Holi is one of the most vibrant and exotic festivals in the world. Let us celebrate and play in a way that makes it holy indeed.
1. Holika Dahan with Cow Dung Cakes
Use cow dung cakes instead of wooden logs to burn. Its good for the environment and has some amazing benefits for you.
Burning desi cow dung cakes in Holika dahan has a lot of importance. It’s spring time and during this mutation period between winter and spring - bacterial growth in atmosphere soars and there is rise in phlegm disorder (kapha dosha) in human bodies due to its liquefaction from its accumulation in the cold season. Fumigation & heat from the fire not only kills the bacteria in atmosphere but also cleanses our body. The heat helps melting and destroying the phlegm making the body resistant to infections.
2. Natural colors are good for your skin and good for the environment.
Naturally the Tesu flowers blossom before Holi time. These soaked in water to give a beautiful yellow color. Taking bath in this water is deeply therapeutic. As per Ayurveda, Tesu/Palash flowers are tonic, nutritive, aphrodisiac, astringent, and used to treat inflammation, swelling and sprain in body. Palash flowers are known to remove body toxins.
Use beetroots for red, spinach for green and indigo to create your own blues.
3. The Precious Ash
Bhasma or the precious ash - obtained from burning of Holika should be carefully recovered and stored. People from some parts of South India region put the ashes from the previous nights bonfire mixed with sandalwood paste and flowers of mango tree on their forehead. Some of the multiple uses of Bhasma include - as a fertilizer, seeds perserver, health supplement, disinfectant, vibhuti etc.
Shri Marut Mitra has beautifully retrieved some pertinent references from the Manu Smriti regarding the priceless and valuable Holy Ash of Desi Cow's Gomaya:
तैजसानां मणीनां च सर्वस्याश्ममयस्य च । भस्मनाद्भिर्मृदा चैव शुद्धिरुक्ता मनीषिभिः । ।
The wise ordain that all (objects) made of metal, gems, and anything made of stone are to be cleansed with ashes, earth, and water. (Who needs washing powder? )
न मूत्रं पथि कुर्वीत न भस्मनि न गोव्रजे । ।
Do not spoil sacred ash. (It is like spoiling your daily medicines, supplements! Will you do it?)
वेणुवैदलभाण्डानां लवणानां तथैव च । मृण्मयानां च हरणे मृदो भस्मन एव च । Double the fine when someone steal holy Ash. (More than gold!)