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Dakshinayana Begins -Karkataka Sankranti


June 21st was the date when Uttarayana Punya Kaala ended and Dakshinayana began. Dakshinayana is also referred to as Pitrayana and Karkataka Sankranti . This is the time when the Sun moves into the Karkataka Raasi (Cancer ) .Dakshinayana will last for six months till the month of January when Makara Sankranti will again rise to Uttarayana.

Modern science with Einstein’s theory says that Space ,Time and Energy are interwoven. This is a proven scientific fact that can be noticed during the time of celestial phenomena. Also the light you see from the stars is actually travelling back through time since it takes million of lights years to reach your eyes through a telescope. The Ancient hindus also understood this fact well and always thought of time as Rhythm.

Refer to this link for a detailed explanation

Division of Time

In the Vedas, Time is equated with the Consciousness Time (Kala) is the source of the divisions of time. It unites procession recession and stasis. “Kalo gatinivrtti sthiti: samdadhati” (Sankhayana Aranyaka 7.20). Time, according to Surya Siddhanta, has both its virtual and practical divisions; the former is called murta (embodied), the latter amurta (virtual or Unembodied). The Surya Siddhanta delineates that ‘what begins with prana (respiration) is called real; that what begins with truti (atoms) is called unreal.

Smallest measure of time

Smallest measure of time is paramanu (60,750th of a second).

As, according to modern standards, 24 hours make 1 day and night, one finds that, 1 nādi or daņda is equal to 24 minutes, 1 vinādī is equal to 24 seconds, 1 asu or prāņa is equal to 4 seconds, 1 nimeşa is equal to 88.889 milliseconds, 1 tatpara is equal to 2.96296 milliseconds and finally 1 truţi is equal to 29.6296 microseconds or 33,750th part of second. It is really amazing that the Indian astronomers, at such a long lime ago, could conceive and obviously could measure such a small interval of time like truţi. It should be mentioned here that, 1 unit of prāņa is the time an average healthy man needs to complete one respiration or to pronounce ten long syllables called guravakşara.

100 Truti =1 Tatpara

30 Tatpara=1 Nimesha ( Blinking of eye )

18 Nimesha = 1 Kastha (bit)

30 Kastha= 1 Kala(minute)

30 Kala =1 Ghatika ( Half hour)

2 Ghatika = 1 Kshana /Muhurta ( 1 hr)

30 Muhurtas= 1 Aho ratra ( Aho ratra-Day and Night)

30 Ahoratras= 1 Solar Month

6 Solar Months= 1 Ayana

1 Year = 2 Ayanas ( Dakshinayana and Uttarayana )

This Solar month of  2 Ayanas is equal to a  day and night of the Celestial beings. The Uttarayana is the time of day for the Devatas and Dakshinayana is the time of sleep. Uttarayana is considered to be a more beneficial period for all activities.

What is Dakshinayana? And its significance

Broadly, Uttarayana or Dakshinayana comprising of six months each is the time taken by the Sun to travel from one house to the other during these periods. Starting from Makara (Capricorn) up to Mithuna (Gemini), the travel of Sun is called as Uttarayana and starting from Karkataka (Cancer) up to Dhanus (Sagittarius) it is known as Dakshinayana. We all know that Dakshina means South direction and Aayana means travel or movement. So accordingly the movement of Sun in the Southern direction is called as Dakshinayana. The time when the Sun leaves Mithuna Raasi (Gemini) and enters Karkataka Raasi (Cancer) is called as Karkataka Sankramana or Karkataka Sankranthi when the period of Uttarayana ends and Dakshinayana begins.

San means to come together and Kranthi means radical change. That means plenty of radical changes start taking place in the nature from this time onwards based on which the human activity depends. For example in case of Karkataka Sankramana that also marks the beginning of Dakshinayana coincides with the monsoon (rainy season) which is also a sowing season for crops when agricultural activities get activated. Similarly it also coincides with the winter season.

Spiritually the most auspicious period for performing austerities and rituals called Chaturmasam (Sravana to Karthika Masam) falls during the period of Dakshinayana. These four months are said to be very dear and pleasing to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu when He enters into Yoga Nidra (Divine slumber) on Aashada Sukla Ekadasi day called Deva Sayani or Hari Sayani Ekadasi. He gets up from Yoga Nidra on Kartheeka Sukla Dwadasi day called Uttana Dwadasi. Thus, when the Lord SriManNarayana is in yoga- nidra it is befitting to set aside mundane activities and participate in special religious pursuits.

Majority of the major Hindu festivals like Naga Chaturthi, Vara Maha Lakshmi Vratha, Upakarma (Sravana Pournima), Sri Krishnashtami, Sri Ganesha Chaturthi Rishi Panchami, Sri Anantha Chaturdasi, SharanNavarathri (Devi Navarathri), Vijayadasami, Deepavali occurs during Dakshinayana.

The period of Dakshinayana also coincides with Pitru Paksha the sacred time to perform sacred rites to the forefathers. It is believed and said that Uttarayana represents Devathas and Dakshinayana represents Pithrus. It is also said that Uttarayana is the day time and Dakshinayana is the night time for devathas. Dakshinayana is also called as Pitrayana. It is said and believed that Pitrus descend on Earth during the period of Dakshinayana awaiting their off-springs to perform sacred rites enabling them to attain better placement in the other worlds. Hence, lot of significance is given during this period for performing Pitru related activities.

However, generally we observe major festivals taking place during Dakshinayana. That
means to say that Dakshinayana is sacred for both the Devathas as well as Pitrus.

During the period of Dakshinayana night will be longer than the day and power of Sun gradually decreases as he moves from Karkataka to Dhanus. When Sun transits into Libra he becomes debilitated. Astrologically, Libra is the house of debilitation for Sun.

Movement of the Sun through the Tropics

Varanasi at Sunrise

Sunrise over the Holy Ganga

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