Dhanu Sankranti: Know Its Significance

Dhanu Sankranti: Know Its Significance

The Sun moves from one Rashi to the other once every month. And the day that marks its transit is referred to as Sankranti in Sanskrit. Sankranti is also known and spelt as Sankraman or Sankranthi or Sankramanam.

Today, the Sun is expected to pass from the Vrishchik Rashi (Scorpio) to Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) tonight. This transit marks the beginning of a new month as per the Hindu Solar calendar. The Dhanu month stands ninth in the list of twelve months. 

On this auspicious day, Lord Jagannath is worshipped in many parts of India, especially in Orissa. Devotees start the festival of Dhanu Yatra from the sixth day of Pusha month in Shukla Paksha and continue it until Purnima of the Pousha month. As per Panchang, the duration is of Pausha month and this is known as Kharmas.

According to tradition, a special prasad is prepared on this day, which includes sweetened rice flakes in a conical shape to offer God during the puja ceremony. It is also said that people should offer a donation (daanya punnya) and perform ancestral pujas.

On this day the devotees take a dip in the holy rivers and it is said that the person who takes a dip gets rid of the sins committed by him or her. They also worship Sun God and it is considered extremely beneficial as he showers them with his choicest blessings. People also take part in philanthropic activities. They distribute food, clothes, and other items to the needy. Some devotees even observe a fast.

Sun worship is also done for acquiring wisdom and sagacious within. Sun enters a particular amount, for this reason, it is known as ‘Sankranti’.

Dhanu Sankranti Punya Kaal
The Dhanu Sankranti Punya Kaal starts at 12:21 PM to 5:43 PM.

Dhanu Sankranti Maha Punya Kaal 
The Dhanu Sankranti Maha Punya Kaal is between 3:56 PM to 5:43 PM.

Dhanu Sankranti Moment
The Sun is expected to enter Dhani Rashi at around 9:48 PM.

Dhanu Sankranti significance
As mentioned above, the Dhanu Sankranti marks the beginning of the ninth Hindu month according to the Solar calendar. Moreover, it is of great significance for Odisha people. On this day, they worship the Sun God as well as Lord Jagannath. Special pujas are performed to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath, and sweets/delicacies are offered as bhog to the deities.

On the sixth day of the Pausha month, an annual event titled Dhanu Yatra begins in the Baragarh town located on the banks of river Jira (a tributary of the Godavari river) in Odisha where iconic episodes from the life of Shri Krishna are recreated. During the event, the town gets converted into Mathura (Krishna Janmabhoomi or the birthplace of Shri Krishna), the river Jira is hailed as the Yamuna, and neighbouring villages become Gokul and Vrindavan (places where the Lord spent his early days). As per the traditional calendar, the annual festival begins on the sixth day (Sashti Tithi) of Pousha, Shukla Paksha and ends on the Purnima Tithi (Full Moon day) of the same month. Several iconic stories from the Bhagavata Purana are narrated in the form of street plays during the festival. 

What is the Meaning of Kharmas?
The Sanskrit word Khar means donkey (Gadha). As per the prevailing legend pertaining to Kharmas, it is said that Surya Dev revolves around the universe on the chariot of seven horses. He is not allowed to stop anywhere. It is said that if he stops, then all day to day activities will be halted on the same day. 

But the horses attached to the chariot get sick and tired of hunger due to lack of rest and love. Seeing this, Surya Dev takes his chariot to the banks of the pond. All of a sudden,  he comes to know that if he stops his chariot then all the activities will stop and troubles will take place.

Then Surya Dev sees two donkeys (Khars) at the river of the pond. He leaves all the horses for consuming water and taking rest and attaches the two donkeys with his chariot.

The horse runs fast while the donkey slows down the chariot. In this pretext, the rotation of one month gets completed somehow and the horses take rest meantime and this time is known as Kharmas. Every solar year is known as solar Kharmas.

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