Ujjain: Simhastha is hovering over the head and the 13 pillars of Sanatan Dharma have camped in the city for the preparations of the mela. With around a month remaining for Simhastha mela the 13 akharas are currently planning to observe the festival of colours with fervor here in the city.
Also you may have heard of Chhadi Maar Holi, Holi of nuts and even Holi of Laddus, but the Sanyasis who are told are disciples of lord Shiva play Holi with fresh Gobar (cow-dung). Yes…you read that true cow-dung! The cow dung Holi is favourite of Nagas, who will rub the same on each other’s faces.
Although functionaries of the akharas have already left the city to prepare for the Simhastha mela and come back with Sadhu Sanyasis, but the remaining will observe the festival with fervour here. Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad President Mahant Narendra Giri on Sunday told Free Press that Niranjani akhara will host the celebrations of Holi on March 23. He said functionaries of 13 akharas will celebrate the festival on a single stage at the akhara, a feast will also be organised. He said the invitations will also be handed out to the mela authorities.
General Secretary of the akhara Mahant Hari Giri said Gobar Holi is part of Sanyasi culture. In old days colours were not readily available, whereas cow-dung was. Also the cow-dung observed as holy item in Hindu mythology and is given equal rights to as of gods, so we prefer it. The Mahant said on the morning of Holi the Sanyasis will play Holi with cow-dung and in evening floral Holi will be exchanged. Mahant Satya Giri of Avaha Akhara said Holi symbolises the birth of goddess Annapurna, it is the day when lord Bramha, created her to feed his creation. So Holi will be celebrated with delicacies in the Avahan Akhara.
The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"
and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books"
only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our
“butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!
Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.
But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever. Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.
What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.
One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”
Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong? One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.
Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus? I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.
Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”. It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.
However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.