Sai Darshan Home
Date:14 Jan 1998 Occasion:Sankaranthi Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Promotion of Unity: Students' Duty

Before desiring anything one must make himself worthy.
Charity (or generosity) qualifies one to get a good name.
Adherence to Truth qualifies one to attain Heaven.
Character makes one fit to enjoy happiness.

For doing anything in the world one must have the competence (yogyatha). For the practice of Righteousness (Dharma) one must have the competence (yogyatha). According to his fitness, man embarks on righteous action.

To achieve fame man must qualify himself to deserve it. It is by one's generosity (daanam) that one achieves a good name.

By Truth alone is Heaven realized.

Character is the root cause of all happiness for man.

Hence, to get happiness, or go to Heaven or to earn a good name, one must acquire the requisite worthiness.

Significance of Sankranthi

This festive day has been celebrated from ancient times as a day of fulfillment and joy. Every festival is a social occasion, arising in society, flourishing in society, and promoting the well being of society. Every festival has been designed to promote the welfare of society. With social changes, festivals also have undergone changes.

Today's festival is an extremely important one for Bharatiyas. It is a festival to celebrate the glory of the Sun God.

The Sun moves every month from one sign of Zodiac to the next.

Sankranthi meaning 'sacred change' - occurs every month as the Sun moves from one house of the Zodiac to another. But special sacredness attaches to the movement of the Sun to Capricorn (Makara-Sankranthi).

The Sun appears cool
The day gets shortened
And is made pleasant by chill wind
On the fields lit by moonlight
The crows caw over the grain heaps
While the farmers sing in joy
Over the golden harvest
The flowers express their joy
By putting forth their petals
While in every home, filled with grain,
The people welcome the advent of Sankranthi
(Telugu Poem)

On Sankranthi day the farmers rejoice over the fullness of the granaries in their homes with the newly harvested crop.


When the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, he begins his northward motion. The sun shines in every human body illuminating the 'six chakras'. Of these chakras (spiritual centres in the body) two are most important: the Hridaya Chakra and the Sahasraara Chakra. The Hridaya Chakra has eight petals. God is the Lord of the eight- petalled Hridaya Chakra. These eight petals are regarded as eight consorts of the Lord. In this context the Lord is adored in the form of the Sun. The world cannot survive without the Sun. The solar system is derived from the Sun. Hence the Sun is worshipped as Divine.

The ancient sages adored the eight petalled Divine centre in the heart and thereby reached the Sahasraara Chakra and enjoyed supreme bliss.

The Sahasraara Chakra has a thousand petals. Each petal carries sixteen phases (Kalas). Thus the Sahasraara Chakra is said to represent of 16,000 gopikas, while the eight petals of the Hridaya Chakra are adored as the eight consorts of Krishna.

The syllable 'go' in the word gopikas has four meanings: The Veda, the cow, the earth and the faculty of speech (vaak). The gopikas derive their different attributes from these different meanings. They chant the Vedas, protect the cows, nourish the earth and proclaim the glories of the Divine by their speech.

The Five Elements

In making an offering to Krishna, the mantra that is used is Kleem Krishnaaya Govindaaya Gopijanavallabhaaya Swaaha. It is interesting to explore the full significance of this mantra. Kleem means the earth. It is the first element. Krishnaaya signifies water. 'Govindaaya signifies Fire (Agni). 'Gopijanavallabhaaya' signifies Air (Vaayu). 'Swaaha' signifies Space (Akaasa). The mantra thus represents all the five elements in the cosmos as manifestations of the Divine. The Cosmos cannot exist without these five elements. They are all pervading. It follows that there is no place in the Cosmos where God is not immanent. The Gopikas, through this mantra, taught the world that God should be adored as the omnipresent Divine everywhere in the Cosmos. Hence in every atom, in every particle, the Divine is present all the time.

The ancient sages reached the thousand petalled Sahasrara through the adoration of the Lord in the eight-petalled lotus of the heart. They used all their God- given intelligence for this spiritual goal. But modern man is using his intelligence only for worldly ends. The sages considered cultivation of virtues and good qualities and righteous conduct as true education.

What do the eight petals of the heart represent? They are: Love (Prema), Truth (Sathyam), Forbearance (Sahanam), Sacrifice (Thyaga), Compassion (Daya), Beauty (Sundaram) and Bliss (Ananda) and Santhi (Peace). To realize the Bliss of the Divine, all the other qualities have to be fostered. God is the embodiment of all these eight attributes. Sacrifice is the most important of them.

The Chakora bird is the example for man in the pursuit of purity. It will not drink any water except what rains from a cloud in the sky. It sees in a dark rain bearing cloud the Divine form of the Lord. Man should seek to see and experience the Divine in every object and every being. Students should experience the Divine in all their studies and sports. It has been said: Life is a game, Play it!

The Power of Love

Life must be permeated with love. Through Love, Truth can be realized and a righteous life can be lived.

The ancients attached the highest value to good character. They considered that if character is lost, all is lost. Today people consider that if wealth is lost all is lost. They attach no value to character.

Men should strive to lead a virtuous life. The gopikas provide the supreme example of how to lead a life dedicated to the Divine. The episode of Uddhava's mission to the gopikas and their reaction to it as described in the Bhagavatham shows what true and one-pointed devotion to Krishna meant for the gopikas. They had totally surrendered their minds and hearts to Krishna.

This day marks the entry of the Sun into the sign of Capricorn in his northwards journey (Uttaraayana). Bhishmacharya, lying on a bed of arrows after he fell wounded, waited for the commencement of Uttarayana to give up his spirit to the Lord. He lay on the bed of arrows for 56 days. This signifies the sacredness of this day. This is the moment for filling one's heart with divine feelings.