Sankranti is the moment when the planet Sun enters a new Rasi (House) in the Zodiac. Kumbha Sankranti is the time when the Sun enters the Kumbha Rasi (Aquarius). The moment in time when the Sun enters a new Rashi is auspicious according to Vedic Astrology. The ‘San’ in Sankranti means good while ‘Kranti’ means change. The Kumbha month is visualized as a cosmic pot containing the water of life. A human being is over 60 percent water. The physical body is the pot that contains this water. Water represents the emotional being in the person. The Kumbha Rashi is a time of immense spiritual significance. The Kumbh Mela, which happens over a 12-year cycle in Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain, and Prayagraj (Allahabad), is one of the biggest religious gatherings in the world. It reaches its zenith during Kumbh.

When is Kumbha Sankranti 2024?

This year’s Kumbha Sankranti falls on 13th February.

The Kumbha Mela event will take place in Prayagraj. The period of Kumbha Mela extends from January 15 (Makara Sankranti) till March 8 (Maha Shivratri).

What is the Astrological significance of Kumbha Sankranti?

Kumbha is the 11th month in the astrological calendar. Shani (Saturn) is the Lord of Kumbha, but he is neither exalted nor debilitated in this Rashi. Unlike other Rashis, Kumbha Rasi exerts its character on a level par with its Lord on the individual. The nature of Kumbha Rashi is to shed the ego from the person and ensure contact with the divine. This month can be intense, since it may require drastic measures to get the focus of the person in the desired direction. The effect of Shani adds to the intensity.

This is a time for psychological reaping of the results of one’s actions over the past ten months. If the actions are good, the individual will have a rather enjoyable experience. If the actions were evil, the individual may have to suffer psychologically. And the effect of the Kumbha experience will last a long time. 

Features of an Aquarius

In Western Astrology, those having Aquarius as the Sun sign are described as intelligent, independent, rebellious, emotional, and mysterious. They are considered a breed apart from the others. They desire to change and are unafraid to do what is needed. They can be stubborn and irrational. They are not worried about what others think and will shun away from doing mundane tasks. Ultimately they cherish freedom the most and will do anything to protect it. Such persons may be in a state of constant fight against certain elements of the system. They are usually honest, sincere, and loyal and expect others to be the same. This will of course land them in trouble as well.

As per Vedic Astrology, the Sun entering Kumbha means the ego of the person entering a zone of conflict governed by the second most powerful cosmic body after the Sun. It is like facing the year-end exams at school or the dreaded annual meeting with your boss. If your work has been good you will be rewarded, or else you may be punished. The role of Kumbha is to force the hand of divinity into your daily life irrespective of what your Earthly priorities may be.

The spiritual significance of Kumbh Sankranti

Since water represents the emotional being in the person, the Kumbha month has great spiritual significance. This is the time to cleanse the water in your body. It is customary for people to abstain from salt during this period to cleanse the water in the body. In metaphysical terms, the human body is considered the pitcher which holds the water (life force) which has to get in touch with the cosmos. This is the time to reach out and experience the divine. 

Essentially, Kumbha means the release of the life force in the person. This is to make the person aware of the bigger picture and his position in it, as well as that of others. This is to make the person understand the need to keep his ego in check, play for the team, and attain victory for himself, as well as for the team. The result the person achieves by going through this period is considered to be permanent. And, if the result is moksha from all the sins of the past, that effect, too, would be permanent. So, it is traditional for the people to observe penance, gather at a holy confluence, and let the water purify their sins. This is the Kumbh Mela.

Kumbh Mela

It is among the largest religious gatherings in the world. Millions arrive at the ancient cities of Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik, and Prayagraj to take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga (Haridwar), Shipra (Ujjain), Godavari (Nashik), and the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati (Prayagraj). According to legend, after churning Amruth from the celestial sea, Lord Vishnu, to help Devas by stopping the Asuras from having it, took the form of divine beauty Mohini, and carried the pot of elixir away from the Asuras. While doing so, four drops of the elixir fell on Earth. Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik, and Prayagraj are considered to be the places where the drops fell. For deciding the place of Kumbh Mela, the position of Jupiter in the Zodiac is considered along with that of the Sun and the Moon. 

The Kumbh Mela is held in Prayagraj when Jupiter is in the Mesha Rashi and the Sun and the Moon are in the Makara Rashi, or if Jupiter is in the Vrishaba Rashi with the Sun in the Makara. The Kumbh Mela is held in Haridwar when Jupiter enters the Kumbha Rashi with the Sun in Mesha. If Jupiter enters Simha Rashi with the Sun and the Moon in Karkata then Kumbh Mela is held in Nashik. Ujjain hosts Kumbh Mela when Jupiter is in Simha and the Sun is in Mesha. It takes Jupiter 12 years to make a full circle through all the Rashis. That marks the Poorna Kumbh Mela. The Maha Kumbh Mela takes place once in 144 years.

Scientific Significance of Kumbh Sankranti

It is proven that the movement of the Earth around the Sun affects the electromagnetic field in certain ways. During the equinoxes in March (Aires) and September (Libra), the electromagnetic field is most balanced. The March equinox comes in the first half of the year when it is spring and when the Earth is lively and vibrant. Before reaching the equinox – which falls in Meenam Rashi as per Vedic Astrology – the Kumbha Rashi is where the necessary changes are implemented to ensure psychological balance in human beings as the equinox arrives.

In Astrology, along with the Sun, the planets and two nodes of Rahu and Ketu are also considered to affect this electromagnetic field. In Vedic Astrology, while the Sun is considered the giver of individuality similar to Western Astrology, the Moon is considered the giver of imagination, and Jupiter is considered the giver of learning. The Rasi of Kumbha, the time before the equinox when adjustments are to be made to attain the balance during the equinox, acts as the tough referee who ensures the field, which is the human conscience, is properly set to receive the doses of cosmic energy centered around the three bodies of the planet Sun, the Moon and Jupiter. This is to ensure the energy within the person gets aligned with the cosmic balance of the electromagnetic field that is to happen during the equinox. 

The Kumbha Rashi is generally considered to be a time of psychological purification. Bathing in the waters of holy rivers signifies this. This is a time to realize the futility of ego and cleanse yourself from the stigma of bad deeds done in the past. It is a process of rejuvenating the mind to face the next cycle. It is said that the alignment of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter according to which the Kumbh Melas have held impacts the water and air molecules of the holy cities of Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain, and Prayagraj turning the atmosphere most conducive to attain emotional and spiritual fulfillment. While scientific evidence is lacking, millions still throng these cities during Kumbh Mela making it one of the largest spiritual gatherings in the world, and also one of the oldest and continuously held annual events in human history.

Miscellaneous Facts About Kumbh Sankranti

To clear toxins from the body, people abstain from salt to enable the unclean waters (toxins) to leave the body. This is observed from the start of the Sankranti till the 14th day of the dark Moon when Maha Shivratri is observed. The period from 16 ghati before Sankranti to the moment of Sankranti is considered the most auspicious. For reference, 1 day or 24 hours is made of 60 ghati. Feeding cows is considered auspicious during Kumbha Sankranti. Charity works are also encouraged. Preparing dishes with pumpkin is another highlight of Kumbha Sankranti.

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