Presently people are not celebrating Sankranti in its true spirit. They confine it to mere performance of rituals, in the absence of purity and sanctity. In the past, of all the festivals, Sankranti was considered the most important. It is the day on which farmers bring home the harvested crop, feed the poor and rejoice. Vedic scholars get up during the early morning hours (Brahmamuhurta) and chant Vedic mantras, purifying the hearts of one and all. This festival also has a special significance for the householders. They invite their newly married son-in-law to their house, present them with new clothes and distribute sweets and rice puddings to all, thus the entire household abounds with joy. Cool winds, mellifluous bird songs and the sweet sugarcane crops herald the arrival of Sankranti. This festival bestows great joy and auspiciousness on farmers, householders, priests and children. It must drive away all disappointments and despair, and fill every heart with hope and enthusiasm. [Divine Discourse, Jan 12, 2004]
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