Naga sadhus and seers from various ‘akhadas’ celebrated Holi in Ujjain with cow urine mixed with cow dung on Wednesday.
Shaivite and Vaishnavite sadhus mixed cow dung and cow urine, poured it over one another and chanted religious slogans, said members of All India Akhada Parishad.
Ahead of the Simhastha fair starting on April 22, a significant number of sadhus and seers have already arrived in Ujjain.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) president Mahant Narendra Giri said cow dung is considered sacred and dear to Lord Krishna. “Sadhus have traditionally used cow urine and cow dung in various rituals,” he said.
Mahant Narendra Giri of Niranjani Akhada is the chief of the apex body of all 13 akhadas in India.
Mahant Hari Giri of Juna Akhada, general secretary of All India Akhada Parishad, said sadhus invoke blessings of Lord Ganesha during Kumbh festival by using cow dung and urine.
“According to Hindu tradition, we can’t have idols of deity all the time. So, sometimes people consider cow dung as the representation of Lord Ganesh. That is why we say ‘Gobar Ganesh’,” said Mahant Hari Giri.
Mahant Rajendra Das ji from Nirmohi Akhada said, “cow urine mixed with cow dung is an ‘aushadhi’ (medicine), a disinfectant and an antiseptic,” he said.
Sudeep Meena, assistant administrative officer, Mahakaleshwar temple, Ujjain and liasoning officer for Mahanirvani Akhada, said Mahant Narendra Giri has been trying to forge unity among various ‘akhadas’.
However, some seers had a different take on sadhus celebrating Holi. Mahant Dr Rameshwar Das from Khaki Akhada said ascetics should not celebrate Holi. “If they really wanted to celebrate Holi, they could have exchanged flowers. That would have saved a lot of water,” he said.