The True Concept of Holi Festival (Festival of Colours)
Excerpt from the teachings of Guruji Swami Shree Yogi Satyam
How Holi is Celebrated ...
In India, the festival of Holi is also referred to as the festival of colours. It is primarily celebrated in Northern India. This is the time that most people return home to celebrate the festival with their families.
As part of the celebration, people drench each other with coloured water or powders of different colours. The youth, in particular, celebrate the occasion with much joy and vigour, applying colours onto everyone around them, even the passers-by on the streets. Seeing people all stained in colours is not an uncommon sight over the few days surrounding Holi. Most people also shy away from going outdoors lest they are “attacked” by balloons filled with colour-filled water.
Along with the wide spread use of colours, a “Holika” bonfire is lit using heaps of dried twigs and branches that are gathered before Holi.
The Story Behind Holi...
According to an age-old legend, Holi commemorates the burning of Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashyap. Hiranyakashyap was a King in the Satyuga period who had developed special powers through the worship of God. With these powers, Hiranyakashyap was able to fulfill all his wishes and this led Him to believe that He was God. He stated that he was the greatest and demanded that everyone worship Him.
Hiranyakashyap had a son by the name of Prahlaad who was a great devotee of God. He used to worship Vishnu most ardently and despite his father's many warnings, threats and attempts to get rid of him, Prahlaad persisently and fervently pursued in his worship of Vishnu. Fearlessly, he rejected his fathers' claims of being the greatest and instead kept reminding him that there was a greater power than him - Lord Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashyap so much so that he tried to get rid of him many times. However, each attempt failed.
King Hiranyakashyap then called upon his sister, Holika, who was immune to the effects of fire. Holika was instructed to hold Prahlaad in a huge fire in an attempt once again to get rid of him. She took Prahlaad into her arms and stepped into the fire. In the event, Holika was burnt but Prahlaad remained unharmed.
King Hiranyakashyap finally decided to kill Prahlaad himself. He demanded Prahlaad to show him Vishnu. At that moment, Narsimha – the man-lion form of God appeared and Hiranyakashyap was vanquished.
The Real Meaning of Holi...
The different festivals and worship celebrations in India explain the different stages of meditation of a person. Therefore, whenever any festival comes around, we observe it as a “holi”day (a day of purity). At Kriyayoga Research Institute, Jhunsi, Allahabad, all festivals are celebrated in their true form, in the way of deep meditation. On the occasion of Holi, the true essence of the festival is celebrated at the Institute in the style of Kriyayoga meditation, so as to realize the highest power of joy within oneself (Prahlaad).
In Kriyayoga meditation, when we concentrate on Self, we perceive different spiritual colours and divine music on the screen of Agya Chakra situated within the medualla oblongata of the hindbrain. This divine music is called the knowledge of saamveda. As we dive and swim in the ocean of spiritual colours that we perceive in meditation, we experience an ocean of knowledge and power within.
The divine art of playing with different spiritual colours perceived in Kriyayoga meditation is called the celebration of Holika (holi festival). When we become tuned with the mantras of saamveda and spiritual colours, we experience our Immortal nature. At the same time, our divine ego starts playing tricks within us and arouses in us the false concept that there is no God and that oneself is the only God. This state of misunderstanding, where the meditator experiences oneself as the only existing God is called the state of Hiranayakashyap.
Practitioners practising Kriyayoga Meditation during Magh Mela 2008
(Annual Spiritual Congregation) at Kriyayoga Research Institute Camp in Allahabad.
As we go deeper into the practice of Kriyayoga, we attain a higher state of consciousness – Vishnu consciousness, in which we realize that our power lies on the platform of eternal humbleness. At this stage, we experience the existence of Self as highest of high and lowest of low, wisest of wise and most ignorant as well. This stage of realization is called Narasimha consciousness and the joy that we experience then is called Prahlaad consciousness.
Narasimha – the man-lion form representing the stage of eternal humbleness
where Self is perceived as highest of high and lowest of low. We then experience
ever-new thrilling joy: Prahlaad consciousness
It is made very clear that the celebration of the Holika festival is the systematic practice of the Kriyayoga meditation technique to reach the supreme stage of realization so as to be able to accept the two opposite conditions at the same time. The word Narasimha refers to the harmonious living of the lion and human consciousness without any confrontation, giving rise to the ever-new thrilling joy each moment known as Prahlaad consciousness.
The Holika festival is the systematic practice of the Kriyayoga meditation technique to reach the supreme stage of realization so as to be able to accept the two opposite conditions at the same time.