Rishaba Sankranti is one of the twelve Sankranti days which occur in a year. Sankranti occurs when the Sun does transition from one house to the other in the zodiac signs. Simply, Sankranti signifies the beginning of the new month in the Hindu calendar.
Rishaba Sankranti is the transition of the Sun from Mesha Rasi to Vrushaba Rasi. This also is celebrated as the onset of the Hindu month Vaikasi. It signifies the commencement of Vrushaba season.
Rishaba Sankranti occurs on Monday, 15th May 2023. The exact commencement of Vaikasi month has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar.
Rishaba Sankranti is also called as Vrushaba Sankramam, Itavam Sankramam and Brusha Sankranthi.
Rishaba Sankranti – Legend
As per Bhavishya Puran, Bhagwan Surya’s Chariot was designed by Sri Brahma Himself. It is driven by Aruna, the Sarathy of Sri Surya. The Chariot is pulled by seven horses which depict seven days of the week.
Apart from Sri Surya, two Adityas, two Rishis, two Gandharvas, two Apsaras, two Nagas and two Rakshas (demons) also travel in the chariot. For every pair of two months, the travelers change.
For the two months pair of Chithirai and Vaikasi, the following travel with Sri Surya.
Adityas – Datta and Aryama
Rishis – Pulasthi and Pulaha
Gandharvas – Thumburu and Narada
Apsaras – Krithasthali and Punjikashthala
Nagas – Vasuki and Kacha
Rakshas – Haedhi and Brahaedhi
Rishaba Sankranti – Rituals
-Holy dip / bath has to be taken. If bath is taken in a river, both the hands should be joined in a cup, some water has to be taken from the running river and poured back into the river looking at the Sun.
-At Sunrise, special prayers are to be offered to Sri Surya seeking welfare of all. Slokas invoking Surya can be chanted.
-Puja place at home is to be decorated with lamps, dhup and flowers. Sweets are to be offered as Neivedyam and distributed to all.
-Daan / donation of either food or money or clothing or any other item can be made to the poor and the needy.
It is believed that making daan shall bring in prosperity.
Sri Surya Slokas
There are innumerable Slokams / Stotrams available to invoke Sri Surya. A few of them are