In a typical world, while going about the daily chores, one seldom feels the urge to delve deeper, to comprehend the true purpose of human life. However, a revolutionary change dawns when one's intellect gets refined and becomes razor-sharp by the virtue of Guru's grace and constant contemplation of what is true and what is not!
Viveka, the right understanding and discriminatory knowledge, is imperative to bring about the transformation in one’s life, otherwise the cyclic process of eating, sleeping, and procreating continues. Days change into weeks, weeks into months, and the months into the years, eventually coming to an abrupt end one fine day. And the very purpose for which the gift of human life was given remains unfulfilled; a golden chance goes in vain!
It is as if you go to the market to buy something specific such as milk. You go around the shops, check out all the items, get fascinated with the things on display, eat, drink, and come back home empty-handed. So, you forgot all about the thing you ventured out to buy and instead wasted your time around to no avail.
Do you ever wonder, what is the intent of life? There can be just one purpose, the realisation of Self, and that is only possible while we have this human body.
Every festival or tradition is an allegorical expression of the ultimate, carrying a more profound meaning within, and Makar Sankranti is no different. On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, the Sun transits into the Makar, the Capricorn sign. And Makar is characterised by sheer persistence and hard work.
There are two ways you can celebrate this auspicious celestial event. The first one is following the ritualistic mode. Bathing in holy rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna, offering of sesame seeds, feeding the poor, and so on.
The second and the more challenging one is the spiritual way, which is about unearthing the hidden meaning, leading you to the ultimate truth. In this inward Makar Sankranti, you immerse your mind in the holy waters of viveka, so that vices like attachment, aversion, and fear can be washed away. This is the way to dissolve the duality of mind bringing about the state of equipoise.
It is the day to resolve to live by the teachings of your Master and have unwavering faith in the words of rishis, sages, and revered scriptures. All these are mandatory prerequisites that make you worthy of receiving the gift of supreme wisdom. So spiritually speaking, Makar Sankranti is the light of jnana entering the ignorant mind-intellect and radiating it with the highest wisdom.
Think, what sort of karma must one perform? Only those that lead us to the highest truth. Rest are to be carried out as a mere support system for the sustenance of this body. Worldly responsibilities have a limit, and their reach is not beyond that!
Makar Sankranti is the day to sit back and contemplate which path your mind-intellect wishes to pursue. The way that leads you to the transitory objective world or the one that steers you to the truth and liberation? The choice is yours!
Published in Times of India, Dated: 14 Jan 2022