Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Holi

I had always been fascinated by the origins of the festival and why my mother insisted on Palash flowers for the occasion. There was no doubt in my mind that a pithy explanation would unfurl. Hindu festivals and theories , if one bothered to investigate are steeped in logic and reasonability. Not some insane whim of an inane mind... AAhh, our sages!!

The Vedas suggested using the color of the palash(teshu or dhak) flower. If clothes soaked in this colour are worn, then that colour will have its effect on our body by entering through the pores of the skin, and will save one from contagious diseases. It has miraculous medicinal effects on the body. Earlier, the young princes leaving for their Guru's Ashram used to carry a Palash Danad (stick). It is believed that the stick protected them from diseases, and harmful viruses. Palash flowers and tree bark cures many skin diseases. If a pregnant woman consumes Palash's flower juice, a very fair complexioned child is born. In addition, the child is bound to be immune to many skin and viral diseases.


The customary 'gulal' used on the occasion was derived from palash, in the good old days. Today if you are lucky, all you may procure is the aroma of the flowers, that too, fake, in chemicalized powder.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, quiet some interesting history behind simple colors of holi. I didn't know what palash looked like, but thanks to google, Other Names :Butea frondosa (Flame of the Forest): http://www.parabaas.com/PB26/LEKHA/gl_palash.html

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

True anonymous..You know what concerns me a lot these days is that there may be so many facets of our culture that may be lost forever for lack of enough interest generated.

That would be a shame. we are if not 'the' one of the oldest and most evelved people, who have a lot to offfer in almost every field.

So my 2 bits :)

Arshi said...

Kaveeta, Very interesting reading & a ritual that I wasn't aware of. These days even modern societies in the world esp in the west are seeking the wisdom contained in the Vedas to get rid of numerous problems.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Sure Arshi, only goes to prove that truth shines amidst gloom. The sun heralds its own arrival, needs no validation, as our Vedas.

Anonymous said...

Nice article! So loaded with emotion and information. Its great to read your blogs, Kaveeta. They are informative as well as sentimental. Thanks for the efforts. Please keep up the great work. There is one thing though that has caught my attention and just cannot escape- you have mentioned that palash is great for pregnant ladies as it does good to the baby within. Could you please tell me more about this. How exactly one takes palash internally and also how palash can be made most of using externally. Please Kavita I would be most thankful!
Love and gratitude, its Kaveeta (!)

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Thanks anonymous.

If there is one sphere where science and technology have to be truly thanked, my vote would go for the internet. The world is right within my home and we can all meet by just a click.

Since your query is about taking palash internally, I will get back to you on this after I have made absolutely certain as to the exact procedure and also about where Palash can be obtained in its pure form. All information from my ayurved will be passed on.

Yes , its kaveetaa:)

Anonymous said...

Kaveeta,
You misunderstood me. My name too is Kaveeta! Anyways. I hunted the internet for directions on taking palash internally but no success! Please write to me as soon as you hear anything. Anything because I can take the "research" further from there and give you my feedback, if that's fine with you.
Love, Kaveeta

Anonymous said...

Kaveeta,
You misunderstood me. My name too is Kaveeta! Anyways. I hunted the internet for directions on taking palash internally but no success! Please write to me as soon as you hear anything. Anything because I can take the "research" further from there and give you my feedback, if that's fine with you.
Love, Kaveeta