Rangapanchami is celebrated on Phalgun Krushna paksha Panchami (Fifth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phalgun). Today, at many places the festival of Rangpanchami is celebrated on the day after Holi. This day is celebrated by throwing gulal and splashing coloured water on others.
This festival is a symbol of victory over the Raja-Tama components. The fire that 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 Anand (Bliss) is celebrated by throwing colours in the air. Thus, Rangapanchami is a symbol of victory over Raja-Tama components. Rangapanchami involves invocation of Deities and is a part of worship of their manifest form. 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 help activate the element of the Deities according to the spiritual emotion of the jiva (Embodied soul). Rangapanchami is the worship of the saviour form of the Deities.
– H.H. (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil
Importance of using natural colours in Holi
While explaining the importance of natural colours Dr. Das says, “Since the season changes at the time of Holi, there is a harmful imbalance in the atmosphere. With their special qualities, natural colours are capable of controlling harmful effects with the help of sunlight”.
1. Take flowers of Palas (Butea Monosperma), soak them in water overnight and strain the water in the morning. Add rose water or Kewada essence for fragrance. Colour obtained from Palas removes excess heat from the body and protects it from skin diseases.
2. For yellow, take a spoon of turmeric, mix it with a bowl of wheat flour/gram flour or refined flour. This is good for the skin.
3. Use only henna powder or mix it with wheat / gram / refined flour.
4. Purple can be obtained by keeping pieces of beetroot in water for some time.
5. For shining yellow, soak dry marigold flowers in water overnight and add a little turmeric to it in the morning.
6. There is one more method of preparing natural colours. If flowers of Palas, marigold etc. are boiled in water adding a little of oil, we can get good colours.
Bathe with turmeric added to marigold flowers or adding colour of jalebi to Palas or mix flours (wheat/gram etc.). One can rub cow dung and Gomutra on the body while bathing. This will help the body keep away from harm due to season change, it will increase immunity, righteous way of thinking, intellect etc.
Do not play Holi using colours made from chemicals and become your own enemy, as also of your friends and family !
Curbing malpractices during Holi
and Rangapanchami is our religious duty!
Earlier, natural colours were used in Holi and Ranga Panchami; however, these have been replaced by artificial colours, leading to health hazards for the people.
Hazards of chemical colours
In 2001, research conducted by companies such as ‘Toxic Link’ and ‘Vatavaran’ in New Delhi said that all the 3 forms of colours available (paste, powder and liquid) are dangerous for human health. Poisonous chemicals found in the paste and their adverse effects are as follows. Colours used in the form of powder have asbestos or silica which are harmful for the skin. In liquid colours, there is gentian violet which can change the colour of the skin and lead to skin cancer.
Enjoy the Holi festival but avoid hideous exhibition !
The religious nature of Holi has completely changed with time and it has taken a very bad, a kind of hideous, obscene form. On this day, one gets to see the depth of depravity a human being can stoop to. Different kinds of beastly things are happening on this day such as – shouting, abusing with bad words, eve teasing, throwing dirty water balloons, applying dangerous dyes to the body, blackening each other’s faces, playing loud obscene music, gambling, drinking alcohol, dancing after consuming liquor, etc. Blooming trees are cut for obtaining wood for lighting in the fire or steal wood and cow dung cakes for Holi. Forcefully money is collected from the public for celebrating Holi. Such things are not done by the respectable and decent Hindu community. We proudly claim that the Hindu community abides by Sanatan Principles, is very progressive in its thinking and cultural matters; whereas people from the same community take to such hideous activities. This is so unfortunate.
For many years now, malpractices have been taking place during the celebration of the Holi festival. These malpractices are harmful to Dharma, culture and society. Hindus should be firm and make efforts to stop the above mentioned malpractices. Hindus should also create awareness about the wrongdoings such as the forcible collection of donations, stealing wood to burn the Holi fire, etc. Even after doing so, if you come across such incidents, lodge complaints with the Police. Sanatan Sanstha conducts public awareness campaigns in this regard.
Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances’