साहिब मेरो रंगरेज़, चुनरी मोरी रंग डारी; स्याही रंग छुड़ाए के रे, दियो मजीठा रंग
धोये से छूटे नहीं रे, दिन दिन होत सूरंग; भाव के कुंड, नेह के जल में, प्रेम रंग दई बोर
Saint Kabir Das ji says, “The Master is an Expert, he has colored me entirely (my mind, body and soul). Removing the dark stains, He sheds the color of love; by washing which fades not, but becomes brighter day by day.” It is a festival to kindle love for that Master Who is the ‘All in One & One in All’.
Let us have a look as to how scientific our saints were in the past; we are fortunate that in the present era, we have saints like Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu who has been doing herculean efforts in resurgence of our holy festival of “Holi” in an eco-friendly manner while at-the-same-time ensuring our good health and well-being throughout the year.
The festival of Holi comes with a change of season and therefore requires that we adjust our eating habits and diet during this time of the year; so as to ensure that our physical body remains free from diseases. Our physical health is dependent upon mind and with a happy and contented mind, the body can perform all acts perfectly. Here are some tips given by our revered saint which should be followed during this festive season :-
a) Taking bath with Multani mitti (fuller’s earth) during this time will boost one’s health. It is considered good to bathe by applying this clay on the head while praying Goddess Earth to make one capable of maintaining self-control at all times.
b) Doing at least 10 Pranayama during the season ensures that you clean your inner body and maintain a healthy life.
c) Eating food without salt for 15 days, taking 20-25 new fresh leaves of Neem (margosa) with 1-2 black pepper will definitely give health benefits during this season. In case of increased Kapha, which is quite obvious in the season, ‘Gajakarani Kriya’ (meaning – the pose that resembles purification of trunk by the elephant) should be performed. (For the detailed description of “Gajakarani kriya”, refer to the book –‘Yogasana’ published by the ashram).
d) Take light foods during this season. Cold drinks, (preparations of) refined flour, curd, heavy / oily food, pistachios, almonds, cashew nuts, and milk condensed into lump by boiling etc. should be avoided at any cost. Do not eat dates after Holi.
e) Consuming the juice of Palash (Butea Monosperma / Butea frondosa) flowers nourish our body, mind, intellect and the digestive system. The natural orange colour of Palash flowers improves blood circulation apart from increasing immunity, mental power and will power. It soothes unnecessary heat of the body and removes Kapha, Pitta, heat, dysuria, impurity of the blood and 80 types of Vata related disorders. It increases the heat tolerance of the body, keeps the immunity strong throughout the year and also helps maintain balance of the mind. Colors made from Palash flowers are available across all Sant Shri Asharamji Ashrams and local service centers run by the Samiti.
It is the foresightedness of our saints who have recommended to use Palash for playing Holi as they not only think about the health issues of the humanity but also think as to how to provide livelihood to the farmers whose subsistence is based on this.
Playing Holi with chemical colors is very harmful to the skin and the body. It may impair one’s eyesight and health and in some cases, even cause death. Therefore it is recommended to apply unguent (Ubtan) made from besan (gram flour), wheat flour, milk, turmeric and oil to protect the skin from the side–effects of chemical colors. Applying coconut or mustard oil on one’s body in advance may also protect the skin from harmful effects of chemical colors, if applied by someone.
If the seven colors & seven Dhatus (vital fluids of the body) are not balanced in the body during summer, it may cause diseases. Those who benefit by playing with the color made from Palash flowers – have their seven Dhatus and colors balanced; and thus are less likely to suffer from diseases and stress.
This festival of Holi not only improves the physical health, but also provides a system to color the ‘Self’ in the hue of spirituality. Therefore, it is recommended that this festival be celebrated as death of the female demon of worry and to bring jubilation of Bhakta Prahallad in the heart. Holi festival is also a day to forget differences amongst people and start with a fresh perspective.
When legal standards are set to protect food and beverages quality, it is proposed that there be a specific law to prevent the usage of chemical colors that harm ones physical and mental health. Instead, there must be a provision in law to encourage the usage of natural and herbal colors.
Natural Colors can be made at home as well, and the relevant details could be accessed from the blog posted in the link
Self-restraint and meditation overnight gives physical and mental strength on this occasion. Let us play Holi with the natural colors with the hope that our innocent saint Saint Shri Asharamji Bapu – who has pioneered in resurgence of the color of festival, will be amongst us soon and that in the showers of His colors, we will get enlightened one day.