Holi – known as the festival of colors is celebrated in most parts of India and also in many other countries. We all might have celebrated this at some point if not every year so lets try to understand the spiritual significance this festival holds.
So according to the legend mentioned in Bhagavata Purana, there was a king named Hiranyakashipu who was blessed with special powers. So much that out of his arrogance he started thinking he is God himself and demanded that everyone in his kingdom worship only him.
However, his own son, Prahlad(comes from ‘Prabhu Ki Aulaad’ meaning God’s Child), was an unwavering devotee of Lord Vishnu and would only worship him. This angered Hiranyakashipu and he tried many cruel ways to kill Prahlad. Holika, the king’s sister who had a special gift that prevented her from being harmed by fire, who sat on a burning pyre with Prahlad to kill him but Prahlaad’s faith and unconditional love for God kept him protected and he escaped unhurt while Holika died.
This is the legend behind the celebration but there is a deeper meaning behind all this. It holds a certain significance for every soul on this planet and not just for few who celebrate.
Usually, as part of the celebrations of this festival on the first day, there is this ritual called ‘Holika Dahan’. As part of this, along with wood and dry grass, waste items present in the house is burnt. This signifies burning of the waste, negativity, that is, all impurity within. All impurities within have to be burnt with the fire of intense awareness. It is only when we burn all impurities then we can truly become ‘Holy’, which is the true essence of the celebration of Holi.
Young, old, men and women, all come together to celebrate Holi. It commemorates forgetting all feelings of differences and of remembering that we are of one family; to have the attitude of equality, that is, of being children of One God. The awareness universal brotherhood, of everyone being equal, gives the experience of the imperishable color of love.
When we embark on this journey of self-awareness and burn the impurities within, we gradually start getting the taste of the Supreme Divinity. Purity attracts God who is the Ocean of Purity. Only the one who is pure can be close to God, who is eternally pure. As we start connecting to the Supreme Soul, we start getting colored by his qualities. God, is the Ocean of Love, Purity, Peace, Happiness, Joy, and Bliss and as we connect with God, we also get colored by these qualities.
There is this saying – We get influenced by the color of the company we keep. Being colored by these qualities being in the company of God we share these with other people through our vision, our attitude, our words, and our actions. We start influencing other souls by the color of this company. This is commemorated by applying physical colors on each other on Holi.
This is the true celebration of Holi. Applying imperishable colors of love, peace, and happiness. These colors won’t need to be washed off. People try to protect themselves from physical colors. However, these color of virtues is such that each one says, “Spray it even more!” No one will be afraid of this, whereas they are afraid of the other color – perhaps it may go into their eyes – but here they would say, “Colour me as much as you can – the more, the better!
So this can only be done by staying in the awareness of the true eternal self. Being in this awareness of the soul and our relationship with the Supreme Soul, the soul will feel intoxicated and it is from this space these colors of qualities will emerge.
This is also known as a Soul Consciousness. (Shared more on the soul- You are W