Astrology in Sikhism and Indian Religions - A Spiritual Cause for Rituals and Festivals
The Art of Ascendancy or evolution of soul is such a significant factor that a Sikh, meaning a learner, follows it as an ultimate goal of life. A Sikh just by obeying Gurbani is considered and is entitled to be a Singh or Khalsa. The word Khalsa conveys the purity of the heart like that of a saint, the mystic person; and the word Singh conveys the disciplined power of dutifulness, mystic discipline of duty ,the very essence of bravery like that in a soldier.
Purity, power and duty are attributes of the soul, our conscience in general, without which Metaphysics remains as philosophy, which one may know and understand, without practicing it in real life. This very idea of linking soul, self and spirit with the Sun is very much clear when Gurbani says:
“The Sun is one, but the seasons are many," says Shri Guru Nanak "that the Creator, Waheguru (The Eternal Worthy of Praise), is one yet has similarly many forms”.
Here the Sun metaphorically represents the soul and God (Waheguru) as the Spirit. The concept of the soul is like that of the zero. Whenever zeroes are added together, the result is zero; similarly all souls added together result in one soul; the Spirit, like drop of water when added in any number, remains and results in water. The drop of water from sea and the sea itself are one, at the quality level that the water is same.
Our life on the earth has very a unique and special relation with the Sun, such that our physical body and its vitality and radiance are definitely helpful for our spiritual growth and development. The philosophy of religions and metaphysics in particular, though the Eastern or Indian Philosophy in general, greatly gives metaphysically diversified meanings, effects, impact and influences of the transition of the Sun through twelve signs of the zodiac.
These zodiac signs are, namely as:
11. Aquarius and
The day when the Sun passes from one zodiac sign to the next is called Sankranti (in Hindi) or Sangrand (in Punjabi).
This day bears a deep mystical, spiritual, religious and the relevant cultural, traditional and social belief and faith attributed in Indian Civilization and the world over representing humanity metaphorically. Mysticism, the valuable part of Metaphysics, and Astrology, all over the world, are also based on these transitions of the Sun.
In all these attributes, the Sun is symbolized as the Soul (Atma). At the same time, the Moon is symbolized as the Heart, or Emotions (Mann).
In the Indian calendar, the Native (Desi) months, each one runs for the duration between transitions of the Sun from one sign of the zodiac to the next. Like when the Sun transits from the Pisces to Aries, on that day the month of Vaisakh begins, the very day when the Vaisakhi, Birthday of the Khalsa is also celebrated.
The months from Vaisakh (Taurus Month), not as Aries Month (15th March-15 April) that starts in the Western Astrology . We are putting this as these proceed in Indian and Western systems of Astrology.
For example, the Vaisakh, represented as Vaisakh (Aries-Taurus Month) means that Aries is Indian System, but Taurus in the Western System (the Indian System is one Sign behind the Western System. Thus, a person born as Leo in the Western System of Astrology is of sign Cancer in the Indian Sun System of Signs), and thus accordingly we learn these as follows:
1. Vaisakh (Aries-Taurus Month),
2. Jeth (Tarurs-Gemini Month),
3. Ashaad (Haarh) (Gemini-Cancer Month),
4. Sawan (Caner-Leo Month),
5. Bhadron (Bhadon) (Leo-Virgo Month),
6. Assu (Virgo-Libra Month),
7. Katak (Libra-Scorpio Month),
8. Maghar (Scorpio-Sagittarius Month),
9. Poh (Sagittarius-Capricorn Month),
10. Magh (Capricorn-Aquarius Month),
11. Phalgun (Phagun) (Aquarius-Pisces Month),
12. Chet (Pisces-Aries Month);
Thus, each starting on the respective Sangrand.
All of the Indian religions celebrate the Sangrand, the day of transition of the sun from one sign to the next every month by takinga holy bath (Ishnaan) in the sarovers (pond near the holy place or pilgrimmage where water is stored for the Ishnaan) and holy rivers, or even at home.
These are not just rituals, but a way to unite with nature and the natural laws and principles in the mystical, metaphysical and thus a spiritual way. Thus, astrology in Sikhism is part of Cosmic Play, the transitions of the Sun through wonderful collection or a group of stars called signs. So, these have spiritual significance, not just astrological superstitions, which are basically mystic joy of the cosmic play. Let us enjoy it.
Thanks for your reading it!