Holi is linked to environmental science, naturopathy and medication
By Dr Birbal Jha*
Holi is one of the festivals directly linked to environmental science, naturopathy and medication if the science behind it is taken into consideration more particularly, and understood in its fullest sense.
Being a festival of colours and joys, it enters the cycle of seasons with winter fading and summer beginning to knock at the doors of the annual celebratory rotation of festivity and health management. It stands to reason that Holi is a science in itself given that such a celebration makes the environment clean and habitable and allows health-oriented exercises such as anointing the body with natural colours to rinse the skin with certain natural materials and resources.
In older times and even now, those people avoiding regular baths during winter often tend to develop some skin eruptions that lead to even dermatological complications and other infections. Such buildups on the skin need to be disinfected immediately for a sound health and blissful life.
In this regard, cleansing the body’s skin with turmeric is medically advisable, for which several such medical pieces of stuff are made available at both cosmetic and medical stores across the country and the globe. The proof of the pudding is in the eating if one wants to know the value of turmeric which is used for both the purposes of medical value and spicing dishes.
Allopathic treatment could be hard on the pocket besides being prone to side effects. So people prefer naturopathy involving mud or turmeric therapy for their derma care. Also, mud therapy is one of the best practices in yoga culture for curing diseases. Hence, it is flourishing now even in urban lifestyles with advantages galore.
Naturopathy is more encouraged now given that there are several side effects of allopathic medicines whereas Ayurveda has hardly any as such. Turmeric has natural healing power with medicinal values and more particularly for human skin. Holi is said to be a preventive approach that prepares the human body to be ready for exposure to harmful UV sun rays during summer.
However, being ignorant of the sensitivity and objective of Holi, many people use chemicals or chemically made colours to smear the facial skin of their loved ones. It is harmful. It damages the spirit of the festival. It needs a check. The spirit of Holi cannot be abused and misused for sadistic pleasure.
We can’t afford to let our relatives be sadly affected by our ignorance while enjoying a vivid and colourful festival. What needs to be taken into account is the philosophy, reasoning, rationality and responsibility behind a fest like Holi. On the mythological note, Holika-Dahan is a replica of burning the devil. It is a celebration of the sanctity of Prahlad over the death of Holika, the devil.
India is a land of multiculturalism wherein human life is woven with the pearls of festivals in a very systematic series around the year for a smooth, recreational, pleasurable and healthy life. In that order, Holi tends to ensure that there are cleanliness and sanitation all around the human habitation. Bonfire is held after the sanitation work. Then the day follows for cleansing the body and a get-together for the bonding that society seeks.
Science cannot be linked to any religion but it is for the sake of mankind. Humanity is the best religion, a way of life. Holi is for all, seeing what the objective is for. Many foreigners throng India not only to see it but to actively participate in such a pious and scientific festival.
Society must have a sense of strong collectivism and democratic understanding, irrespective of caste, creed and religious faith. Holi imports a lot in bringing people together as one cannot play and enjoy it alone. It has democratic values. It renews relationships. It gives scope for reunions.”Bura naa maano Holi hai“, is often echoed and chanted, suggesting a message to bury the differences of the past and look forward to amity and cordiality. Thus, scientifically speaking, Holi is an environmental festival of naturopathy and sharing happiness with loved ones. Let’s maintain its piety and objectivity. You can’t play Holi at the cost of others’ health.
Let’s play Holi and get a good kick out of celebrating it. Let good sense prevail and the evil forces lick the dust as good over bad is Holi. I wish the Ravana in the world to perish. Kindly accept my Holi Greetings for a holy life.
*The writer is a noted author, accredited with having created a revolution in English training In India with the slogan ‘English for all’.