Uttarayana – the time of harvest


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The last few months have seen exhilarating levels of activity, the last two weeks in particular. The Ananda Alai movement has been a phenomenal awakening across Tamil Nadu, igniting spiritual awareness across the state and bringing hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic people like never before — to the extent that people and press have been drawing parallels with the Freedom Movement of yore. Indeed, it is a Freedom Movement of another kind.

These past six months have also been a time of intense sadhana for all Ishas, and now we are at the threshold of Uttarayana, which is a period of harvest. The sun’s run in relation to planet earth will shift from the southern run to the northern run – from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana. People who have been spiritually aware have always identified this transition as a possibility for human consciousness to blossom. One of the most famous stories is of Bhishma waiting on his deathbed of arrows for many weeks. Though he was severely injured, he held onto his life until Uttarayana came because he wanted to make use of this transition in nature, to make his own transition possible. Gautama also attained on the third full moon day after Uttarayana. And in South India, there are examples of innumerable saints, sages, siddhas and yogis who have made the transition during this period.

During the southern run, what is below the anahata can be purified very easily. During the northern run, what is above the anahata can be worked much more easily. That is why in terms of sadhana, Dakshinayana is for purification. Uttarayana is for enlightenment. So this is the time to harvest, and it is also the reason agricultural harvests begin during this period. Pongal is the harvest festival. So it is not only the time of harvesting food grains, but it is also the time to harvest human potential.

The human body, if brought to a certain level of intensity and sensitivity, is a cosmos by itself. Everything that happens in the external sphere, in a subtle way, manifests in the body. It is happening to everybody, it is just that most people do not notice this. But a more organized and purposeful rearrangement of the human mechanism could be done if one becomes conscious of the external movement and aligns that with the movement that is happening within the human system. If you want this body of flesh and bone to imbibe the nature of the cosmic body, understanding and being in tune with this movement of Uttarayana and Dakshinayana is very essential.


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