In present times, there are a lot of malpractices taking place in the name of celebrating Holi. Similarly, on the day of Rang panchami, people indulge in malpractices such as - throwing balloons filled with dirty water, applying dangerous dyes and colours to the body, etc. These malpractices harm Dharma, and hence, putting an end to them is our religious duty. Spread this word in society and even after doing so, if you come across such incidents, lodge complaints with the police.
To stop these undesirable practices you can do the following:
Do not apply colours forcibly. Stop people from doing so and give them the reasons.
Stop those who extort money from people on the roads.
Stop beggars from wearing masks of Deities.
Stop people from using excessive colours and hurling water balloons.
Do not use harmful chemical colours.
Celebrate Holi in the traditional way!
Recently, citing reasons of deforestation, Anti-Dharmik Organisations like the Andha-shraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANIS) have been giving wrong advice to society, to use garbage to light the Holi fire. One should not light the Holi fire with garbage, since it pollutes the environment. Rather, if Holi is celebrated with the bhav (spiritual emotion) of worshipping the Deity Holika, the atmosphere will become sattvik.
But did you ponder over this?
There is wide scale deforestation throughout the year on account of felling of trees for construction purposes, production of paper and other activities backed by man's selfish interests. However, so-called environmentalists ignore this and wake up from their slumber to create a hue and cry over the felling of trees on Holi, a religious occasion for Hindus that is celebrated once a year. Their contention is that 'trees are cut during Holi, which causes damage to the environment.' They also make fake appeals like - 'Burn (eradicate) evil thoughts in the fire of Holi' or 'Burn garbage in the fire of Holi.' Do not fall a prey to such lame excuses; but celebrate Holi and Rang Panchami as prescribed by Hindu holy scriptures and use natural colours.
Dry wood should be used instead of felling good trees to light Holi fires. Also, the basic objective of celebrating Holi is to forget differences and come together. If people bear this in mind and celebrate the festival, they can save wood by having just one sacrificial fire of Holi for the entire village or locality instead of each group separately burning wood for Holi. When Holi is celebrated, as per traditional practices, it is essential that sanctity of the religious practice be maintained. Sanctity will be lost if dirt and garbage is used for the sacrificial fire of Holi.
History of Holi
The Hindu holy text Bhavishya Puran narrates a story in the context of this festival as follows - A demoness invaded a village and started harassing little children. Hence the people obscenely abused and cursed her, they lit a fires everywhere to frighten her and drove her away.
Also the origin of the traditional lighting of Holi is attributed by some to the burning of demonesses like Holika, Holaka and Putana who troubled little children
Tradition of Holi
Seeing the form of the Holi festival as prevalent today one realises that this festival is basically celebrated at a social level. Though over the passage of time a number of religious and cultural rites and rituals have been included in it by more civilised people, yet the social form of this festival has still remained intact. Holikotsav, Dhulikotsav and Rangotsav are the three festivals which stand out easily. Holi, Dhulvad and Rang Panchami are their popular names.
Significance of Dhoolivandan*
Dhoolivandan also known as Dhulvad is celebrated on the first day (pratipada) of the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun. On this day either the ashes of the Holi fire or dust is worshipped. Lord Vishnu performed Dhoolivandan at the beginning of Tretayuga. The implied meaning is, Lord Vishnu began His 'work' through the incarnation of various radiant colours. Thus Dhoolivandan is a worship of the destroyer (marak) form of the Deities
Significance of Rang Panchami*
It is celebrated on the fifth day (panchami) of the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun by throwing a red, fragrant powder (gulal) and splashing coloured water, etc. on others.
The fire, which shines with its brilliance on Holi, decomposes the Raja-Tama particles in the atmosphere and this helps activate various deities in the form of colours. This Bliss is celebrated by throwing colours in the air.
Thus, Rang Panchami is a symbol of victory over Raja-Tama. It involves invocation of Gods and is a part of worship of the manifest form of Gods. Its purpose is to activate the five elements of radiant manifest colours and to touch and feel the Deities who are attracted to the respective colours. These five elements are a source, which help activate the element of the Deities according to the spiritual emotion (bhav) of the embodied soul (jiva).
Rang Panchami is the worship of the saviour (tarak) form of the Deities.
* Based on Divine Knowledge received by some seekers doing sadhana per Gurukrupayoga.
To know more about this Divine Knowledge please visit the about us section of this website.
(Ref. : Sanatan's Publication : Holy Festivals, Religious Festivals and Vowed Religious Observances
Compilers : H.H. Dr. Jayant Athavale and Dr. (Mrs) Kunda Athavale)
Courtesy: Monthly Sanatan Prabhat