Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chaitra Month - Ancient Importance & Ayurvedic Health benefits

Lord Brhma created the universe on the first day of shukla paksha (first fortnight / first half of the month) in the month of Chaitra.
He also gradually included planets, stars, ruthu (seasons) and rains for proper balance between born and finish. .
चैत्रामसि जगद्ब्रह्म ससर्जु प्रथमेहानि I
शुक्ल पक्ष समग्रन्थु तदा सूर्योदये सथि II
प्रवर्थया मास तथा कालस्य गणनामपि I
ग्रहान्नागा नृत्हून्मा सास्वथ्सरा न्वथ्सराधिपान् II
Chiatra month begins in March -April,according to position of planets systems. It is believed that each moments of this day is very ospicious. Just like the first rays of the sun touch a distant sky, the New Year ushers in a new hope, encourages a fresh start, in more ways than the sun rises in morning, the first page of the Hindu new calendar opens...

The Hindu New Year begins on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra . As the first day of Chaitra approaches, Nature seems to be conspiring as well to make it the ideal time to celebrate the new year. The spring season is in full swing, and the trees are bearing new green leaves and flowers...
What better season to start the New Year, when Krishna himself has said in the Srimadbhagwadgita (10.35): "Among the seasons, I am Vasant (spring)..." 
Peoples of India celebrates begginig of chaitra as a -
1) Gudi Padwa / Cheti Chand - New year day.
2) Chaitra Navratra - Nine day celebration of Maa Durga as this month is significance of rituals, fasting and devotions.
3) Ram Navmi - Birth of Lord Ram.
4) Hanuman Jayanti - Birth of Lord Hanuman
5) Ugadi - Yug(era)+ Aadi( beginning). Ugadi derivedd frm sanskrit word YUG aadi.
6) Thapna - Rajasthan
7) Cheti Chand - The Sindhi community celebrates the festival of Cheti Chand in honour of the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the patron saint of the Sindhis. The Sindhi community prays with jyot or oil lamp, misri or crystal sugar, phota or cardamom, fal or fruits, and kalash or water jar.
8) Baishakhi - Sikh devotees generally attend the Gurdwara before dawn with flowers and offerings in hands on the occasion of Baisakhi. Rural areas of Punjab celebrate the festival by performing the bhangra dance.

There are numerous legends associates with the flag hosting on this day as defeats of Shakas by Shalivahan and some people hoist it to commemorate the victory of Shivaji maharaj also.
Now lets see d importance of this month as a health benefits--->>>
This month heralds the onset of the spring – synonymous with ushering in of new life on earth.
Spring is considered as the first season of the year indicating a new beginning. The trees shed old leaves paving way for the new one.
On this day people used to tie mango leaves at d door step of der home. Durning whole month of chaitra Ayurveda suggest to drink NEEM JUICE,d errived from fresh newly arrived neem in this seasons. 
As in this season Pitta dosha accumulate in body, and if it accumulate in more quntity it can cause blood / skin and other various diseases.
People eat d preparatio of neem leaves, jaggery, raw mango, tamarind juice, green chilli and a pinch of salt. The ingredients symbolise six tastes – bitterness, sweet, tang, sourness, heat and saltiness corresponding to six experiences of anger, happiness, disgust, sadness, fear and surprise.
Fasting is usually associated with many festivals, as a symbol of cleansing and purification. During Navratra, poeple on fast consume only fruits, milk, potato and other root vegetables.
Grains are avoided as it is believed that grains absorb negative energies. Sendha namak or rock salt is also used instead of common salt. It goes without saying that only vegetarian food is eaten.
A unique custom related to the festival is the eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree.
Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with ajwain, gul/gur (jaggery), and termaric(haldi) . People can either have the neem leaves or the paste of them. The consumption of the bittersweet neem leaves is supposed to begin the festivities and believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
This month is considered to be an auspicious day to start new business and ventures. For farmers, it is the time to plough their field and distribute food to laborers.
People in India prepare delicious ‘puran poli’(sweet roti) / shoonth Panak and Chana,Shrikhanda and distribute it to neighbors, relatives and friends.
As all above mentioned recipies r good to eradicate excessive PITTA from body. So by enjoying the season-festival one remain healthy by Ayurveda-natural way.
Its a celebration of life,
thus announces the beginning of all that is new under the sun – the plant and the animal kingdom. While the festive spirit has dwarfed over time for various reasons, the festival provides an occasion to herald change in one’s life, together.


Holi falls on the full moon of the vedic month of Falgun (mostly in March).
The word Holi is derived from Sanskrit word "Holika" which initially meant "cereals (wheat, millet) roasted over fire ". This derivation gives much emphasis to the fact that the festival is Vedic in origin.
A reference to "Baishwadeva Yagya" is found close to Vedic period which was performed for four months starting from the full moon day of Phalgun month.
In this ritual cereals consisting of wheat and millet were put in the holy fire as an offering to God/Goddess and the remains after the ritual was distributed as "Prasadam" to the community.
This is very similar to the way Holi is celebrated in northern parts of India where cereals are tied to stick and roasted in the Holi fire and the resultant ash is applied on the body very similar to distribution of Prasadam, As with the magnamous history and diversity of India many legends got attached with Holi which transformed the festival to its present form.

Lets have a look at important  HISTORY - holi
Narad Puran described Holi as celebration of the vanquishing of demoness "Holika" who was blessed with immunity from fire.
Holika's brother (Hiranyakashapu) was an aethist who was highly opposed to his pious son's "Prahlad's" devotion to Lord Vishnu. He tried all means to destroy his devotion and also him but failed .
Ultimately he instructed his sister "Holika" to carry "Prahlad" in her arms and sit in fire. On doing so conversely Holika died of severe burns but no harm came to Prahlad.
Holi as per Narad Puran is celebrated to commemorate this legend which on deeper levels describe the burning of material desires and social misconduct which occurs due to their pursuit in form of "Holika" in the holy fire and tread on the path of spiritual upliftment in form of "Prahlad"
Holi is celebrated after season of cold,in Vasant rutu.
In this season previously accumulated Kapha start melting in body and creates so many Kapha problems and diseases in body.
On this holy day of Festival ppl used to eat corn and dates.If we see its qualities, Both this can very much helpful to eradicate accumulated kapha from body.
Along with dat in Gujarat people r used to consume sugar candy, as it can produce godd Kapha in body.
In d evening time on d d ay of Holi, People get together and light the fire. They do “PRADAKSHINA” or dey move around d fire, as this heat can b benificial to eradicate Kapha also.
So celebration of Holi is very much benificial by Health means.
Phalgun Shulka Purnima (full moon) is the last day of the Vedic calendar and a new year starts from the next day , the advent of Chaitra.
Hence the bonfire reflects burning the deeds of past year and accepting the new with happiness. Holi also marks a change in climatic conditions as the Indian region from extreme cold moves towards heat and hence there is rise in "KAPHA" (phlegm) disorders due to its liquification from its accumulation in the cold season. This gives rose to epidemics and infections. Celebrating around the "Holi" fire exposes the body to extreme heat which helps liquefy and destroy the phlegm making the body resistant to infection. Even the acts of shouting, running and absorbing the flames are an indication to indulge in heavy activity to get rid of phlegm and expose to medicate fumes to destroy phlegm in the sinus of the head and prevent disease
Holi is known as "Madan Mahotsava" in south India. Since the fruiting season starts from this day it is considered as an period of "Kamadeva" the god of "progeny" and "carnal pleasures". Hence Kamdeva is worshipped on Holi. This period is considered highly favorable for fertility. The period is considered pious with a very good reference to Lord Krishna who associated himself with "Kama (physical cohabitation)" and describes it to be pious and must be initiated without violating religious protocols as an act of duty and not lust. Lust deprecates a soul and makes it wander for ages and hence Kama must be used to beget offsprings. Hence "Kama puja" (now deprecated due to unavailable literature and reduced to uncouth meanings) was once considered sacred and important and was performed around this time.
Life becomes a celebration. Burning the past, you gear up for a new beginning. Your emotions, like fire, burn you. But when they are a fountain of colours, they add charm to your life. In ignorance, emotions are a bother; in knowledge, the same emotions add colour.
Each emotion is associated with a colour — anger with red, jealousy with green, vibrancy and happiness with yellow, love with pink, vastness with blue, peace with white, sacrifice with saffron and knowledge with violet.
Like Holi life should be colourful, not boring. When each colour is seen clearly, it is colourful. When all the colours get mixed, you end up with black. So also in life, we play different roles. Each role and emotion needs to be clearly defined.

ITALY - The festival of "Radeca" celebrated in month of February is very similar to "Holi" (Effigy of Chammpionnate is burned).
FRANCE - Normandy is a place where equivalent of Holi is seen. Here statues from dry grass are made and burnt from all sides with loud shouts of scolds and curses
GERMANY- During Easter, twigs and sticks are collected near a wooden pillar at set ablaze. Children have a fun day by smearing color on each other.
SWEDEN/NORWAY -During birth anniversary of St. John, people gather at a common place and have bonfire around which they merrily dance, sing wishing each other health and prosperity
SIBERIA -Siberians sings and dance over a bonfire holding each others hands celebrating the advent of summer
USA - The festival of Halloween on 31st October can be co-related to rites of Holi.
Holi is also called the Spring Festival - as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.
It is said the spirit of  Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friend on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.