Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
Holi is an auspicious festival of Hindu culture with full of colors, joy and love. According to Hindu calendar, Holi comes in the month of Phalgun which falls in between the end of February and middle of March, which is ‘Phalgun Purnima’.
On this festival, everyone welcomes summers and says goodbye to winters. This day every person forgets the difference of religion, position and age by applying colors to each other, forgetting their past hurt feelings, forgiving each other and repairing their broken relationships. After coloring each other, no one can recognize and hence all become alike. And it is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for good harvest.
Spiritual Significance of Holi
In Satyuga, there was once a devotee of Lord Vishnu named ‘Prahlad’. He use to chant GOD’s name and spread the preachings, Love of Lord Vishnu to people. On the other hand, his father ‘Hiranyakashipu’, who was a demon, took boon from Lord Brahma that “He should not be killed by man, animal or any weapon, neither in the day nor at night”. Thus, he became arrogant and demanded that everyone should worship him as GOD. He used to love his son but when Prahlad refused to obey his orders and worshiped Lord Vishnu, the frustrated Hiranyakashipu became the worst enemy of his own son and tried to kill him by all means.
Guruji Says- Our resentment, jealousy, ego is enough to destroy any relationship.
Hiranyakashipu wanted to get rid of his son, so he asked his sister ‘Holika’ to kill Prahlad. She had a boon that fire cannot burn her. So she sat on a pyre with Prahlad on her lap. When the pyre was put to fire, by God’s grace Holika got burnt and Bhakt Prahlad was saved without any harm. Since she took disadvantage of her boon, it got converted into a curse and she was burnt alive on the pyre. This shows the victory of good over evil.
Guruji Says- The one who wants to harm others, always gets punished by GOD. The spiritual aspirant who wants to establish his connection with GOD should never hurt anyone through his thoughts, words and actions as GOD resides in a pure heart which is devoid of lust, hatred, repulsion, anger, jealousy, ego and fear.
Holi is also marked as the birthday of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He came to this world for all devotees nearly 630 years ago on holi (Phalgun Purnima), 1486 A.D. He set an example for us as to how we can establish Love for Lord Krishna by pure devotion and chanting Mahamantra-
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare”
Celebration of Holi
On the eve of the first day of Holi called ‘choti holi’, a public bonfire is burnt. People gather together at the important crossroads and light a huge bonfire, this ceremony is called ‘Holika Dahan’. Wheat stalks are also offered to the GOD of the fire ‘Agnidev’. People sing songs, perform parikrama (going around) around the fire. The heat of the fire kills the bacteria grown in the atmosphere as well as in the body. The leftover ashes of this bonfire is considered sacred and people apply it on their foreheads.
Guruji Says- This evening we should feel that all our negativity, resentment, bad habits, hatred are getting burnt in this bonfire and we are becoming more pure, positive and clean hearted, ‘As cleanliness is next to Godliness’.
The next day, Holi, also known as ‘Dulhendi’ and is celebrated with colorful powder gulal and colored water. Great excitement and happiness can be seen in everyone. People throw colors and water balloons; spray colored water on each other forgetting all their past hurt- feelings.
There is an ancient myth behind this colorful Holi. It is said that Lord Krishna started the trend of playing with colors. Once Lord Krishna complained to his mother that he has a blue complexion and Radha is fair. Mother Yashoda advised Krishna to apply colors on Radha so that she can be the same like him. Lord Krishna loved this idea and from that day, it is celebrated with colors. Till date, this tradition is a full-fledged festival enjoyed with love and harmony.
Many devotees from all over the world come to celebrate holi in God’s divine places like lath mar holi in Barsana and Nandgaon, Holika Dahan in Kosi, colorful holi in ‘Shree Banke Bihari temple’, Vrindavan.
In some places, an image of Lord Krishna as a baby is placed in a little cradle which is decorated with flowers and painted with colored powders. Devotees chant the Name of Lord Krishna and sing ‘Holi songs’ relating to the frolics (leela’s) of little Krishna with the Gopis while swinging the cradle. It is called ‘DOL YATRA’ (Swing festival).
With the arrival of Holi, everybody is full of love, enthusiasm and happiness. Guru Says- “May each day of our life be full of love, joy, happiness and peace. Let us play holi not only with the colors but also with a heart full of Love, joy, happiness and free from resentment and hatred.”
HAPPY HOLI !!