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Stories behind celebrations of Holi
Posted By Sarin on Mar 26, 2013     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
16144 Views

Beautiful different pleasing colors lightens the eye, brightens the boredom and dull day. Now that the festival of colors is very near, we have all reasons to enjoy, have fun and share love with relatives and neighbors. Holi, the festival celebrated when the sky is clear, nature is awesome, spring season is out, mango trees blossom with flowers, days are hot and the peoples crave for water to quench their thirst. This festival is like a boon to all Indians who craves for water during the hot days of summer season. Every passing year, holi is celeberated with more and more enthusiasm not only in India but all across the world. This festival of colors is gaining recognition in global countries like USA, South Africa, UK, Mauritius and many other countries including our neighbor Pakistan. Every year, you may be enjoying holi with great joy and enthusiasm, but did you ever wonder why it is celebrated? How it started? Who started? When it was first started? etc...
In this article, we will see the stories behind celebration of holi. Tell this stories to your young ones as the schools and colleges no longer teach the Indian stories embedded with values and devotion, depicting victory of truth over evil. 
Story and prahlad, greatest devotee of lord vishnu
Demon Hiranyakashipu, seeking revenge of his brother Hiranyaksha death (Killed by lord Vishnu), hated Vishnu and all his followers.  He decides a plan to kill Vishnu by gaining mystical powers, which he believe Brahma, the chief among the Devas, will award him if he undergoes many years of great austerity and penance. Hiranyakashipu performed intense austerities and was able to please Lord Brahma. When Brahma appeared before him he asked for immortality. But Brahma said he could not grant him the boon of immortality.
 
Hiranyakashipu Asking for immortality 

  So, Hiranyakashipu pondered for a while and thought of a trick to deceive lord Brahma.  His trick was to get series of boons all of which indirectly tried to avoid death. He said “Ok Lord Brahma...Hold on. I want a list of boons. Let me rehearse.
I will not die in any type of residence or outside. 
I will not die during day or night. 
I will not die on earth or sky 
I will not be killed by any weapon 
I will not be killed by Demi-gods, human being,  animal  or any other creation created by you 
I should be the sole lordship over all living entities and presiding deities, and should be granted all the glories   
Brahma understood his trick and said, "Tatha asthu" (be it so) and vanished. Hiranyakashipu was happy thinking that he had won over death. After earning the boons, Hiranyakashipu defeated demigods and rulers on earth and announced that he was God and all prayers should be directed to him and not to Sri Hari Vishnu. 
Let us visualize what would have happened in those days as shown in popular television serials...
One of the citizens must have said “What the heck??? We should pray hiranka???...Yaak...Cheeee...What kind of stupid name is that? I can’t even spell it. How can I pray to this filthy looking demon??”
Hiranyakashipu beheaded this guy and the guy next to him caught his head thinking it as a football. Seeing the head in his hand, his face must have been like this.

And the crowd watching this fiasco with awe must have been shocked like this.

Oh my god, this guy is headless

Terrified and frightened, the whole crowd must have started chanting “om Hiranyakashipu namah... om Hiranyakashipu namah”

Back to the story
Meanwhile, Hiranyakashipu’s  wife Kayadhu gave birth to Prahlad who grew up and became a keen devotee of Vishnu under the guidance of divine sage narada.  The entire kingdom followed Hiranyakashipu  commands  of worshipping him but not his young son, Prahlad. This guy was a very courageous dude, who continued worshipping Lord Vishnu without bowing down to stupid demon Hiranyakashipu. This made our shitty demon Hiranyakashipu very furious and he tried various deceitful traps to kill him or convince him. He poisoned his son, but the poison turned to nectar. He threw him from the mountain but our god Vishnu saved him. He threw him in the cage of hungry poisonous snakes but akin our god vishnu saved him. He trampled elephant over prahlad, but again our lord Vishnu saved him. Seeing all his tricks failing, he called his sister Holika. Demon Holika was even more ugly and nasty.  She had the magical power of immunity against fire, which means she was invincible against fire.
Now let us see what must have happened in those days.
Hiranyakashipu  must have said to his boy prahlad, “Come my little boy. Look who has came. She is your aunt. Isn’t she beautiful??”
Demon holika must have said “what are you saying bro...How this little kid would understand? Let me how him my power of immunity against fire and then, he shall believe I am the most beautiful lady of this universe”  
Demon Holika built a pyre and sat on it with prahlad on her lap.  

Nasty demon and devotee prahlad on fire

She was a stupid demon who forgot that she had the power of immunity only when she uses it to protect her life. Now since she had misused her power to kill a young devotee, she died burning in fire and the young boy prahlad, who kept chanting lord Vishnu name, remained unscathed. The complete submission to God saved young Prahalad. When this entire incident was over, to cool down prahlad, all the watchers out there poured tones of water on his body. Some added some natural Ayurvedic color in water to accelerate the cooling process. Thus the first day of holi is celebrated by burning the effigy of Holika late night. First day of burning effigy in bonfire signifies the victory of truth over evil. Second day of holi is celebrated by pouring colorful water on each others. This symbolizes the sharing of love, affection and blessings to your lovely ones.

Grand Holi celebration in western hemisphere (USA)
For this topic, the story ends here. If you wanna read the whole story, then please go through the below link
Does God exists everywhere

Story of Krishna prank on radha and Gopis: 
Our Lord Krishna was a very naughty boy and a very good actor. Despite of knowing everything, he would often complain his mother that god has been very cruel to him. God made him dark colored whereas radha was born with fair complexion. Mother yashoda tried to explain him by giving many reasons (there is even a song with those reasons) still lord Krishna was not convinced and demanded for more satisfactory answers.  


Excellent dance performance of a young girl on song ‘’ yashomati maiya se bole nandlala”

  
Then mother yashoda said jokingly that if you are so jealous of radha fair color, then you change her complexion the way you want.  

Naughty Krishna and yashoda maiya
Naughty young Krishna always waiting for a prank did exactly as his mother suggested.  Naughty Krishna joined hands with his friends and smeared various color on radha face. When radha’s friend (Gopis) came, they drenched waters and colors on them too. Initially, all the gopis were offended but they were so fond of this mischievous Krishna that they also joined them in playing those pranks with each other. Very soon, it became the popular festival in the village and as the divinity of lord Krishna grew, this festival rose far and wide in the country. This tradition of applying color to relatives and friend is followed to show love, brotherhood and unity.  

Krishna playing holi with gopis
  
Krishna devotees celebrate this festival for two weeks in his birth place. Grand events are held at Mathura,Vrindavan,Nandgaon and Barsnar.  Situated in north India, these are the places where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Everyone celebrated this festival with grand merrymaking and wild behavior. Most of the Indians forcefully applies colors on other body and if anyone is offended, then they say, "Bura na mano, Holi hai” ("don't feel offended, it's Holi").
  

Holi celebration in Spanish fork, Utah

Story of Shiva and kamadeva
Goddess Sati married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father ‘Daksha’, one of the first sons of Lord Brahma.

Sati and shiva

Daksha was very upset by daughter behavior and didn’t invite her and Lord shiva in a grand royal ceremony (Yagna). When sati came to know about her father event then she thought father may have forgot to invite her. She decided to participate in the yagna despite the warnings of Lord Shiva. Seeing sati participating in a sacred ceremony without invitation, Daksha abused her and her husbad lord shiva. Unable to bear the humiliation of her husband in front of all ministers and deities, she decided to sit on a pyre as a penance for her disobedience.  Death of his beloved enraged lord Shiva. He destroyed Daksa yagna and roamed across the earth carrying dead body of sati on his shoulders, destroying everything on his path.
 
Lord shiva carrying dead body of sati while Brahma, Vishnu and other gods coming to the rescue
 
Seeing lord Shiva terrible anger, lord Vishnu with the help of other deities cut body of sati into pieces and made them fall on different parts of the earth. This created 51 spiritual centers, vibrant and famous for spiritually even today.  After the death of his beloved Sati, Lord went into a deep meditation and stopped looking after his worldly responsibilities. Sati took rebirth as Goddess Parvati and tried to win Lord Shiva's attention through dancing and feminine sexual charm. When it didn’t work, deities asked her to take help of Kamadava, Deity of love, lust and passion. Despite of the risk involved, kaamdeva decided to help her for the sake of the destruction that would happen if lord Shiva doesn’t come out of meditation. He asked Parvati to dance in front of Shiva and while she was dancing, Kaamdeva shot his arrow of love on Shiva's heart. This broke the meditation of lord Shiva and he was furious about the trick played by kaamdeva. He incinerated Kamadeva by opening his third eye and reduced his body to ashes.
Then Kama's wife Rati started crying and asked for forgiveness.
  

Episode of lord shiva burning kaamdeva into ashes

 Lord Shiva restored him, but only as an invisible image without physical body. This act of lord shiva was the punishment to kaamdeva who should have restricted himself to true love than physical lust. It is said that this incident happened on the day of Holi when people offer sandalwood paste and mango blossoms (he love) to Kamadeva to relieve from his fatal burns.
  
Conclusion:
I Guess above stories are enough for anyone to participate in this grand festival of holi. These stories of Holi assures the people of the ultimate victory of good over evil. Story of prahlad gives the message that god always takes his true devotee in his shelter. These legendary stories spread the message of living lives with good morals and virtues especiallly in this age where the society is so much materialised that they resort to cheap tactics and practices against the honest ones for minute selfish gains.  Enjoy the festival in its true sense by celebrating it with the different sections of the society on the same platform with love,devotion, joy and enthusiasm.


Wishing all of you a very happy holi


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