Holi: The festival to paint body and soul
Holi is not only a religious but a cultural festival. This festival is a unique opportunity to share happiness, love and positivity. The biggest quality of our culture is that all the festivals celebrated here enhance love, unity and goodwill among the people by establishing human qualities in the society.
The spirit behind all the festivals celebrated here is to provide prosperity to human dignity. Holi has a special message that just as nature like full of colours, life should also be full of colours. The colours of life should be such that it should reflect deep reverence in God along with oneself.
Holi is a perfect festival in terms of purity associated with any festival. It is a unique festival in which not only the body, but also the soul gets mesmerized in colours. Holi is a festival of happiness. The happiness in us is also the colour of our soul. This year, even though Holi festival may be less enthusiastic due to the corona epidemic, corona will also be burnt along with ‘Holika Dahan’, such belief should be awakened in every mind, only this will make this year’s Holi festival worthwhile.
In fact, Holi is the festival of fun and laughter. The most famous story about this festival is also in relation to Prahlada and Holika. Naradapurana states that Prahlada, the son of a demon named Hiranyakashipu, was an exclusive Hari-bhakta, while Hiranyakashipu considered Narayana to be his ultimate enemy.
There was also a severe punishment system for chanting the name of Narayana or Srihari in his kingdom. Seeing his son as a Hari-bhakta, he warned many times, but a supreme devotee like Prahlada was always absorbed in piety. His father tried to kill him several times by taking various measures. But, he survived every time by the grace of Narayana.
Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, had the advantage of not burning in the fire. So she entered the fire with her nephew Prahlad in her lap. But by the grace of God, Prahlada came out alive and Holika was burned. The festival of Holi signifies ‘Victory of Truth over untruth and ‘Victory of Virtue over Misconduct’. In this way, the festival of Holi also symbolizes the victory of truth, justice, devotion and faith and the destruction of injustice, sin and demonic practices.
Holi is a festival that breaks all our limits and unites us. That is why we colour each other and say, May your life also be full of colours. Apart from the euphoria of colours, there are many other mythological stories to celebrate the festival of Holi.
In North East India, Holika dahan is celebrated as the slaughter day of demonic Putna by Lord Krishna. The day is celebrated as Putna Daah. In South India it is believed that on this day Lord Shiva consumed the third eye shell of Kamadeva and he danced the ashes on his body. Thereafter, Lord Shiva revived Kamdev, being moved by the grief of Kamadeva’s wife Rati, which pleased the gods and showered them with colours.
For this reason, on the eve of Holi, fire is ignited in south India and sugarcane, mango blossom and sandalwood are added to it. Here, sugarcane symbolizes the bow of Cupid, mango blossom of Cupid, the burning of Cupid by the burning fire Shiva and the chanting of sandalwood to calm Kamdev for burning with fire.
Many cultural and public related programs are held to celebrate Holi. The events of Holi in metropolitan culture have given Holi a new zeal and enthusiasm. In these events, there are cultural programs to play songs in a very polite manner.
Ghoomar which is a Rajasthani event associated with Holi, people get excited about it. Delicious food items with sandalwood tilak and refresher drinks give this festival a dignified image. In late night ghoomar, dandiya dance and singing troupes from different regions enhance their fun and joy as the night progresses through their performances.
Today, due to coronavirus, the entire environment has become polluted and fearful; all the colours of life have turned dull. There was no mutual trust, no mutual love, nor a sublime feeling of cooperation, nor did the tone of unity arise in the struggle.
Holi requires an atmosphere and a mind too, a mind where we are all one and uproot the filthy layers of the mind so that all the faces reflected in the mirror of the undivided mind can be felt by us.
In Mathura and Vrindavan, the grand hues of Holi are seen. With the arrival of Basantotsav, the atmosphere of Vrindavan is included in a wonderful fun, the festival of spring is also celebrated with great pomp here. The joy of this festival does not slow down even when it starts, the cool month of Falgun.
The traditions of Phalgun month and Holi are related to the pastimes of Shri Krishna and have special significance in the devotee’s heart. Celebrating the colorful and joyous festival of Holi with a full devotion of Shri Krishna is a unique experience. Falgun Shukla Ekadashi has special significance in the city of temples Vrindavan. On this day, playing the colours of Holi starts in the traditional form. Both the fun and devotion of Holi in temples spreads its unique beauty.
In order to paint themselves in the colour of this divine month and Holi, devotees come to Vrindavan from far off places and celebrate Holi with full enthusiasm. The environment of Vrindavanis filled with Shri Krishna vibes and the fun of Holi prevails in that too.
The word Holi means purity in the English language. Purity is useful to every person and if the heritage of purity is associated with this festival, then the importance of this festival becomes all the more important.
In a festival like Holi, all kinds of distractions are erased, then it should be felt that in the fire of Holi, all our sufferings, sorrows, worries, animosity etc. should be ignited and the colour of happiness, cheerfulness and joy in life should be scattered.
(The author is a Delhi based columnist. He contributes to Kashmir Vision)