Today, we are sharing something about the Holy Bath that is performed after the Lord and His Consort play Holi with us at our home.
After we play Holi with the Lord, He and His Consort have to be given a Holy Bath. During the olden days, the Holy Bath was done either at the bank of the nearby river or a well. However, with the advent of coronavirus and the lockdown, we have only one place where the Holy Bath can be performed – inside our bathroom! The Lord and His Consort are taken to the bathing area with the music of nadaswaram (or shehenai), mrudangam (or the dhol), bell, conch shell and jangate (another musical instrument).
Place the Lord and His Consort comfortably on a seat inside the bathroom. Pour lukewarm water on His Head. Once all the water has dripped, sesame oil is applied to the idols so that any colors that are left will be removed. Then, the oil is washed off with water. The remaining oil is removed by scrubbing a paste made from shikakai or besan is used with turmeric powder on the idols.
Gangajal, milk, rose water and sandalwood powder are added to ordinary water and used to wash off the residue that remains on the idols. Ordinary water is again poured for complete cleaning. The last ritual is taking some water in the right palm and circulate around the idols’ Head clockwise, saying, “Shree Rama Raksha” thrice and throw the water at the ceiling from the back of the idol.
Wipe off all the moisture from the idols and take Them back to the prayer area. Light a lobhan dhoop in front of the idols and show it to Their Whole Bodies. Then, we should offer milk and fruits to the idols because They might be tired and hungry after playing Holi. The idols have to be decorated for the evening Pooja. Around 6 in the evening, shodashopachara should be performed and shodasha naivedyam should be offered to the idols. Apply the Holi ash on the Foreheads of the idols and offer rose garland to the idols. Next, Aarti should be performed.
Around 8-8:30 in the evening, the Holi festival should be brought to a conclusion. A 7-color rangoli is to be prepared at the place where the Lord and His Consort played the Holi. Also, 7 lamps are to be lighted in front of the rangoli. Panchopachara should be performed for the rangoli and the lamps. Camphor light should be shown to the Lord and His consort. The same should be shown to the rangoli and the lamps saying that the Holi festival has been concluded.