Tula 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.
Tula Sankranti is the transition of the Sun from Kanya Rasi to Tula Rasi. It occurs in the Hindu month Ashwin.
Tula Sankranti occurs on Wednesday, 18th October 2023. The exact commencement of Tula Sankranti has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars. The festival is also called as Tula Sankramam, Tulam Sankramam, Garbhana Sankranti, Cauvery Sankrama and Garvana Sankranti.
Tula Rasi is ascribed to the holy river Cauvery. The devotees take holy dip in the Cauvery at its entire course from Thala Cauvery to Bay of Bengal.
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 Aipasi (Ashwin) and Karthika, the following travel with Sri Surya.
Adityas – Parjanya and Pushan
Rishis – Bharadwaj and Gauthama
Gandharvas – Chitrasena and Ruchisi
Apsaras – Viswamsi and Kirudhasi
Nagas – Vishrutha and Dhananjaya
Rakshas – Abha and Vadha
Tula Sankranti – Rituals
The general rituals pertaining any Masik Sankranti are as given below:
-Holy dip / bath has to be taken, if possible, in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari. 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.
-Pithur tharpana for the departed souls of the family is observed.
-Puja place at home is to be decorated with lamps, dhup and flowers.
-Stotrams invoking Bhagwan Surya such as Sri Surya Gayathri Manthra, Adithya Hrudhaya Stotram, Surya Chalisa, Surya Ashtakam, Surya Kavacham etc., are to be sincerely recited.
-Sweets are to be offered as Neivedyam and distributed to all.
– Mostly fasting is observed. For those who cannot do fasting, only sattvic food has to be partaken.
-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 on this day shall bring in prosperity.
At Odisha, Tula Sankranti is associated with the fertility of the agricultural fields which are full of growing crops like corn and paddy. The farmers worship Sri Lakshmi, in the form of Sri Dhanya Lakshmi as they consider the fertile fields with growing crops as the sign of prosperity and wealth. They also sow the seeds for wheat and kara crops after praying to Sri Lakshmi on this day.
In some places, the grains are measured in measuring vessels praying that they should have good harvest to measure lots of grains. They also pray for the safe growth of the grains and protection against floods, insects and other problems.
The family members partake of sumptuous meals and it is believed that having good meal on Tula Sankranti day shall result in abundant food throughout the year.
The festival of Tula Sankranti is celebrated in a grand manner at Thala Cauvery at Coorg in Karnataka. At the exact time of commencement of Surya’s journey in Tula Rasi, the fountain in the small tank of Thala Cauvery springs up and fills up the large tank. The devotees collect this springing water. This water is preserved at homes with the same sanctity that is accorded to Ganga Jal.
The devotees take the holy dip at the Thala Cauvery fountain tank on this day. Goddess Parvathi is sincerely worshipped on this day. It is believed that the river Cauvery is one of the manifestations of Sri Parvathi Devi. A cucumber or coconut is idolized as Sri Parvathi Devi. The vegetable is covered in a silk cloth of either red or green color and decked up with jewels or flower garlands. Betel leaves, betel nuts, turmeric, vermillion and sandal are offered as upachara. This worship is called as Kanni Puja.
Dosa, any vegetarian side dish, payasam and any dish made of grey /yellow pumpkin form the food prepared for the day.
Sri Surya Slokas
There are innumerable Slokams / Stotrams available to invoke Sri Surya. A few of them are