Sai Ram. The month of January is known
for the solstice (Samkranti or Sankaranti etc.), when the Sun changes
the apparent direction of travel in the sky, caused by the precession
of the equinox.
King Sagara, an ancestor of Rama, had
performed the Aswamedha yagna (Horse-sacrifice) ninety-nine times.
When the horse was sent around the earth the hundredth time, Indra,
the King of Heaven, grew jealous and kidnapped the horse, hiding it
in the hermitage of Kapila. Sagara's sons, numbering 60000 dug out
all the quarters of earth and when they entered northeast to find
the horse thief, they found Sage Kapila, i.e., Vishnu in the semblance
of a sage. When they tried to attack sage Kapila believing him to
be the thief, he burnt them to heaps of ashes by his yogic powers.
Anshuman, a grandson of King Sagara, came to sage Kapila begging him
to redeem the souls of Sagara's 60,000 sons. Kapila replied that only
if the Ganges descended from heaven and touched the ashes of the 60,000
would they be redeemed. Ganges was eventually brought to earth, ,
through the tapasya of King Bhagiratha, son of Dilipa, and grandson
of Anshuman thereby redeeming the 60,000 sons of Sagara.
Kapila said, "Acts (Karma) only cleanse the body. Knowledge, however, is the highest end (for which one strives). When all faults of the heart are cured (by acts), and when the felicity of Brahma becomes established in knowledge, benevolence, forgiveness, tranquility, compassion, truthfulness and candor, abstention from injury, absence of pride, modesty, renunciation, and abstention from work are attained.
Kapila is also mentioned by Krishna in the Bhagavad
Kapila comes in the 16 names of Ganesha (Kapilo Gajakarnakah…). Kapila Govu (Dark tanned cow) is considered very auspicious.
Thus even if we can’t go to Ganga Sagar (there was a big stampede in the recent mela resulting in a few deaths and injuries), remembering sage Kapila is purifying.
With best wishes,