Presentation on theme: "Shri Gaayatri Mandir Significance of Holi. A Historical View of Holi Our Pandits have frequently told us the story of Prahalad. This story is about demonstrating."— Presentation transcript:
A Historical View of Holi Our Pandits have frequently told us the story of Prahalad. This story is about demonstrating how a person got burnt in the heat of her own sins. Prahalad was the son of an evil King called Hiranyakashipu. This king tried desperately to destroy this little boy and finally resorted to an evil sister of his. Her name was Holika.
Holika Holika had powers which allowed her to be immune from destruction by fire. The evil king ordered Holika to take Prahalad into a huge fire so that he can be killed. Prahalad's faith in God was such that Holika's powers were reduced to nothing and as such, she was burnt to death whilst Prahalad came out unhurt. It is because of this event, that Holika (a bonfire) is burnt yearly to usher in Holi. The burning of the effigy of Holika is called Holika Dahan.
Triumph of Good Over Evil Another perspective, and probably a deeper meaning of Holi focuses on the paradigm (belief) that we should let go of the harsher propensities we have as human beings and should lose ourselves in the heat and elevate into the light of divine knowledge and meditation. What can we do in our own lives to become better human beings?
Doing Good – A Core Message of Holi Will we offer reward or be nice only when it is convenient? The Ramayana unequivocally tells us that a good person does not cease to be good even in difficult times. Tulsidas provides the birch tree example which has its bark stripped and converted into paper for writing. Pain and discomfort is endured by the tree because its bark serves the needs of others. The impressive fact is that the tree continues to replenish itself and produce new bark. This is a natural tendency to do good.
Serving Others as a Way of Advancing the Common Good While the good person will endure pain for the sake of others, the evil will do so to cause pain to others. Tulsidas provides the example of the hemp plant. The fiber of the hemp plant is useful for manufacturing rope and string and its bark is stripped for this purpose. While the birch and hemp trees are subjected to a similar process, the difference lies in the purpose for which the product is used. The birch benefits others while the rope of the hemp is used for binding and depriving others of their freedom. Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 What is given expecting a return contribution or reward is no gift. It is only an exchange of courtesy or hospitality. On the other hand, a gift that is voluntarily offered expecting nothing in return is a true good act.
A Quote from the Bible - Isaiah 58:3-8 Is not this what I require of you as a fast: to loose the fetters of injustice, to untie the knots of the yoke, to snap every yoke and set free those who have been crushed? Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, taking the homeless poor into your house, clothing the naked when you meet them and never evading a duty to your kinsfolk? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn and soon you will grow healthy like a wound newly healed; your own righteousness shall be your vanguard and the glory of the LORD your rearguard.
How Do We Celebrate Holi? As we have been doing at SGM for the past 13 years, we: Plant “holika” Someone “fasts” for 40 days Sing chowtaal and holi bhajans Burn “holika” Celebrate by throwing powder, abeer, abrak, water, etc. with others. Hopefully, as we celebrate Holi this year, we would not only pour powder, abeer, etc. and let it be an act, but also view the celebration as renewing our love and friendship for each other, and intensifying our love for our God.