View the divine darshan of the supreme Lord's Shanghar at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Maninagar, on the day of Utraayan.
The Utraayan festival, also known as Makar Sankranti, falls on 14th January.
On this day, the sun starts to travel in the Uttar - Northerly direction.
The 10th sign of the zodiac is called Makar - Capricorn. The entry of the sun into any sign is referred to as Sankranti, hence, the name of the festival, Makar Sankranti.
Approximately a century ago, this occurred a few days earlier. In time to come, the entry of the sun into Makar will occur a few days later.
This day marks the decline of the winter season. It also marks the end of Dhanurmas, the month which traditionally, is considered inauspicious for performing social activities such as weddings.
In Gujarat, the day is commonly known as the Kite festival because everyone joins together to show their kite flying skills on this day. Traditionally, the delicacies of Gujarat, especially undhiyu and jalebi are eaten on this day.
Disciples of the Lord bring gifts for the Lord on this day.
View the divine darshan of the supreme Lord's Shanghar at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Maninagar, on the day of Utraayan by clicking on the links at the top of the page.
In Nairobi, the Utraayan Festival was celebrated in the divine presence of Acharya Swamishree.
In His divine ashirwad, Acharya Swamishree said;
On this auspicious day, everyone offers gifts to the Lord in order to please Him. The day signifies the arrival of warmer, longer days. In the same manner, by pleasing the Lord, all the subsequent days will be infinitely more pleasurable. A devotee of God should wish only to please the Lord and remain alert to serve Him more and more.
If one keeps the company of good people and has good thoughts, the Lord will protect him from all his internal and external enemies. One should never associate with people who have evil thoughts as these people lead you away from the path of the Lord.
The episode of Kaikai and Manthra is narrated in the Ramayan. Manthra was a bad lady. She spread her evil thoughts to Kaikai who was initially a good lady. At first, Kaikai did not like this and even punished Manthra. However, Manthra did not relinquish her evil characters and continuously spread her evil thoughts. Eventually, Kaikai’s thoughts were influenced by Manthra. Consequently, she sent Ram into the wilderness for 14 years and King Dasharath, Ram's father, also lost his life. Therefore, because of her association with the evil Manthra, Kaikai also became evil.
On this day, the annual kite day, let us look at the teachings signified by the flying of a kite. When a kite is flown, the person holds firmly to the thread that is tied to the kite. He steers the kite and protects it from becoming entangled into the trees. In this manner, he makes the kite fly higher and higher. In the same manner, you must allow Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to keep hold of your lives and control it in whichever manner He wishes. Then, He will protect you from becoming entwined with worldly affairs. Do not let anything stop you from achieving your goal of pleasing God. Then, your physical kite i.e. your life, will ensure you attain greater and greater heights, meaning you enjoy more of the great knowledge, devotion and unsurpassed bliss of the Lord.