Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path. It marks the beginning of warmer and longer days as compared to nights till the next equinox. Makar Sankranti is known by various names in different regions; for instance, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Maghi in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, Magh Bihu in Assam, Poush Sangkranti in West Bengal amongst others.
For most parts in India, this period is a part of early stages of the Rabi crop and agricultural cycle, wherein crops are sown, hard work in the field is over and it is time to celebrate and rejoice. In most cities, kids and adults indulge in kite flying competitions as a celebratory affair. Moreover, on this day various fairs are organised in different regions of the country.
‘Til ladoos’ made of sesame seeds and jaggery are made and distributed amongst friends and family. It is believed that sesame loaded foods have the ability to absorb and emit high amounts of sattva frequencies. It is believed, on this day, that you receive thousands of blessings in return of one donation. Hence people donate anonymously as they please (Gupt-Daan).
To observe this auspicious occasion, devotees gathered on the morning of Uttarayan, Saturday, 14th January 2023, at Shree Swaminarayangadi Mandir – Nairobi; for Mangla Aarti to receive divine darshan of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, Prem Murti Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj and Sant mandal. Devotees had put up a beautiful display of colourful kites and reels all around the temple hall.
In the Evening, Sandhya Aarti Niyams commenced at 5.30pm. Thereafter Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj launched the Shikshapatri Sanskrit Audio. Thereafter, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj showered His divine discourses, emphasising on devotees to regularly attend temple for the divine darshan of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and to continue pleasing the Lord more and more every day.
After His divine discourses, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj concluded the evening by blessing every disciple and marking it the end of his 2nd East Africa vicharan 2022/2023.