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The Absolute Truth

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‘Absolute Truth’ is the whole reality, consisting of everything in this Universe that exists. “The Absolute Truth”, says Vivekananda, “is only one”. This is the Brahman, which constitutes the whole reality. In Upanisads it is said, “In the beginning there was Brahman, one and infinite. He is beyond North and South, and East and South, and beyond what is above or below. His infinity is everywhere. In the inner world Brahman is Consciousness …. in the outer world Brahman is Space . He has been variously described as Infinite, Immortal, Eternal, All Encompassing, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Absolute and Universal.

But where is he located? How does He look and what is His nature? The mystics tell us that He is nowhere and everywhere, that He is not locatable in Space and Time, but He is in our hearts, that He has no tangible form, colour, size, smell, taste or touch but He is pure Consciousness. Upanisad says that He moves and He moves not. He is far and He is near. He is within all and He is outside all.

The period between the Beginning and the End is in Time. Beyond that is Timelessness. In Time there is progress, beyond Time all is changeless. He is Timelessness but the creator of Time. He is formless but the source of all forms. He is the Unmanifest yet the source of all manifestations. The uncreated Creator, Unborn and Undying. The unmoved mover, the unknown knower, the first and the final cause, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega, the Transcendental and the Immanent, the Infinite and the finite, the tangible and the intangible. All is He and He is all. The One in many and many in One. Everywhere and nowhere, Transient and Eternal, Universal and Particular, in Whole and in parts, in Unity and diversity, Being and nonbeing, Changeless and changing, Immortal and mortal, Mind and Body, Sound and Silence, Social and Individual. You and Me. The All. The Absolute One. Pure Consciousness residing in Perfect Bliss.

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Makar Sankranti

India is a country of rich culture with myriad rituals and traditions. It celebrates a number of festivals which have wide significance and meaning. Apart from major festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid etc the people of India and especially Hindus celebrate with great faith and devotion other auspicious days associated with season change.

Makar Sankranti is one such festival. It is observed on 14 January every year. It marks the transition of Lord Sun into ‘Makar Rashi” (Capricorn) and Lord Sun become ‘Uttarayan’ (moving northwards). The days of Uttarayan Sun (14 Jan to 14 Jul) are believed to be auspicious and suitable to perform religious and spiritual rituals. So, on this transition day Lord Sun is worshipped by offering sacred water (mixed with sesame & cereals) and paying obeisance to Him. Lakhs of devotees take dip in holy water of the river Ganges and cleanse themselves of their accumulated sins. Bathing in this holy river is highly spiritually elevating. Charity on this day is very significant and rewarding. Charity of  ‘khichdi’ (mixture of several pulses), ghee and blankets is especially important.

Chilling cold days of winter start turning warmer from this day. This day marks the end of extreme cold of winter and beginning of spring. Dullness and laziness of winter give way to exuberance, enthusiasm, energy and liveliness of spring season. Days become more comfortable, sunnier and warmer. Kite flying is also very popular on this day. It is observed across the country in different forms. In Punjab “Lohri” is observed a day before which carries the same spirit of season change. In Assam and Tamil Nadu, Bihu and Pongal are celebrated respectively symbolizing and carrying the same fervor, gaiety and sense of merriment.

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