Holi is the most colorful of all festivals celebrated within the hindu calendar. A festival more associated with the northern part of the country, is animatedly celebrated by one and all, to symbolise the spirit of togetherness.
The religious history and modern day significance behind "holi"
1. Holi is traditionally attributed to the day, when the female demon "holika" was killed. The hindu scriptures mention that Holika was blessed with the power of being resistant to fire. Her brother, the king Hiranyakaship, who felt threatend by the rising popularity and preachings of his own son Prahald, ordered her to take him and and sit into a burning pyre. As faith would have it, it was not Prahald (a sincere devotee of god) but Holika who got burnt.
Modern day skeptics and logic-thinkers can have head-banging debates on the incidents involved in this religious preaching. The holistic purpose of this incident was to teach mankind a few very important traits needed for healthy, peaceful and happy living.
a. Faith is a friend. Good and Bad times are a test of this friendship.
"a friend in need is a friend indeed".
He/she who sticks by you during your bad times really loves you for who you are and not for what you have.
Prahlad's friend was his faith in god. His faith always remained the same. He didn't forget it when he was happy, and didn't plead to it for "help" only when he was sad. He was true to his friendship with faith.
If your faith in god remains same during good and bad times, nothing can take you away from the path of happiness.
b. Your deeds are being monitored.
Holika had been blessed with the power of never being hurt by fire. But she still died by fire burns. Does this mean that god back-tracked and broke his promise?
Power, Money and Fame are given by god. No matter how powerful, rich or famous you become, that factor called luck or destiny that propelled you to get them was an act from god.
Like all grants, these also come with a set of rules. They will stick with you till the moment you start using them to hurt and harm other people. As your abuse towards others will increase, a day will come when your account of good deeds will empty and your bad time will start.
c. Fear of losing what you treasure, kills reasoning.
Hiranyakaship was so happy and content with his power that he didn't want to lose it. When he felt that it was being threatened by his own son, he didn't think twice before ordering his death.
At that moment even all his close advisors, family and friends couldn't make him understand that if he had embraced his son, he could have lived as a powerful king for ages to come.
When you start fearing the loss of what you have, you start commiting mistakes. The more you fear the lesser you reason. The lesser you reason, the more mistakes you make. And mistakes eventually can destory every chance of success and happiness you might seek.
d. Keep loyal people always close to you.
"in a game of chess, even a pawn can kill the king"
In a world motivated by selfish gains, loyality is becoming a scarce commodity.
Hiranyakaship in his moment of despair had a loyal Hollika with him. And Prahlad in his moment of test was loyal to god.
Always respect loyalty.
2. The second big religious significance of holi, comes from Lord Krishna performing the "Raaslila" with hundreds of his gopis.
The modern day significance of the same:
a. play holi with the mind-set to spread love not hatred.
b. forget all enemity and extend the hand of friendship to even your worst enemy
c. "bhang and other intoxicating substances" are used to decrease your inhibitions and help you enjoy the festivities.
Don't abuse them or use them to get "unwanted" advantages from other people.
d. the festivity is all about spreading love, fun and happiness.
HAVE A WONDERFUL AND HAPPY HOLI.
THANK GOD FOR ALL THAT HE HAS GIVEN YOU AND PRAY FOR THOSE LESSER FORTUNATE WHO ARE BATTLING THE DARK SIDE OF LIFE.
Thanks for reading
Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PGDPM)
Emotional, Behavioral And Sexual Health consultant - Motivator at Mind Mantra
for free email consultancy - firstname.lastname@example.org