Wednesday 1 March 2023

The Spirit of Holi…

Just like the Bhogi festival in Tamilnadu, people in other parts of our country celebrate Holi, a festival which symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil. People throughout India celebrate this colorful festival with great zeal and enthusiasm. As one of the oldest festivals, there are many interesting stories associated with the festival's origin as one moves across the different states from North to South and East to West. Holi is famous as Basant Utsav in rural India. Gulal, abeer and pichkaris are synonymous with the festival. Elaborate plans are made to throw colors at the near and dear ones. Everybody wants to be the first one to color the other. In the ensuing battle of colors, everybody is drowned not just in colors of gulal but also in love and mirth. People love to drench others and themselves in colored water. 
But amidst all these festivities we should not forget the real spirit of this festival, which is to destroy the evils within oneself. While taking the festival to the next generation along with its puranic references is important, this symbolism should also be told to them. It marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. It marks the beginning of blossoming and fertility. All our festivals are in one way or the other intended to purify us internally. The vratas, japas and other elaborate processes which we undergo in each and every festival are meant for this self unfoldment only. Many of our festivals are celebrated with great pomp and buoyancy with the society. However splendorous they are, they still are for our personal refinement. Likewise, Holika Dahan also should remind us of getting rid of our negative emotions like Ego, Selfishness, wickedness, Greed, Lust and excessive indulgence in materialistic pleasures. Tradition and Culture will have meaning and bear fruits when we remember and imbibe the spirit behind observing them. This will not only help us but will also ensure that the legacy is carried on without any generation loss.