Wish everyone a wonderful time during this pongal! Happy Sankranthi!!
A normal wish goes this way for all. However, with the changing times, more urbanisation, least preference is given to this first festival of the year, which is infact, need to be celebrated with more sincerity.
Sri Sai Master in his article about Sankranthi says sharing of joy, being together, helping others within means, praying to God and serving the Guru are some of the important pointers of this festival. (Article in January 2012 Sai Baba Magazine - http://issuu.com/saibabamagazine/docs/sai_baba_magazine_january_2012)
This festival has an astronomical significance, as it marks the begining of northward journey of Sun from its southernmost limit, a movement referred to as Uttarayana. Sun enters makaram or Capricorn, as per zodiac. In the previous six months, people would have experienced heavy rains, and severe cold, and during Uttarayana time, due to bountiful sunlight, the ill-effects of rain and cold would disappear to bring in the calm in the lives. This is also the period when one sees blooming flowers or crop. Traditionally during this time, the cattle will be seen relaxed dur to crop cutting. Infact, they will be decorated and prayed to, during Sankranthi time. The farmers celebrate this festival to expressing gratitude for the bontiful crop.
During this time, the early hours of the day will be filled with recitals in temples and colorful patterns infront of the houses with colors and rice flour (Muggulu). Cow dung is used to put Gobbillu, a tradition to indicate the importance of the same in prevention of germs and improving the environment.
With so much of urban look, and breaking of the link between the old and young, the traditional festival is being lost. It is very important for all of us to hold on to such traditions which so beautifully integrated enjoyment with paying respects to mother nature for what we are reaping.
May we all celebrate Sankranthi with spiritual fervour thanking the Lord for giving us what all he has and is giving. May we pray for peace and joy across for times to come.
Jai Sai Master!