Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 21 Nov 2020


What is the essence of the rituals done on Makara Sankranti?

[Kum. Mohini asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmiji! What is the reason for celebrating Saṅkrānti? On the day of Saṅkrānti, my parents performed many rituals. They prepared many food items, bought new clothes and they kept some food on the roof of the house. They said that my dead grandparents would come in the form of birds, eat the food and give us their blessings. Is it correct or not? What is the essence of these rituals?]

Swāmi replied: You may see the video on the topic of Saṅkrānti, presented on the YouTube channel SHRI DATTA SWAMI. The internal meaning of this festival is well-explained. Giving food to hungry animals and hungry birds is called bhūta yajña. In order to force people to do some good charity, certain lies are told, which are called arthavādas. Such beneficial lies are not wrong since the ends justify the means. The mother feeds her child telling the child that if the child eats all the food, the moon will come down from the sky. Such a lie told by the mother to make the child eat the food is not a sin. In fact, it yields merit. After the harvest, birds do not find grains in the fields to eat. Their food has been brought into our houses. So, the practice of feeding the birds indicates that we should spare some grains now and then for the sake of hungry birds.