Question – 121
Mahabharata says that the Uttarayana was delayed; but is there any evidence in support of it other than what is stated in the Mahabharata?
The delayed Uttarayana is remembered as ‘Ratha Saptami’. We do celebrate Ratha Saptami even today as the day the Sun turned north. Every year, the Sun turns north once. Why is that Saptami in Magha month alone remembered as Uttarayana?
The reply lies in the change of Time that occurred then. It was not the usual time of Uttarayana. Bheeshma decided to lay down expecting the Uttarayana to come within a few days. But an Adhika Masa occurred in Magha when it should not have been. Since the Uttarayana dates were decided on the basis of tithi-s in the 5- year yuga, they had to wait for Nija Masa. Even then the regular tithi could not be picked out as Uttarayana started on a different tithi which was Saptami. This was already discussed in Question 42