Holi, a festival of colors – is there something more about it ?
Holi, a festival of colors is being celebrated on the 5th of March across India – what is the essence if it is more than just colors? The festival came into existence with the story of Prahalad, a great devotee of God when he was safe even in the fire flames on the lap of Holika, (who was blessed with a boon of never being burnt by fire), Another story comes from Lord Krishna era where due to monotony in day to day work, people seemed to be unhappy and droned for a change and Lord Krishna conceived the concept of celebration of the festival Holi. Though, it is also said that the festival was also celebrated in Raja Raghu, Raja Dilip and Raja Ram era.
In Moughal era, Akbar, Jahangir and others used to celebrate this festival in their palaces with their near & dear ones, but it didn’t have much of spiritual significance for them, nor did they celebrate it with health benefits in mind. In some countries, people celebrate it by using tomatoes instead of colors; which is obviously the more expensive way of celebration.
Isn’t it annoying that people waste a lot of water celebrating such festival these days, that too with chemical colors and then on cleaning oneself after suffering numerous side effects ?
Our revered saint, Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu gives reasons to celebrate the festival of Holi at large scale (at various locations) with millions of disciples gathering at a time for past three decades.
Scientific analysis of the festival Holi :
The Sun rays comprise of seven colors. These rays directly fall on the earth after the festival of Uttarayan. Daylight time increases and the period of darkness decreases, heat increases and cold decreases by & by. The enhancement of heat may increase “Pitta” in the body that may result in behavioural changes such as short temperedness, excess body heat, irritability etc.
If Holi is played with Palash – (scientically called ‘Butea Frondosa’ – a yellow colored flower with spiritual & medical significance) colors, then the strong heat waves of the sun do not affect adversely on our health as it could have been without celebrating the Holi.
The person deprived of celebrating the festival is more likely to suffer from the diseases accrued from the sudden change of weather and increased heat in the body throughout the year or may end up catching skin diseases, 40 kinds of “Pitta” related diseases and 80 kinds of “vaayu” or pneumatic diseases. Usually suicide rate in foreign countries is more than that of India despite fewer facilities in India, and that is because of the fact that Indian people take benefit of the festivals as set by their eminent ancestors with both spiritual as well as scientific mindsets.
The full moon day is a day when the moon with its entire ‘kalas’ impacts the sea and its high tides and also has a positive impact on human minds, therefore the significance of the celebration of the Holi on Full moon day is multifold.
Side-effects of the chemical colors:
According to Dr. Sulemaan Merchant, poisonous chemical substances present in the chemical colors are easily assimilated in the blood through skin thereafter creating lacuna of oxygen in the heart and brain, which may cause death also.
Eye specialist Dr. Mehta says that chemical substances present in the colors and water filled balloons may cause injury to internal parts of the eyes and brain.
Skin specialist Dr. Ramesh Babu (Ursula Horseman Hospital, Kanpur) says that chemical colors may cause dermatitis and it may also cause ulcers, conjunctivitis and allergy. They may cause blindness too.
Harmful substances may cause water pollution when those get into rivers. Key substances like lead oxide, industrial dye and engine -oil present in the colors are dangerous for the animals present in the water.
Following are some real-time incidents proving side effects of chemical colors :
— Reference Rishi Prasad April 1, 2012
13 year old child died due to harmful impacts of chemical colors used during Holi
o Approximate 200 people were hospitalized in Mumbai’s Dharavi, Sayan and Ghatkopar regions when people there suffered because of chemical colors that resulted in skin infection, eye-burning, respiratory problems and vomiting etc.
Harmful effects of chemical colors :
|Black||Lead oxide||Kidney related diseases, Mental –illness|
|Green||Copper Sulphate||Irritation in the eyes, temporary blindness|
|Blue||Prussian blue||‘Contact dermatitis’ skin disease|
|Red||Mercury Sulphide||Skin Cancer|
|Violet||Chromium Iodide||Asthma, Allergy|
How to make natural colors (As suggested by our saints):
|Color||How to make it ?|
|Saffron color||Dip Palash flowers in the water overnight and use it either after boiling or apply it directly.|
|Dry Green color||It may be prepared either by only Henna or by admixing flour|
|Wet red color||Add two tbsp of henna into one liter water or mix a pinch of lime used in betel with 2 tbsp of turmeric in half cup and dissolve it at least in 10 liter of water.|
|Dry Yellow color||Add 2 tbsp of tamarind in 4 tbsp of besan (gram flour) substitutes of gram flour may be wheat flour, rice flour, arrowroot powder, fuller’s earth.|
|Wet yellow colors||Boil 2 tbsp of turmeric into 2 liters of water.|
|Black color||Dip gooseberry powder in iron vessel overnight.|
Benefits of playing Holi with natural Palash colors:
It controls cough, Pitta & urinary infections and blood related deformities. It helps in increasing blood circulation and muscular strength, mental and physical powers. Palash increases immunity. The seven fundamental elements are balanced due to Palash. 80 pneumatic diseases are controlled with Palash colors used during Holi. It makes our immune system stronger to endure heat waves of summer. Holi played with plash colors may lessen the chances of the heart attacks due to Pitta and Vaayu dosha.
Do’s and don’ts on and after the festival:
- Less salty food/ no salt intake is suggested for a period of 25 days from Holi. Chewing of Neem (Margosa) leaves (20-25) with 1 piece of black pepper ensures health and wellness throughout the year.
- Some people who do not understand the dignity of the festival consume liquor & bhang, gamble, vilify others, use chemical colors and mud during Holi, which needs to be precluded.
If the logics of the Rishis can be well understood by the people, then this festival is the best for overall progress in terms of health and spiritualism. Full moon day, and festival days are prohibited for the purpose of sexual intercourse; if not followed, then the person may have handicapped children or likely to suffer from the diseases. Therefore, it is suggested to keep chanting mantra and practicing meditation on the night of Holi.
Spiritual and Substantive message of Holi:
Holi (‘Ho+ li’, i.e. हो + ली in Hindi) means let the bygone be bygone, thus get rid of all worries, mental illness etc.
One should live in the present forgetting the past. This festival gives the message of unity in all sections and communities despite their variations of culture. It is a festival to forget one’s ego; be it a peon, clerk , an officer or a minister , all enjoy this festival by establishing equality of all as set by the constitution and as set by the scriptures. Omnipresent resides in all.
This great festival also reminds of the lines as quoted by the great Indian devotees and thinkers:
‘Shyam piya mori rang de chunariya, aisi rang de ki rang nahi chhute, dhobia dhoye chahe sari umariya…’
‘Holi hui tab janiye, pichkari Guru gyan ki lage; sab rang kachhe jaye ud, ek pakke rang me range’
Here, the disciple is asking for the experience of eternal joy, which cannot be removed in any circumstances. The color of worldliness impacts our senses and changes from time to time but the color of devotion for the almighty is permanent and lasts forever. The festival of Holi is meant to be colored with the colors of devotion and spiritualism.
Allegation on Bapuji:
A couple of years back (in 2013), various objections were raised on Bapuji for wastage of water in Mumbai during Holi celebration and the allegation was logically refuted with the clarification that usually a person takes more water in playing Holi, but Bapuji used only 6000 liters (approximate) for his millions of disciples, which means each disciple might have got less than one glass of water while playing Holi, as the naturally coloured water is sprinkled on the devotees and isn’t flown or let go unnecessarily.
Numerous people have witnessed a lot of positive impacts on their health and other issues related to their lives after getting drenched with those fewer droplets showered by His Holiness during Holi.
Interestingly, the objections are not raised for those who waste water by using chemicals during Holi thereby causing water pollution; nobody even dares to raise concerns on the wastage of water in the water pools in amusement parks etc., or the water wastage during liquor making and in slaughter houses where wastage of water is extremely high.
When anything is done in public welfare, that is questioned but when people work on conspiring against our revered saints, prudent ones remain silent and this is very the reason why the level of conspiracies has gone so high that despite Bapuji’s innocence, he is ensnared in a false rape case. It is not a question of His character but it’s a question as to how the conspirators may entangle such an innocent & revered one in fake cases. A saint who propounded the right concept of the Holi celebration in a holy manner in this era, for complete progress of humanity is ensnared in a rape case unnecessarily and those who conspired are accomplishing their ill wills to shake our belief in our dignified religious set-ups.
Here, The Holi Message Sent by Bapuji to his Followers :
And we are waiting as silent and deaf spectators, wondering as to what will happen next. Let’s get united to raise concerns for this venerable saint on the occasion of Holi for His sooner release to make this festival holy and colorful for followers as well as those, who remained untouched of His blessings through colorful showers in His Holi celebration.