It’s time of the year to play with colors and flowers to acknowledge the beauty in our lives. It’s time of the year to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors and flowers.
Holi is celebrated on the last full moon day in फाल्गुन मास (month of Phalgun). Phalgun is the last month of the Hindu calendar which leads to चैत्र (month of Chaitra, the first month of Hindu New Year). होलिका दहन (Holika Dahan) is celebrated on the evening before Holi where a huge bonfire is setup around which people get together to pray and celebrate. On the day of Holi, families and friends get together to play Holi with colors, water, and flowers which adds more fun to this colorful festival.
There are many beautiful stories associated with Holi. One of the famous story comes from श्रीमद भागवत पुराण (Shrimad Bhagwat Purana), a sacred text of Sanatana Dharma which was composed by Sage Veda Vyasa. This ancient text contains stories about the theory of relativity, cloning, time travel and a lot of information that modern science is still getting heads around.
The story of Holi as described in श्रीमद भागवत पुराण tells the story of a demon King Hiranyakashipu who considered himself to be powerful than the Supreme Lord but when he found that his son Prahlad was an ardent devotee of the Lord, he ordered his army to kill him. His sister Holika had the boon of walking through the fire without getting burnt. She tricked her nephew to sit with her in the pyre. However, the opposite happened. Prahlad came out unharmed and Holika was burnt down to ashes because Lord Vishnu came to the rescue of His devotee Prahlad.
I remember when my grandfather told me this story, he said, “भगवान हमेशा अपने भक्तों के साथ होते हैं.”(God/Higher Self/Supreme Creator is always with their devotees).
It was mesmerizing to listen to this story at a tender age. Since then my entire life has been guided by this simple yet pure faith. Be it the pandemic times or times of helplessness, I have always found strength from my faith and prayers.
Being on a spiritual path for years now, I realize this story has a subtler meaning to it. This video https://youtu.be/8iB7QhPzfMM by Swami Purnachaitanya Ji gives a deeper understanding of Holi.
Wish you a Happy Holi filled with colors and joy!
In these difficult times, it’s best to stay close to nature and appreciate what we have received. After all, it’s a blessing to be able to survive a pandemic.
Photo credits: Flickr