COLOURFUL HOLI FESTIVAL & HOLI DAHAN (BURN OUT NEGATIVITY FROM WITHIN US)
A HOLI THE COLOURFUL FESTIVAL
This Holi should burn out anger, jealousy & all unprincipled and unethical desires
Including the egocentric tendencies from our system forever
So as to make our life sublime full of care
Thus paving the way for spiritual oriented way of life by burning out everything negative that exists in our existence
After a relief from chilling cold, intense one
There is a carnival of colours
The carnival of colour so very well-liked
With the young and old alike
Wherein us all irrespective of age group
Take part with soft-emotions running so deep
Not only put colour on each other
But also partake sweets so very specially prepared with mix of love
Enjoy Bhangra dance and Gidha dance to the tune of drums
With Punjabi song so matching
For this festival of colours so very enjoyable in every way
With everybody wishing others A VERY HAPPY HOLI to boost good over evil.
Preceding one day, Holi Dahan is held
Which portrays burning of evil and all the ills prevalent
Within us with burning of fire of Holi Dahan
Personifying holy fires burning
The sister of Demon King Harnayakashpa (evil) & saving (goodness) Prahalada
Holika represents the evil soul – Atma
Who was burnt alive despite her boon of not being burnt by fire
While Prahalada in her lap remained unscathed
With the blessing of Lord Vishnu, a most compassionate one
Who bestows protective cover on His devotee, infusing common sense in them.
Fact stands out, when body, mind and soul are coloured
In the hue of our eternal Creator
Then a warm emotion love springs-up
With a flood of warmth for each other
Of togetherness in every being participating in the celebrations
Where there is no biases
Based on age, sex, colour, caste or religion or region
Everybody just forgets the narrow-minded based on any distinctions
What remains woefully is the add-on liking
They’ve for each one of them
Mixed with warmth in sentiments
With variety of colours as the variety of people colored
Whosoever meets us on the street corners
Corners us with colours and colors us
Redd, yellow or blue – the choicest in tint
Charming us to a maximum extent.
O Almighty God of ours
Imbue us all with Thy indelible Colour
For Thy color touches our heart’s chords
Including every atoms in our body
Made of five elements which die with our body
(Ether, earth, water, air & fire)
On the death of our mortal body
Only Thy colour and our Soul last
Man made colours just fade away and are lost
After a few hours have passed.
A spirit of Spring Festival springs in us all
Dividing joy and hope between us all
Nature too is in its finest attire – so very colourful
When Mother Nature is at its best
With all around greenery prevalent
There is fragrance of blooming flowers
With Full Moon as though it is chipping in, too showcasing its silvery shine.
To enhance the charm of colours
To share the fun and joy of the people around.
Different people celebrate Holi in different style
But the common thread of celebration remains alike
People prepare special sweets to welcome their dear folks
Shopkeepers & women are busiest lots
Bestowing magnetism to their living places.
Bonhomie pervades wheresoever our eyes could survey
Abuzz with activity mixed with the rainbow of colors
Scenes at the marketplaces are indeed mesmeric.
Legend has it that a mighty and conceited
Demon King Hiranyakashyap prided his prowess the most
He wanted his subjects to worship him in place of God above
Virtuous Prahlad, his own son agreed not
Being a staunch devotee of Lord of Preservation – Lord Vishnu
The King wanted his son to be put to sword – very soon
For not obeying his dictates
Different methods were used to kill but in vain.
Hiranyakashyap had a sister named Holika
Blessed with a boon of not being burnt by blazing fire
Both were made to enter a bonfire at full fury
Thinking fire will harm her not due to boon to her
But just opposite ensued
Prahlad came unscathed with grace of Lord Vishnu,
Whilst Holika met her end most tragic.
Legend too has it that Lord Krishna played holi with his beloved Gopies
To shower love and affection with the shower of colours.
Holi celebrated at Vrindavan, Mathura
And Bursana is so matchless even today
Showing the thread of that time remains in fact intact
People light a bonfire on the night before Holi Day
With devout heart brimming with bliss
Celebrate triumph of good over evil
And also remember how devotion to Lord gets rewarded.
People play with variety of colours
Intoxicated with joy of the day
Pour coloured water to each other
Songs, dance, and beats on the drums abound everywhere
People exchange greetings and pray to God for His bounties.
O God, let the humans not shower bullets at each other
pilling blood of the unfortunates in the process
But rather with a blood-red colour of HOLI
Spreading feeling of brotherhood
Which may engender love for each other
Along with amity and well-being, in the humanity as a whole
Our prayers to Thee our Lord – the Esteemed One
Do colour us all in Thy Holy colour
So that peace and harmony spread amongst all.
The festival of color HOLI finds its mention in Vedas and Puranas (Narad Purana and Bhavishya Purana). There is a practical Archeologists proof through excavation of stone related to 300 BC on which there is an inscription of word ‘Holikotsav’ which means Holi. Even in the ancient paintings, there is a mention of Holi festival – the festival of colour.
Holi is a Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival – it is a festival of colour (Rangwali Holi) or celebrated of love, celebrated in India, Nepal and other parts of the world where Indians are settled. It is arrival of pleasant Spring season. On the occasion of this festival people forget their differences and connect with their long forgotten friends and relatives. The first day before Holi is Holika Dahan (Burning of Holika Demon) it is also called Chhoti Hili.
Holi has special significance in Braj i.e. in Mathura and Vrindaban region, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Women-folks playfully hit their men-folks with sticks. This act of theirs is called lath maar the holi (A holi which is played with sticks). Here men are constrained to save themselves from their blows with the help of a shield. There is an air of festivities around in the entire Braj region during this festival spanning for days together. It is a spectacle in the real sense of the term.
In this context, it is relevant to mention the Bhagwad Gita:
Lord Krishna teaches detachment: While one gives up all his material desires meant for the satisfaction of the senses, one who lives freeing from desires and gives up his false ego attains the state of peace and calm.
Holi festival signifies the victory of good over evil. It also signifies the end of winter and arrival of pleasant spring. It is a festival when people forget their differences and thus mend their ruptured relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other well with fond wish: ‘Happy Holi’ and may the colour of HOLI imbue us in God’s impossible to remove colour so as to spread the feelings of brotherliness and fellow feelings amongst each other without consideration to caste, creed, colour, region etc.
In essence, we face multiple problems in our lives while aspiring for material and sensual objects, people become attached to these. Such attachments develop lust and lust generate anger and other baser traits. Anger leads to delusion and delusion leads to mental disorientation. When the mind is bewildered, wisdom is the victim. Loss of wisdom leads to downfall of an individual. In such a scenario, a healthy diversion is a must. Different festivals give us occasion to celebrate with our relatives and friends. We celebrate Holi with our nears and dears. The colourful festival HOLI presents our golden opportunity to share our joys with others. The gifts are exchanged in the form of homemade sweets, such as Gujia etc.
There is a symbolic legend attached to this. There was a demon king named Hiranyakashap. This demon king did hard penance due to which he got a boon that no human could kill him at daytime or at night time. This made him very haughty and egotistical besides excessively arrogant. So much so was he drunk with pride that he passed an order that henceforth nobody would pray God in his kingdom. People should rather pray him in place of God.
He ruled his subjects with the iron hand. Not even the hermits or sadhus were spared. Those who disobeyed his orders were meted out huge punishments or handed out the death penalty. He had a son by the name of Prahlada. He used to worship Lord Vishnu. The demon king felt slighted and very furious when he found that his own son was disobeying his orders hence he gave him an alternative – either he should worship him or face the death penalty after giving various severe punishments which did not deter Prahladha from worshipping Lord Vishnu.
Then Holika the Hiranyakashap’s sister, evil in her intentions offered herself to sit in the bonfire (pyre) with Prahladha; knowing fully well that she would not be harmed because of her special cloak which made her immune to fire. Subsequently, the two entered the roaring fire. Hiranyakashap felt assured that no harm would result to his sister because of protection but his son would meet his end.
After the fire subsided, all felt including Hiranyakashap surprised that Holika got perished in the fire that engulfed her despite her protective cloak but due to the protection and grace of Lord Vishnu, he survived!
Holi was driven from the name Holika. Holika represents/personifies evil and its burning is the end of evil. Pradhan personifies goodness.
One day before Holi, especially after sunset, the pyre is lit, called as Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance at the beats of drums. It may have different names in different part of the country but the spirit of the festival is the same – a colourful one.
Holi Dahan also signifies burning of our excessive desires. It is for bringing about a balance in our desires by putting an end to our greed and base internal yearning (Kaama Dahan) – our conquest over our evil or carnal instincts which have made residency in our mind and rely more on detachment from our action.
Subsequently, in the daytime, people celebrate this as a sign of victory of good over evil by sprinkling either the coloured water or dry colour (gulal) of various colour. A real rainbow of colour! In the evening, people, after proper wash, go to their friends and relatives and partake sweets prepared at their homes.
It has also been seen that on Holi festival, people forget and forgive their old enmity and animosity and establish the new relationship with each other. It has been seen that people from all religions participate in this festival. It looks as though all have been imbued and coloured with happiness and goodwill for each other. If such an idea fructifies then there would not be any ill-will for anybody in the society in general.
As all communities activity participate in this festival, they cement their relationships, thus enhance their sense of correlation and cooperation for better compatibility.
People forget their inherent differences and go to each others’ homes with colours and sweets thus a spirit of forgetting and forgiving are created.
One day before actual festival, HOLIKA DAHAN (Burning of symbolic Holika – the sister of Demon King Haranakyshapa) – which is synonymous with burning of evil from our midst. Therefore, this festival helps us burn the evil prevalent in us and establish the kingdom of goodness in our heart.
Finally, my most earnest prayer to our MOST BENEVOLENT GOD is for peace and prosperity for all. Let killing of innocent end and peace and love prevail everywhere. The disturbing and most heart-rending bombing of general masses including small kids and old and informs in Ukraine should end and better sense should prevail. Let us imbue ourselves in red-color of HOLI of LOVE & AFFECTION for each other rather than blood-letting of innocents.
LESSONS FROM HOLI FESTIVAL
As awareness dawns on us the Holi is not only the festival of colours but also removal of all the illness that is prevalent in our body, mind and soul. The following are some of the lessons from HOLY FESTIVAL OF HOLI: VICTORY OF GOOD OVER EVIL.
- The fire of Holi (Holi Dahan) a night before is considered as the fire which burns out the ills which is there in our midst AHUTI OF OUR BAD KARMA at the pyre of HOLI FIRE.
- The Holi is a festival to consolidate of our relations by wishing HAPPY HOLI and removal of ill feeling for each other. God grants our good and sound wishes in fact with the spirit of forget and forgive. There is cooperation and wellness when we forgive others.
- All our baser thoughts, like Holika met her end and Prahlada survived, could end and there would be prevalent of goodness and peaceful coexistence if we pray to Almighty God especially on this day.
- On this day, God grants our wishes if we offer our sincerest prayers.
- Lord VISHNU saved Prahlada in the same way we can also be saved from the evil doers with sincere prayers.
- My sincerest and honest prayers to God is for world peace and prosperity.