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Makara Jyothi

Makara (Sanskrit: ) is the name of a zodiac sign in


Indian languages known as Capricorn in English. Jyoti
means light in Sanskrit. Thus Makara Jyoti (also spelt
as Jyothi) means Light of Capricorn.

The huge crowd of pilgrims that witnesses the event has


been on the rise every year.[1] It is believed that 1.5
million devotees witnessed Makarajyoti light in 2010.[2]
The revenue collection during the Makaravilakku period
was also higher compared to previous years. The total
The Sun appears to move from one zodiac constellation to
another every month and the day on which Sun changes donations were Rs.720[3]million in 2008 against previous
the constellation is called Sankrnti (= transit) in Sanskrit. years Rs.723 million.
Makara Sankranti (Sanskrit: , Malayalam:
, Kannada: , Tamil:
, Telugu: ) is the Suns 2 Sabarimala stampedes and Autransit into Capricorn (Makara) constellation that usually
thenticity Debate
occurs on 14 January every year and is a very important
Hindu festival celebrated all over India in various forms.
Uttaryaa, the six-month period when the sun travels towards the north on the celestial sphere starts on Makara
Sankranti and ends on Karka Sankranti (around July 14).
One of the places where a large number of devout Hindus
reach on 14 January for worship is Sabarimala located in
thick rain forests of Kerala.
Makara Jyothi is a star which is worshiped by pilgrims
in huge numbers at Sabarimala Temple in Kerala on
Makara Sankranti on 14 January every year. However
many devout Hindus claim that Makara Jyothi is the celestial lighting which takes place on Makara Sankranthi
day and they believe that Lord Ayyappan asserts himself
as Makara Jyothi to bless his devotees.
Note : Makara Jyoti is not to be mistaken to Makara
Devotees gather at Sabrimala sannidhanam to get glimpse of diVilakku. Makaravilakku is a light or ame that appears
vya Makara Jyothi around Makaravilakku , 2010.
thrice on the Ponnambalamedu hill, four km away to the
temple.
In 1999 and 2011, two major human stampedes occurred on 14 January, Makara Jyothi Day at Sabarimala,
killing 53 and 106 people respectively. [4] .[5][6] In 1999
1 Popularity of the Ritual
the Justice T Chandrasekhara Menon committee that investigated the stampede refrained from going into the
Lord Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana met Sabari, an details of authenticity of 'Makara Jyothi'. Committee
ardent devotee, at Sabarimala. Sabari oered the Lord stated that Marakajyothi is a matter of belief and can't
fruits after tasting them. But the Lord accepted them be probed. Justice Chanadrasekhara Menon had probed
gladly and whole-heartedly. The Lord then turned and the veracity of makarajyothi during that time. He also
saw a divine person doing tapas. He asked Sabari who appointed an advocate of the commission to witness the
it was. Sabari said it was Sasta. Rama walked towards makarajyothi.[4]
Sasta and the latter stood up to welcome the Prince of In 2011 another human stampede occurred on 14 JanAyodhya. The anniversary of this incident is celebrated uary, Makara Jyothi Day at Sabarimal. It broke out duron Makara Vilakku day. It is believed that on Makara ing an annual pilgrimage, killing 102 pilgrims and injurVilakku day, Lord Dharmasasta stops his tapas to bless ing more than 100. Amid a renewed debate after this
his devotees.
stampede, Kerala High Court wanted to know whether
The most famous Ayyappa shrine in India is the one at or not the Makarajyothi' is a man-made phenomenon,
Sabarimala with over 50 million devotees visiting it every asking about the authenticity of the hallowed celestial
light visible from Sabarimala. A distinction has to be
year..
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made between the Makaravilakku and Makara Jyothi.


The Jyothi is a celestial star. Makarvilakku is lit [by
people],' said the head of the Thazamon Thanthri family,
Kantararu Maheswararu.[7] After this Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) said that it was known to most believers that it was a man lit-re, but there was a Hindu belief
behind it. It is known to everybody that Makara Jyothi
is a re lit up by men at Ponnabalamedu and TDB also
recognises this, TDB President M Rajagoplan Nair told
reporters on Jan 31, 2011.[5]

References

[1] Sighting of `Makarajothi' brings good luck and blessings. Chennai, India: The Hindu Online. January 14,
2006.
[2] Pilgrims witness Makara Jyothi. Manorama Online.
[3] Sighting of `Magharajothi' brings good luck and blessings. Chennai, India: The Hindu Online. January 15,
2010.
[4] Makarajyothi: Court intervening after 11 years. Mathrubhumi English. 21 Jan 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
[5] Sabarimalas Makara Jyothi is man-lit: TDB. Times Of
India. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
[6] G. Mahadevan (2011-01-15). Sabarimala stampede: toll
rises to 102. The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
[7] Kerala High Courts poser on Makarajyothi'".
Hindu. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2014-01-18.

The

External links
The ocial website of Travancore Devaswom Board
More mythological detail about Lord Ayyapan
Clarication of the matter by Minister
- Media reports on Makara Vilakku/Makara Jyoti
Sabarimala - The Recurring Tragedy Caused by
State-sponsored Superstition
- Minister G.Sudhakaran on Makara Vilakku /
Makara Jyothi
An amateur experience of makarajyothi

EXTERNAL LINKS

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