Updated January 15th, 2024 at 15:31 IST

Makar Sankranti 2024: Why Devotees Take A Holy Dip in Ayodhya's Sarayu River

On Makar Sankranti, devotees from across India come to Ayodhya to take a dip in the Sarayu river. Know the history behind taking a holy dip in the river.

Sarayu River | Image:istock
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Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival that marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Celebrated across India with diverse cultural practices, one notable tradition is the holy dip in the Sarayu River in Ayodhya. This act holds deep spiritual and cultural significance, intertwining mythology, religious beliefs, and the celestial alignment.

Mythological roots

Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, is steeped in mythology. The Sarayu River is mentioned in several Hindu scriptures, including the Ramayana. According to legend, Lord Rama's life was intricately connected to the Sarayu, enhancing the river's sanctity. Taking a dip during Makar Sankranti is believed to purify the soul and connect the devotee with the divine energy associated with Lord Rama.

Sarayu river | Image: istock

 

Astronomical alignment

Makar Sankranti is a solar event, marking the sun's transition into Capricorn. The celestial significance of this moment is believed to enhance the spiritual energy of the Sarayu River. Devotees perceive this alignment as an auspicious time for cleansing rituals and spiritual rejuvenation through the holy dip.

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Sarayu river | Image: istock

 

Cultural traditions

The holy dip in the Sarayu is not just a religious ritual; it is deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of Ayodhya. Families gather on the riverbanks, creating a communal atmosphere filled with prayers, hymns, and a shared sense of devotion. The act symbolises unity, purity, and the continuity of traditions across generations.

Sarayu river | Image: istock

 

Spiritual purification

Taking a dip in the Sarayu during Makar Sankranti is seen as a means of spiritual purification. Devotees believe that the holy waters cleanse them of sins and impurities, paving the way for a renewed spiritual journey. It is considered an act of surrender to the divine forces and a step towards leading a righteous life.

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Beyond individual spirituality, the tradition fosters a sense of community bonding. The collective act of taking a dip reinforces the shared cultural identity of the people in Ayodhya. It creates a sense of belonging and unity, transcending societal barriers.

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Published January 15th, 2024 at 15:31 IST