Bada Osha is a festival in Odisha, that is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Kartika. It comes on the last day of five days celebration of Panchuka. As we know panchuka is the juncture of Visharga Kala and Adana Kala, the juncture of Hemanta ritu and Sheeta ritu, it is a vital period for the wellness of the human beings. Bada Osha is a festival to welcome Adana Kala, especially the Sheeta Ritu or Winter season.
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When we go through the Ayurveda classics, we come across ‘Sheeta ritu charya’ or winter regimen. It narrates – during winter season the digestion power is increased. That is why there is need of heavy and rich food otherwise the digestion power will digest the Dhatus (tissues) and degenerate the body. During the winter season the nights become longer, so the intensity of hunger also rises up. That is why heavy breakfast with Madhura (sweet), Amla (shower), Lavana (salt) rasa should be taken in the morning. Oil massage and exercise is highly advised. Food prepared with ghee, oil, jiggery (gud), powder of (wheat, black gram, newly harvested white rice), sugarcane juice, milk and milk product is suggested as a winter regimen food habit.
Other than the food habit, hot water shower, amlaki powder massage, heavy clothes are advised for the winter season.
On the occasion of Bada Osha people of Odisha prepare different types of food to offer to Lord Shiva. The Prasad includes Gaja Pitha (manda pitha), Attalika and Tarana.
Gaja Pitha (Manda pitha) is prepared taking powder of black gram, powder of white rice, jiggery, coconut, til (sesame seed).
Attalika is prepared out of wheat flour, rice flour, jiggery, coconut and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf (Teja patra).
Tarana is a precious food which composition includes almost all of the materials described in sheeta ritu charya. The composition includes newly harvested white rice powder, jiggery, sugarcane pieces and juice, coconut, oil, ghee, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf (Teja patra), coriander, black pepper etc.
During winter season the jatharagni (digestion power) inside the body is enriched. To manage the extra food requirement of the body, we are advised to take heavy rich powder food. The glycemic load of the powdered food is very high, that compensate the extra need of food in the body. Madhura, Amla, Lavana rasa is best for this purpose. When we look into Gaja Pitha, Attalika and Tarana, we find that all its compositions are of madhra, amla and labana rasa and all are in powder form. They satisfy the guadline of Sheeta Ritu Charya. The spices are highly digestive. They prevent accumulation of Kapha Dosha.
As we discussed in our earlier article on Panchuka the habisha dalma is composed of moong, green vegetables, elephant apple etc. Elephant apple is amla (sour) in taste. What a noble way to welcome a new season and a new half year!
We feel proud, we inherit such a noble culture.
Written By: Dr. Ambika Prasad Nayak
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