the Atma, it becomes Satvik quality. In our inhalation and exhalation, all the time we are being taught the lessons: So-ham, I am Divine. Thus, the message of this festival is that we have to develop lofty thinking. On the Sankranti day, we wear new clothes, eat good food and listen to good talks. However, doing only this is not good enough. We have to purify our mind and make it sacred. On this day, we should to give up patterns of our old thinking and speaking and develop new qualities.
A day before Sankranti is the Bhogi festival. On the Bhogi festival day, we offer all our old clothes into the fire. What is the meaning? The inner significance of all this is we have to give up our old habits, old ways of thinking and develop new ways of thinking. Every moment is a new opportunity and a new moment.
Last year when Swami went to Hyderabad, the children of that institution prayed to Swami, “If we can have a college here, it will give us great joy.” Because they prayed with a pure heart, all the arrangements are being made for the establishment of the women’s Pre-University college and on Vasanta Panchami, first of February, when the Bhoomi pooja will be held for this Pre-University college. In coming days, you are going to see many such new institutions getting established.