Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Significance of Holi

Holi is celebrated from the full moon day (pournima) of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun until the fifth day (panchami). Holi means the triumph of good over evil and conquest of sensual values by spiritual values.

Going to temple, Performing rituals and puja cannot make up for a lack of honesty, compassion and unconditional love. The goal is not just to perform rituals; the goal is to become spiritual. Thus, on this divine occasion, we should pray to be filled with the purity and devotion of Prahlaad. We should commit ourselves to performing our puja, meditation and japa with focus, dedication and deep love for God.

One meaning of the word Holi is sacrifice. On Holi we light so many bonfires to revel in joy and to burn the image of Holika. The meanings of these bonfires are to burn that which is devilish and impure, leaving only the purity and divinity after Holi. However, we must remember not only to partake in the merry-making of a bonfire. We must remember to sacrifice that within us which is devilish and impure. There is some demon-nature in all of us. We must burn that demon-nature on Holi and emerge as pure and pious as divine Prahlaad.

The fire of purity and divinity which we light on Holi must burn continuously in our hearts throughout the year. We must have an ever-burning bonfire of impurity, so that we are continuously renewed, continuously purified and continuously rejuvenated.

Burn all the impurities of the mind, such as egoism, vanity and lust, through the fire of devotion and knowledge. Ignite cosmic love, mercy, generosity, selflessness, truthfulness and purity through the fire of Yogic practice. This is the real spirit of Holi. Rise from the mire of stupidity and absurdity and dive deep into the ocean of divinity. The call of Holi is to always keep burning the light of God-love shining in your heart. Inner illumination is the real Holi.

Holi is an extremely powerful night for spiritual practice and one of the most significant days of the year for sadhana practices such as chanting, japa, puja, and meditation. The spiritual significance of the festival of Holi is to mark the burning of self-conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, and hatred—in fact, all the undesirable tendencies, propensities, thoughts and behaviors. Holi is the night when we consciously focus upon that and burn our ego.

Let us truly pray to God that on this day “I” may become holy. Let us pray that “I” may become pious, pure and devoted as Prahlaad”. In that way our lives and our hearts and our souls will be forever protected, forever sheltered at His holy feet.

Let us also pray that our “eye” may become holy, that we may be granted the divine vision by which we behold Him in all whom we see. Let us pray that through our holy eye, we never are led toward anger, greed, lust or jealousy.

Happy Holi to all.

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