Holi is recognized as a festival of colours but it holds a unique significance in the state of Maharashtra. There is a folk tale about this festival of “shimga” as identified in the countryside. Once there was a monster named Hiranyakashipu residing in the monster Clan. He had a superiority complex and loathed the Gods. He had a son named Pralhad, a Supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahlad used to chant His holy name day in and day out. father Hiranyakashipu did not approve of this. he tried to discourage Prahlad multiple times but failed each time. Alas, we decided to kill his own son wearily. he approached his sister Holika. She was not only Evil but also supremely cruel. She was not scared of the Fire element neither was affected by the same. which is why hiranyakashipu set a Funeral pyre and made Holika sit on the top of it. Prahlad was asked to sit on her lap. but due to his divine worship, the tables turned and Holika was born to the Ashes instead. Lord Vishnu’s devotee was intact. being Jubilant by such divine worship Lord Vishnu revealed himself in the form of Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashipu. This auspicious day henceforth is called as the festival of Holi, on the full moon day Phalguna. we celebrate this to rejoice in the victory of good over evil.
Today’s scientifically inclined society would not accept this story easily. If we keep the feud between reality and fiction aside and try to understand what is at the core of this story and try to look at it from an allegorical perspective, we could contemplate little about it. Do I have a ‘Holika’ like tendency? does a thought of harming others for my selfish reasons pass my mind? If yes then why does it happen? Am I aware of my own negative thoughts in the first place? Do I experience feelings like hatred, envy, jealousy, anger, restlessness or impulsive anger?
Holika was Supposedly resistant to the fire element yet it ended her life. Whenever we do something which is driven by overconfidence, by means of taking those who are close to us and other important things granted, we exploit our own innate skills. And end up somehow in a similar manner. From pralhad’s point of view, he did not lose sight of his goal even if his own family and death itself were in front of him.
No matter how hard the situation gets, our mindset should be in place. ( at least we can root for it) whatever I am doing is appropriate and it does not harm anybody it, by all means, is for my welfare. — if this is my strong belief then I won’t blame any situation or any person for its repercussions.
Just doing whatever is within our control with the utmost devotion is important. That Lord named Vishnu did not appear from anywhere, the moment Hiranyakashipu called Holika. Psychology says, if you choose to work with the things within your control, external things (out of control) also seem to be under control. Hence Pralhad’s unshaken Moto impressed Vishnu.
Unfortunately, we superstitiously expect the fruit of Karma at the very beginning of the action itself. Hence we should bid our farewell to the imprudent thoughts, feelings, actions and Burn them in the Holi. (At least we should make mindful efforts to reduce their frequency, duration & intensity).
This is the only purpose of celebrating the festival of Holi. Let us make a resolution due to which our whole year will be full of happiness, prosperity and satisfaction.
Asst. Prof. Tanmay L. Joshi