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Holi: The festival of colours

Holi is an annual Spring festival celebrated across India on the day after the full moon in early March. On this day, or sometimes several days, people come together across social boundaries, putting aside their differences and expressing their joy by holding public bonfires and throwing brightly-colored powders, liquid colors, and perfumes onto friends and family. The event commemorates several events in Indian lore, as well as the arrival of spring and it’s bright colors.

Vasant season is here !! The cheerful season of Vasant comes afterall the body stiffness experienced during Shishir. Cool mornings and warm afternoons of Vasant open up our limbs ecstatically. The Vasant season is all about beautiful flowers, awesome weather and diverse colorful nature. One such festival that comes during this time is HOLI!!!

With celebration in the air along with colorful faces, the festival of Holi is not just about all this. The scientific purpose is much larger. The energy conserved during the winter months is utilized for the celebrations of Holi. The type of foods eaten in winter produces kapha. This stored kapha begins to melt and dilute in the sunshine of the changed weather causing health problems, obstructing the tubes. Bonfires are lit and coconuts, tender plants of Vasanta, i.e pungent mango and neem flower stalks, are thrown into the bonfire. The smoke emitted from the burning of these plants burns up our kapha on one hand, and on the other, the aromatic steam which spreads in the atmosphere, prevents the new diseases borne out of the rising pitta.

“Any kind of celebration in this world is essentially feminine. There is a very beautiful story in the Mahabhar-ata  that describes this. When Krishna was eight years old, he moved from Gokul to Vrindavan and became immensely popular among the village folk.

It was at the time of Holi, just after spring, when everything is in full bloom. On a certain full moon evening, the village boys and girls gathered on the banks of river Yamuna.

They started playing and having fun, throwing water and sand at each other. After some time, the play broke into a dance. They danced and danced because they were in such an exuberant and joyful state.

But slowly, the clumsier ones dropped off. When Krishna saw this, he took out his flute and started to play. His music was so enchanting that everyone gathered around him and again swayed, for almost half the night.

This is the first incident of Raas Leela, where a simple, joyful mingling of people rose to a transcendental state.

The word “rasa” means “juice”, but it can also indicate passion. This was the dance of passion. The fragrance of this dance spread and people came to know that on full moon nights, this dance happened, and more people came to participate.

It also fell on Shiva’s ears that a fantastic dance happened on the banks of Yamuna. He became aware that people just danced their way to what he had achieved through meditation.

Shiva, being also called the Nataraja (the lord of dance), was very amused that this little boy (Krishna), his devotee, was taking people to transcendental states simply by dancing and blowing upon his flute.

He wanted to witness this. So he walked from the Himalayas to the Yamuna and said to a boatman there, “Take me across to Vrindavan.

I want to see Krishna’s Raas.” The boatman replied, “You cannot go like this. When you go to the Raas, Krishna is the only man, everybody else is a woman. If you want to go, you have to go as a woman.”

Shiva is considered the ultimate of the masculine — the purusha among purushas. So it was a strange request that Shiva had to become a woman. But the Raas was in full swing and Shiva wanted to go there.

Shiva looked around. Nobody was looking, so he wore the clothes of a Gopi and went across. He is such a sport.

So there is something very feminine about celebration. Feminine means exuberance and that is how you should be every moment of your life — exuberantly alive. We did not come here to avoid life, rather to know and experience life. And you cannot experience life un-less you keep yourself as intense and exuberant as possible.

Holi is an opportunity for the whole community to come together and celebrate the coming of spring with great joy and enthusiasm.

But celebration should not be limited to a particular occasion. Your whole life, your very existence should become a celebration.

Join us for celebrating Holi this year at Rana Mahal Ghat.

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