Holi, the festival of colours. Its myriad hues rival the gorgeous brilliance of the rainbow. A heady cocktail of innocent joy with a dash of naughtiness, Holi has always been welcomed by weary people tired of daily grappling with the seemingly-unending challenges of everyday existence. Now, for a few moments at least, we can recall and lose ourselves in the unalloyed delight of those rapidly-receding childhood days. The very thought energizes us, wouldn’t you agree?
Holi is associated with ‘burning’. Like all Indian festivals, it signifies the victory of Good over Evil. Hiranyakashipu might have been the ‘king who wanted to rule Heaven’, thereby not only seeking to avenge the death of his younger brother at the hands of Lord Vishnu but also enabling the tyrant to take on his arch-enemy. Son’s absolute devotion for Vishnu, however, threw a spanner in the works. This, clearly, was something he had not taken into account. But what is a father’s love in the face of unbounded ambition egged on by frustrated fury? To such a twisted mind, killing the child is the only ‘logical’ decision. Sister Holika is impervious to fire. What better way than to let her sit on a burning pyre with the little one? Thankfully, the murderous intentions of the brother-sister duo come to nought. Unholy machinations are simply overwhelmed by the pure and incandescent passion of child Prahlad. Holika finds out - a little too late - that fire mercilessly destroys impure objects and tainted souls alike.
In this world, we are sorely tested by life’s vicissitudes. Its raging flames spare no one, and a kaleidoscope of emotions is regularly put to the sword. Throughout it all, the Lord continues to bless and provide Divine Protection to the individual who, possessing a pure mind and motivated by sincere intentions, perseveres in the right path and displays unshaken faith in Him. On this auspicious occasion, let this be our takeaway-lesson.
Enjoy the colours of life. Happy Holi.