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Holi Festival EGreetings


Gulal Abir Colors of HoliHolika, commonly called Holi  is a spring festival  celebrated at the approach of the spring season, during the 3 or 4 days preceding the full moon day in the month of Phalguna. Holi is celebrated by throwing colors and colored powder in the air. Colorful Rangoli pattems are painted at doorways to houses. Families assemble around a fire throwing prasad and coconut in the fire. They also take home prasad. The Holi festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Essentially, Holi means the triumph of good over evil and conquest of sensual values by spiritual values. Thus, Holi has different mythological connotations in different parts of India. It is interesting to learn about its spiritual significance.

The story relates to an ancient demoniac king in India known as Hiranya Kasyapu. He was a cruel and tyrannical ruler. All his subjects followed his orders except for his son Prahlad. Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. This infuriated his father who wanted to punish him. The king asked Prahlad to embrace a red hot pole. But, he was unhurt. Then, he asked Prahldd to jump off a steep cliff, but was unhurt again. Prahlad obeyed his father each time chanting Vishnu's name. Hiranya Kasyap ordered that Prahlad be trampled by an elephant. But, he was unhurt.

Lord Vishnu as Narasimha killing Hiranyakashyap As Prahlad was not hurt by all the punishment, Hiranya Kasyap called his sister Holika from the gods that she would not burn in a fire. Holika made Prahlad sit on her lap in the fire. But, this time, Holika was burnt to death and Prahlad was unhurt. Eventually, the ordeals faced by Prahlad climaxed in the emanation of Narahari or Narasimha (half human, half lion) who destroyed Hiranya Kasyapu.

Again, this displayed the triumph of a true Bhakta (devotee) over the evil represented by Hiranya Kasyapu. Prahlada never lost faith in the Lord despite all his ordeals.


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