Holi: The Festival to Kindle love for the Master Dyer
– Pujya Bapuji
(Holi: 12th March; Dhulendi: 13th March)
Play Holi as approved by Saints
Holi is a widely celebrated social festival. It’s a festival to win over enmity. It is a festival to kindle love for that Master Dyer Who is the ‘All in One & One in All’.
Saint Kabir says,
“The Master is an Expert Dyer, he has coloured my veil. Removing the dark stains He gave the colour of love. By washing which fades not, but becomes brighter day by day.”
This festival gives an opportunity to obviate all senses of differences between the great and the small under the spirit ‘none is great, none is small’. In the Guruvani, it has been stated:
“From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad?”
Throughout 364 of 365 days, we find ourselves bound with etiquettes of ‘yours and mine’; but this one day, abolishing customs of classism, gives us the message of Inner Unity and Oneness. All land is of God, and every Jiva is Shiva in its essential nature; ‘One in All & All in One’. A Seth (rich man) also wants joy, his servant also wants joy. Rich or poor, joy is wanted by all. So, on this day, take delight in leading an unreserved life; however, that joy is fraught with danger. If that joy is derived by means unapproved by saints, if that joy is obtained by violating self-restraint, then that joy will give rise to passion leading to degeneration of man to the level of animals. A great saint Bhola Baba says,
“If you want to play Holi, play it as approved by saints.”
You have the desire to seek pleasure, which from lives uncountable you have been seeking from your senses. So, if you are permitted to break free on this day, even men and women play Holi with one another; who knows how depraved and wanton they will become while playing Holi? Sometimes the spectator who goes to watch a show becomes the object of the show himself. Hence, Holi also cautions us regarding this. After Holi comes Dhulendi.
Physical health is dependent upon the mind. If you are happy and contented within, the body will help you in all acts. And if one overindulges in sensual pleasures, if one plays Holi amorously, and allows oneself to be bathed in the dirty dust of passion on the day of Dhulendi, then the resultant sickness of the body will make even the mind diseased, weak and old. The Holi, approved by saints, aims to make your body healthy and your mind cheerful.
The festivities of Holi and Dhulendi remind us that just as we don’t distinguish between our own people and others while applying colour on this occasion, we should also consign the feelings of ‘mine and thine’ along with our mutual differences to the bonfire of Holi (Knowledge).
Observing vigil the whole night of Holi and doing Japa and meditation therein is very beneficial. Hence, all should earn merits by keeping vigil and doing Japa and meditation on this night.
How to gain health benefits?
During this time of the year, cold drinks, (preparations of) refined flour, curd, things which are difficult to digest, 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.
Bathing with multani mitti (fuller’s earth), Pranayama, eating salt-less food for 15 days, taking 20-25 new fresh leaves of Neem (margosa) with 1-2 black pepper will boost your health. Baked gram (chickpea), old barley, parched rice mixed with sugar (lai), parched grain (Lava)- these things
If suffering from increased Kapha, do Gajakarani. In 1-1.5 litres of lukewarm water add 10-15 grams of common salt. Sit in the squatting position and drink sufficient water until the stomach cannot hold anymore. Then place the middle and index fingers of the right hand into the mouth to gently rub the back of the tongue to induce the water to gush out from the stomach. When the stomach is emptied completely, rest for 5 minutes. Medicines cannot reduce Kapha as much as this technique does. Doing this practice once a week will ensure a sound sleep for you always. Take light foods during this season. (For a detailed description of Gajakarani refer to the book –‘Yogasana’ published by the ashram)
On the day of Holi, bathe by applying clay on your head and offer prayers: “O Goddess Earth, as you are capable of maintaining your eminence even while enduring the weight of obstacles and hurdles, may I too remain balanced through hurdles and obstacles. I salute and pray to You, Lord Narayana and this festival of Holi on this day for keeping my body healthy and mind cheerful.”
Play Holi with the colour of Palash (Butea Frondosa)
By circumambulating the bonfire of Holi, we call upon the body’s capacity to tolerate the heat of summer. If the seven colours & seven Dhatus (vital fluids of the body) are not balanced in the body during summer, then you’ll be prone to develop diseases or stress at even ordinary changes. Those who benefit by playing with the colour made from Palash flowers - their seven Dhatus & colours will remain balanced; and they won’t suffer from disease and stress as easily. If you do not get sleep in the night, then play Holi with the colour made from Palash flowers.
Neither let your face to be coloured to look like a monkey, nor do it to others; neither put a garland of shoes around your neck, nor put it on another’s neck. Don’t play Holi in such a way as may embarrass the womenfolk, nor allow others to do so.
This festival of Holi not only improves your physical health, but also provides a nice system to colour your Self in the hue of spirituality.
Full moon day of the Hindu Month of Phalgun is the birthday of the god Chandra (Moon), the victory day for Prahlad & the death day of Holika (a female demon who was killed in an attempt to kill Prahlad). In the practical world, it is the victory day of truth, justice, simplicity, spirit of surrender to God; and it is the day of defeat of egotism, exploitation, and the stupidity of becoming great through worldly possessions. So, you too celebrate this day of the death of the female demon of worry & bring jubilation of Prahlad in your heart. Holi festival is a day to forget differences & enmity. Colour your heart with the colour of Hari (God), your skin with that of Palash & your intellect with meditation on your Beloved Inner Self and His knowledge.
Worshippers of God should abandon their narrow ideas, beliefs and petty desires; and chant Om... Om... While chanting this pious Om-kar chant Om Bliss… Om Bliss… Hari Om… Om Prabhuji… Om Mereji… Om Sarvaji Om…. That which takes away our sins and afflictions and infuses His Self-force in us is ‘Hari Om’.
Never play Holi with chemical colours
Playing Holi with chemical colours is very harmful. It may impair your eyesight and health; and even cause your death. If someone applies a chemical colour on you, you should immediately wash it off using the unguent made from besan (gram flour), wheat flour, milk, turmeric and oil.
One should thoroughly apply coconut or mustard oil on one’s body in advance on the day of Dhulendi (a day after Holi, on which colours are used), so that even if someone squirts or applies some chemical colour on your skin, it will not cause any harm to you, and it can be easily washed off.
Holi should only be played with colours made from Palash (Butea frondosa) and other natural colours. (Colours made from Palash flowers are available across all Sant Shri Asharamji Ashrams and local service centres run by Samiti).
Rishi Prasad Issue-279