8. Makara Shankranti-2.
In this manner the devotee’s heart expands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures.
Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.
As Shankranti is also the beginning of the month, Brahmins offer oblations to departed ancestors.
Thus, all the great sacrifices enjoined upon man find their due place in this grand celebration.
The worship of the Cosmic Form of the Lord is so well introduced into this, that every man and woman in India is delightfully led to partake of it without even being aware of it.
To the spiritual aspirants this day has a special significance.
The six-month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life.
It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all.
The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.
To be continued ...