8. Makara Shankranti-3.

The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane.

Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!

As already mentioned, this is the Pongal festival in South India.

It is closely connected with agriculture.

To the agriculturalist, it is a day of triumph.

He would have by then brought home the fruits of his patient toil.

Symbolically, the first harvest is offered to the Almighty—and that is Pongal.

To toil was his task, his duty, but the fruit is now offered to Him—that is the spirit of Karma Yoga.

The master is not allowed to grab all the harvest for himself either.

Pongal is the festival during which the landlord distributes food, clothes and money among the labourers who work for him.

What a noble act!—It is an ideal you should constantly keep before you, not only ceremoniously on the Pongal day, but at all times.

Be charitable.

Be generous.

Treat your servants as your bosom-friends and brother workers.

This is the keynote of the Pongal festival.

You will then earn their loyalty and enduring love.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ...

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