A Hindu Nationalist Perspective
Hi Rajeev and others,It has been quite some time that I visited the blog. I was in US for abt 20 days and have been away from the blog and missing some of the action here.It would take quite some time to catch up from where I last read.Hope all is well with everyone and belated happy Winter Solstice :).
sameer, welcome back to the blog. winter solstice, uttarayanam -- all good stuff happening. may you have a good uttarayanam!maybe the asuras will take a fall :-)
as for the comment on new year falling on a random day, orthodox christians in the west observe it on jan 14 because they still follow the julian calender. makara sankranti is not off due to a drift. that is the day when sun enters makara. it is not intended to coincide with winter solstice but with the beginning of the season which starts with the sun entering makara.
the error in the hindu calendar is in conflating uttarayanam with makara sankranti. it is the solstice that's drifting backwards because of the precession of the earth's axis (and thus solstices and equinoxes).you're right that makara sankranti remains the day the sun enters capricorn. thus the indian astrological calendar and astrological months remain correct, whereas the western ones are off (now) by 22 days, thus rendering their astrology totally incorrect. but uttarayanam, which began on makara sankranti at the time of kurukshetra war, has drifted backwards along with the solstice. achar calculates that both were on jan 13, 3066 BCE -- thus bhishma died on jan 17, 3066 BCE, just after the makara sankranti and during uttarayanam. but if it were today, bhishma could die, say, on dec 23rd during uttarayanam, but it would be before the makara sankranti on jan 14th.
Thanks Rajeev, wishing you the same... and may the asuras take the fall :)
I had been thinking that once upon a time,the Uttarayana Punyakalam,signifying sun's journey to the north[called Winter Solstice by the West],must have been on 13/14 January. It was my conjecture based on what I knew of the significance of the days we celebrate[We also celebrate ,though in a much more muted fashion the DAkshinaya Punyakalam ]. Nice to know about the precession of the axis. In oneway,it is good that they had not changed the Uttarayana Punya Kalam from the Makara Sankaranthi,as it has helped us to understand and help us pinpoint our history based on our Calender,dating our practices,so to speak.
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