What role does the Makar Sankranti play both for the individual and the entire [Hindu] Samaj?
First of all it needs to be stressed that the process is both individual and collective simultaneously; even as it is unity and diversity simultaneously. This integral approach is the very first shift that has to take place in our consciousness if we wish to understand the Veda. It comes about when we reverse the direction of our quest to plunge into that innermost Point of our soul, the sanctum sanctorum each of us carries within - just as it is reproduced in every Hindu Temple. This is the significance of the Makar Sankranti as POINT; but above all as seed. Not just any seed but the Golden Seed of the Veda. Golden because it contains, compressed, the lost Ray/Cow of the Sun. The ‘lost Sun’ hides in that seed-enclosure; i.e., it is hidden in time as light, as energy, a theory that only certain very gifted contemporary physicists are coming to appreciate. Through Yoga the Aryan Warrior gains access and penetrates the Seed. He makes it his very own, while his consciousness is the soil that fertilises and helps the Seed sprout and spread its shoots throughout the world. Only the right timing (‘combination code’) for the Makar Sankranti can bring this about.
The Earth in her annual revolution around the Sun lives the very same experience. In Hindu tradition she has always been a personified being, a Goddess. In the Veda she is praised throughout; but nowhere as sovereignly as in the hymns to Usha, the divine Dawn who envelops the planet with the first pristine rays of a divine Solar Light. . .
The Light we seek, hidden within the time experience unique to this planet because of its rotational rhythms and position in the System, is compressed to a point at each Makar Sankranti. This is the itinerary of the ecliptic Journey, the setting, the stage, the base of the Rishi’s Sacrifice. There are landmarks, balancing pillars along the way in this journey - the four Cardinal Points which are unchanging, immutably positioned in time, and because of which they can provide stability to the individual and to the collectivity; therefore they bear eternal relevance. . . .
The Dharma cannot be called Sanatan if we jiggle these Pillars about and pretend that we are following the Vedic Path and are faithful to the Dharma of the Rishis. There are no sidereal/constellation locations [as in the Nirayana System followed in all Hindu temple worship] that bear any relevance to this Vedic way of the Earth and her inhabitants. That ‘beyond’ is not at all FIXED. Rather, in the Beyond (constellations) the notion of relativity and relativism arise in the seeker, who has been led off the Vedic path by the lure of escape from and dissolution of everything that connects him to his homeland, the Earth.
We speak glibly of a SANTANA Dharma, the ‘eternal’ Law. But what sort of eternal law, and consequent stability, can a shifting calendar provide the Hindu Samaj? The FLOATING AYANAMSHAS in vogue today, which bear no sanction in the Veda, are anything but stable and constant. Each second that passes of our Earth time causes that distant sidereal point light-years away to change position, thereby making that Ayanamsha with each passing second inoperable and inapplicable for any ritual. If the pundit is sincere to his trade, he must know this. He must know that yesterday’s Ayanamsha cannot be held today as valid because IT HAS SHIFTED IN THE HEAVENS, perhaps slightly, but shifted it has. Today it is not where it was yesterday. And if we add to this the complete impossibility to determine just where and what that Ayanamsha might be, then we understand why there is total confusion among the ranks of the pundits. And Hinduism suffers an increasing deterioration accordingly, with each ritual that propagates this illusion. . . .
Absolutism of the eternal Dharma lies within our grasp if we take the same Journey the Veda prescribes, poised on the immutable four Cardinal Points: the March Equinox - Cosmic Dawn; the June Solstice - Cosmic Midnight; the September Equinox - Cosmic Sunset; and last but best of all, the December Solstice - Cosmic Midday or Uttarayana, the highest position of the Sun whereby as a single Ray (the lost Sun hidden by Vritra) it descends to the Earth casting no shadows. And therefore it is known as the period of Victory for the Aryan Warrior; or, in the larger cycles of time, as the Golden Age, the Satya Yuga.
We need to understand the ‘seed’ nature of the Makar Sankranti and how it can be said that this is an experience of both the Earth, the individual and of the collective Hindu Samaj, all simultaneously on that very special Solstice. This is understood when we realise that Time itself is compressed to a seed at the December Solstice. The ‘shortest day of the year’ has no other factual significance for inhabitants of our special planet than this: compression to a point, compaction to a seed. The light of the Sun, those divine Cows/Rays, is compressed to this point-experience of Time when its measure reaches the extremes of itself [the Solstice or SHORTEST day of the year]. And then when the [Makar] Sankranti is observed with the right ‘combination’ - the right harmony of the Earth to the Ecliptic - the entire Hindu Samaj connects itself through this ‘seed-point’ to the replenishing Source from which it originally sprang. Today as in aeons gone by, it can drink once again of the waters the Goddess Mahasaraswati benignly releases abroad upon the world.
Hindu society, born from the realisation of those colossal Vedic Rishis, must not be cowered down by contemporary Science, which in these matters is but a babe in arms. Centuries must pass before the science we laud as the highest achievement of the human mind can reach the heights of the Rishi’s knowledge, primarily of what is certainly the most important element of our world - Time. For science Time remains a mystery along with its companion gravity. But not so for the Rishi. This inheritance has been passed down through Hinduism for centuries; but ‘forces’ interfered with the passage so that today we have SUPERSTITION in place of Veda. The ‘scientists’ can be thanked for this disaster that has befallen the sacredmost bhoomi of the Earth.
[Excerpts from: ‘On Reorienting the Self Toward Vedic Consciousness - Letters from Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet to an Inquirer’, Nov. 5, 2006]