All posts by Guruseva

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 Jivais 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
reduce Kapha.

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 & sevenDhatus (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.

Holi Message

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 Palashflowers are available across all Sant Shri Asharamji Ashrams and local service centres run by Samiti).

Rishi Prasad Issue-279

Holi, the festival to eradicate meanness of the heart

Reap the true benefits of Holi
होलिकां आगतां दृष्ट्वा हृदयी हर्षन्ति मानवाः ।

पापमुक्तास्तु संजाता क्षुद्रता विलयं गताः ।।

The mere arrival of the festival of Holi delights people; makes them sinless and free from meanness. The narrowness of the heart and the unhappiness of the heart is meanness. To get delighted in one’s own heart is to get rid of meanness.

It is good to get delight in the heart but with the condition that it is not through sinning but removing sin. If the heart is delighted by sinning, that delight will last for some time and cause grief for a long time. The person who is delighted by removing sin will become a qualified aspirant to have the experience of the Truth of Supreme Brahman, Supreme Self which is free from all modifications of mind as his own being. One, who gets pleasure through sinning, heads towards downfall and one who rejoices in removing sin gets elevated. The peace experienced by the removal of sin, doing virtuous acts and hearing pious satsang is the sign of journey to real uplift.

So poverty of heart should go. One is the material poverty –there is a dearth of materials and the other is the poverty of heart- a dearth of materials may or may not be there but the heart is narrow, stingy. On such festivals, things should be brought for the many.

The festival of Holi points towards breaking the narrow boundaries of the mind but unfortunately people do such acts even on such festivals that increase the narrow-mindedness. In fact, all these festivals have national, social, spiritual and hygienic elements in them but petty minded people suffer harm in place of getting benefit and cause harm to others also by indulging in all sorts of vices. To derive pleasure in hurling abuse at somebody or insulting somebody or sprinkling harmful chemical colour on somebody is not true joy. To smear chemical colour, coal tar etc. on someone’s body, to behave indecently or to drink alcohol will degenerate the heart to the meanest level.

The unique message of health care

This is a spring festival. Therefore people should take out Prabhatferis (chanting procession in early morning) for protecting both their health and mind (from thought pollution) besides spreading vibes of divine love and gentlemanliness in society. Such processions should move in each and every street and alley. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born on the full moon day of Holi. We should stage dramas based on the lives of such saints who distributed divine joy in society.

Parched grains like maize, grams, wheat etc. should be consumed and fed to others in order to eliminate Kapha etc. accumulated in the body due to the change in season. Huge bundles of wood are burnt and people circumambulate it so that the heat from the fire provides warmth to the body and melts the Kapha within. We offer a coconut into the fire signifying the offering of our head of egotism in the fire of Knowledge. If you want to see in which culture the arrangement based on subtle studies is made for the uplift of man on physical, mental, social and spiritual planes, you will find it in Indian culture.

होलिका आगतां दृष्ट्वा… The mere thought of the arrival of Holi delights people’s hearts. Even modern science claims that when man is restless, disturbed and sad within he indiscriminately indulges in drink and sex. One whose heart is pure and peaceful does not indulge in drink or sex. He will drink cups of wine divine himself and give the same to others. He will wake up in the bliss of Narayana and help others do the same.

Celebrate Holi this way

A 20 days’ long celebration from the Ekadashi day to the 2nd lunar day should be organised on the occasion of Holi. The youngsters and the youth should find themselves a noble act of social service during these days. The pious morning environment as well as the sublime influence of the divine chanting will also prove beneficial to them. It would be a great service on the part of the youngsters and youth if they persuaded other youngsters and youths on the right path by saying affectionately, “This festival is for drinking the wine divine in the pegs of hearts rather than ruining one’s family by drinking the poison of alcohol.”

The womenfolk may fill enthusiasm in their family by way of singing Holi songs; while brothers may make a resolve to start their life afresh after burning the garbage of ill feelings on this day. Reading, hearing and teaching religious stories like Bhagavata, Ramayana and biographies of great men is beneficial during these days.

After Holi, the rays of the sun fall vertically on the earth and days start getting longer. Due to this, the Kapha deposited in the body melts and comes into the stomach reducing the appetite. It initiates a disturbance in the seven dhatus and seven colours of the body which increase the chance of an increase in Pitta causing some anger in one’s nature.

In order to make natural and wholesome Holi colours, soak Palaash (Butea Frondosa) or Marigold flowers in water one day before the Holi. Then add a few drops of oil to it in the morning and boil it. The flowers will give more colour. If you are using Marigold flowers, you may mix some turmeric powder to it; if Palaash flowers are used instead, you may add some food colour used in preparing Jalebis if you so wish. Celebrating Holi using such colours balances the seven dhatus and seven colours in our body and increases our tolerance to heat.

This festival of Holi brings joy and happiness and if we celebrate it sensibly it also brings good character and affection along. So let’s all together take a pledge, that, as a female demon Dhondha was burnt on this day, we too burn the evil tendencies present in our mind. Like the Brahmins offer oblations to fire, we too mentally offer the oblations of lust, anger, fear, grief and worry in the gastric fire and become luminous.

Rishi Prasad Issue – 290

हृदय की क्षुद्रता मिटाने का पर्व : होली

होली का सही लाभ लें

होलिकां आगतां दृष्ट्वा हृदयी हर्षन्ति मानवाः ।

पापमुक्तास्तु संजाता क्षुद्रता विलयं गताः ।।

होलिका आने पर लोग हर्षित होते हैं, पापमुक्त होते हैं और क्षुद्रता दूर चली जाती है । हृदय की संकीर्णता, नाखुशी क्षुद्रता है । हृदय में खुशी आना माना क्षुद्रता का चले जाना ।

हृदय हर्षित हो यह ठीक है लेकिन पाप करके नहीं, पाप निवृत्त करके हृदय हर्षित हो यह शर्त है । अगर पाप करके हृदय हर्षित होता है तो थोड़ी देर के लिए हर्ष होगा और लम्बा समय शोक मिलेगा । पाप निवृत्त करके हर्षित होता है तो वह फिर निवृत्तस्वरूप चैतन्य परब्रह्म परमात्मा के तत्त्व का, स्वरूप का अनुभव करने का अधिकारी हो जायेगा । पाप करते हुए जो हर्षित होता है वह अधःपतन की तरफ जाता है और पाप निवृत्त करते हुए जो हर्षित होता है उसका उत्थान होता है । पापनिवृत्ति से एवं पुण्यकर्म व पुण्यसत्संग से जो प्रसन्नता होती है, शांति होती है, वही असली उत्थान की यात्रा है ।

तो हृदय की क्षुद्रता जाय । एक होती है वस्तुओं की क्षुद्रता – ‘वस्तुएँ कम हैं, थोड़ी हैं…’ और दूसरी होती है हृदय की क्षुद्रता – वस्तुएँ हैं या नहीं लेकिन हृदय संकीर्ण है । ऐसे पर्व के दिन ऐसी वस्तुएँ लायी जायें कि बहुतों तक पहुँचें ।

यह होलिकोत्सव हृदय की क्षुद्रता तोड़ने का संकेत देता है लेकिन दुःख की बात है कि ऐसे उत्सव पर लोग गलती से हृदय की क्षुद्रता बढ़ाने का भी काम कर लेते हैं । हकीकत में इन पर्वों में राष्ट्रीयता, सामाजिकता, धार्मिकता और आरोग्य का विकास छुपा हुआ है लेकिन हलकी मति के लोग इन उत्सवों पर कुछ दूसरा ही रंग-ढंग करके लाभ की जगह पर हानि उठाते हैं तथा औरों को भी पहुँचाते हैं । किसीको गाली देकर, किसीका अपमान करके अथवा किसीको हानि करनेवाले रासायनिक रंग लगा के हर्ष पैदा करना हर्ष नहीं है । रासायनिक रंग, डामर (तारकोल) आदि लगाना या वीभत्स व्यवहार करना अथवा मद्यपान करना यह तो हृदय को महाक्षुद्रता में गिरा देता है ।

स्वास्थ्य-सुरक्षा का अनुपम संदेश

यह वासंतिक महोत्सव है अतः इन दिनों में स्वास्थ्य-सुरक्षा व अंतःकरण की सुरक्षा तथा समाज में स्नेह व सज्जनता की स्थापना के लिए सुबह-सुबह प्रभातफेरियाँ निकालनी चाहिए । मुहल्ले-मुहल्ले प्रभातफेरियाँ निकलनी चाहिए । होली पूनम के दिन चैतन्य महाप्रभु प्रकट हुए थे । ऐसे रामरस, हरिरस बाँटनेवाले संतों के जीवन-चरित्र के स्वांग (नाटक) करने चाहिए ।

मौसम के बदलने से शरीर में जो कफ आदि जमा हो गया है उसको नष्ट करने के लिए धाणी (खीलें या लावा) और चने, गेहूँ आदि भूना हुआ अनाज खाना-खिलाना चाहिए । होलिका जलाकर प्रदक्षिणा की जाती है अर्थात् प्रदक्षिणा करते समय शरीर को गर्मी का वातावरण मिले, शरीर में जो कफ जमा है वह विलय हो जाय; और नारियल अर्पित किया जाता है अर्थात् अपने अहंकाररूपी नारियल को ज्ञानाग्नि में स्वाहा करने का संकेत है । इस प्रकार का सूक्ष्म अध्ययन करके मानव की शारीरिक, मानसिक, सामाजिक और आध्यात्मिक उन्नति हो ऐसा आयोजन अगर किसी संस्कृति में पूर्ण रूप से देखना हो तो वह भारतीय संस्कृति में दिखाई पड़ता है ।

होलिका आगतां दृष्ट्वा… होली आ रही है ऐसा देखकर चित्त मेें प्रसन्नता आती है । आज का विज्ञान कहता है कि जब आदमी अंदर अशांत, विक्षिप्त, दुःखी होता है तब अंधा होकर शराब के नशे में या कामविकार में गिरता है । हृदय जिसका प्रसन्न है, पवित्र है वह शराब के नशे में या विकार में नहीं गिरता, वह तो रामनाम की प्यालियाँ पियेगा-पिलायेगा और नारायण के रस में जगेगा और जगायेगा ।

ऐसे मनायें होली !

होलिका के दिनों में एकादशी से लेकर दूज तक 20 दिन का उत्सव मनाना चाहिए । इन दिनों में बालकों व युवकों को सेवाकार्य ढूँढ़ लेना चाहिए । जो शराब पीते हैं ऐसों को समझायें और उनको भी अपने साथ लेकर प्रभातफेरी निकालें । प्रभात में सात्त्विक वातावरण का भी असर मिलेगा, हरिनाम के कीर्तन का भी असर मिलेगा । ‘यह उत्सव दिल के भीतर के आनंद की, रामनाम की प्यालियाँ पीने का उत्सव है न कि अल्कोहल का जहर पीकर अपना खानदान बरबाद करने का उत्सव है ।’ – ऐसा प्रेमपूर्वक समझा के वे बालक और युवा दूसरे बालकों और युवाओं को सुमार्ग में लगाने की सेवा कर सकते हैं ।

माइयाँ (महिलाएँ) प्रभात को होली-उत्सव के गीत गाकर कुटुम्ब में उत्साह भर सकती हैं और भाई लोग जो मान्यताओं का कूड़ा-करकट एकत्र हुआ है, उसे इस दिन जलाकर नये जीवन की शुरुआत करने का संकल्प कर सकते हैं । इन दिनों में भागवत, रामायण की कथा, महापुरुषों का जीवन-चरित्र आदि पढ़ना-पढ़ाना, सुनना-सुनाना हितकर है ।

होली के बाद पृथ्वी पर सूर्य का प्रकाश सीधा पड़ता है और दिन बड़ा होने के कारण शरीर में जो कफ है, वह पिघल-पिघल के जठर में आता है, भूख कम हो जाती है । हमारे शरीर की सप्तधातुओं और सप्तरंगों में क्षोभ शुरू होता है, जिससे पित्त बढ़ने की, स्वभाव में थोड़ा गुस्सा आने की सम्भावना होती है ।

प्राकृतिक व स्वास्थ्य के लिए हितकर रंग बनाने हेतु होली की एक रात पहले पलाश व गेंदे के फूल पानी में भिगो दिये जायें और सुबह तेल की कुछ बूँदें डालकर उनको गर्म करें तो रंग अच्छा छोड़ेंगे । फिर गेंदे के फूल हैं तो हल्दी डाल दो, पलाश के फूल हैं तो जलेबी का रंग डालना हो तो डाल दो । इन रंगों से होली खेलें तो हमारी सप्तधातुएँ व सप्तरंग संतुलित होते हैं और गर्मी पचाने की शक्ति बनी रहती है ।

यह होलिकोत्सव प्रसन्नता व आनंद लाता है; अगर समझ के उत्सव करें तो सच्चरित्रता और स्नेह भी लाता है । इस उत्सव के साथ हम लोग इस दिन यह संकल्प करें कि ‘जैसे इस उत्सव के अवसर पर ढोंढा राक्षसी जल गयी थी, ऐसे ही हमारे चित्त में जो आसुुरी वृत्तियाँ हैं, उनको हम दग्ध करें । जैसे ब्राह्मण आहुति देते हैं ऐसे ही हम काम, क्रोध, भय, शोक और चिंता की जठराग्नि में मानसिक आहुति देकर अपने में तेज प्रकट करें ।’

ऋषि प्रसाद अंक – 290