The Sun starts its southward journey!
Movement of Sun
The Sun's southward journey from 16th July..
The sun starts its southward journey from today as per Indian almanac. For six months from today, the period is called “Dakshinayana”, while from January 14th to July15, it was known as “Uttarayana”, when the sun is on its northward journey! It is firmly believed that who die during the preceding Northward journey reaches higher world of gods. But, this sort of generalization is not true since more than half the deaths occur during the period of January 14th July 15th. There are other conditions too. It should be daytime. If a person dies during night time during the Uttarayana, he cannot hope to ascend to the realms of god. Well, I know I am drifting from the subject.
My intention is the highlight the positive impacts of Uttarayana compared to that of Dakshinayana. In the beginning of the above periods, Hindus all over India offer obeisance to the manes (ancestors) by offering water mixed with till seeds with appropriate chants after taking bath! Especially to father, grandfather and great grandfather, mother, father’s mother and great grandmother. Also from mother’s side, maternal grandfather, maternal great grandfather are offered water with till seeds with appropriate chanting.
The reason behind ancestor's worship during this time!
This is a kind of Remembrance Day for the forefathers! Why it is so in Indian tradition? For human beings, 360 days marks one year, whereas it is only one day for the Deva or demigod. Hence one year of demigods is equivalent to 360 human years. The Kaliyuga is 1200 years in the period of Deva which included a contract period of 200 Deva years! In human equivalent, it is 1200 x360 = 4, 32,000 human years. Hence six months of human time is day time for the Deva and six months’ time is night for them! Hence before the demigod wake up and before they go for sleep, we offer our propitiation to them. These periods are referred as Uttarayana and Dakshinayana in Hindu scriptures. Here I would like to highlight the importance of Uttarayana! During the great Mahabharata war, the grand sire of Kaurava clan “Bheeshma who was a generalissimo during the first half of the war, was on death bed hit by many arrows from Arjuna and others! But he waited on the arrow bed till the auspicious period of Uttarayana to dawn, since leaving the body during Uttarayana is considered holy since the soul won’t be reborn again! Since he was a very great soul, who has made great sacrifices for his father earned the name “Bheeshma” which means ‘the one of illustrious repute”. He had the blessings from gods to shed his body at his will. Hence he was patiently waiting for the Sun to begin its Northward journey. He left the body as soon as the Sun commenced its northward journey!
During eclipse people perform obeisance to ancestors in India.
Summer is obvious during Sun's Northward journey!
During the period of mid-January to mid-July, the weather will be very sultry. Especially during the month of May, the highest temperatures are recorded in many Indian cities! Whether one believes in the influence of planets or not on earth or human beings, it is evident that summer affects one and all and all water bodies dry up! Also, during the full moon day or new moon day, the tides of the ocean are high. Since other planets are far away, we are unable to gauge their influence explicitly.
Astronomy is a valid subject and discipline. Ancient Greek and Roman Kingdoms fostered the study of astronomy and position of various planets. In Hinduism, one more subject called “astrology’ gained prominence from the day of Vedic periods. Our ancestors have studied the positions of various planets in heaven and the corresponding effects on earth like the change of seasons, sudden rainfall, draught and floods, earthquakes and volcanoes. They could co-relate the events on earth with that of planets in heaven. As all the planets are constantly moving, various positions are seen and sometimes when the Sun, moon and earth are aligned, eclipses happen. Our forefathers were really great experts in correctly assessing the exact times of eclipses, their duration etc. very minute to the seconds. To ward of the evil effects of negative rays during eclipses, they invented ways to circumvent the effects. Thus Hindus all over perform obeisance and offerings to the departed one during the period of eclipse! It is believed that the manes visit the earth during the time of eclipses, during the commencement of six monthly periods, corresponding to Sun’s Northward and Southward journey.
Safety precautions during solar eclipse viewing
During eclipses, negative rays of energy is let out in the atmosphere!
One more practice, during the time is prohibiting pregnant ladies from coming out. The negative rays during eclipses affect both the mother and the baby in the womb! Many may consider this as superstitious but it is not so. Nowadays, the scientists all over the world are warning the public not to view the Sun with naked eyes during the eclipses of sun! The Ozone layers usually acts as filters to prevent the harmful rays of Sun to reach the earth. After the advent of mobile communications, lot of debate is going on about the harmful effects of radiations from towers. In a similar manner our ancients have gathered the knowledge of harmful rays during eclipses without any scientific experiments. They gathered the knowledge during intuitions, inspired from the cosmic self!
The present generation of youngsters cavils at the elders for their warnings not to venture out during eclipses. But, the birds and animals have got senses before eclipses happen. They don’t move out during the period and rests under their shelters! They have the instincts to understand peril. Also, during earthquakes, birds have uncanny sense of earthquake and they behave in a queer manner. But our youngsters do not care for such signals and freely roam out during the eclipses. It is always better to take precautions than suffering later! Our ancestors and forefathers were many times wise without the collage and technical education!