Tuesday of this week was Makar Sankranti, the day when Spring returns to India. As Tim Miller noted in his blog this week, it is one of the few Hindu holidays to follow the solar, not lunar, cycle. A little more from Timji:
The days are visibly getting longer now and the Sun is coming into its waxing period of strength for the next six months. In India this is considered to be one of the most auspicious days of the year, associated with regeneration. During the month of Makara, Surya, the Sun, is visiting his son, Shani’s (Saturn’s), house because Shani is the ruling planet of Makara. Normally Surya and Shani don’t get along well, but for the next month there is an opportunity for fathers and sons to connect at a more harmonious and beneficial level. In the Mahabharata, Makar Sankranti is the day that Bhishma, grandfather of the Pandavas, made his exit from the world of men and returned to the land of the Devas.
If you’re unfamiliar with that part of the story, you should remedy that! Just kidding. If you haven’t read Ramesh Menon’s re-telling, he does an amazing job of capturing Bhisma’s agony but also calm as he awaits for an auspicious time for his life to end.
I’m pretty sure I’ve relayed the story that I first read Bhisma’s passing by Menon while in Tulum for Tim’s week-long training. Talk about an auspicious time! It was made even more moving by all the hard study, heart-opening and ragged emotions of the week.
You can get the quick version from Tim this week. He even put up a Part II on Wednesday afternoon that focuses on history’s only two “real” yogis.
Posted by Steve