Dear Isheeria’s Healing Circles Readers,
Welcome to Part 3 of the Holi Festival series at #isheeria.
The Festival of Holi has it’s roots in the story of Prahlad
(the great devotee of Lord Vishnu).
Prahlad’s father as Hiranya Kashyap and he was a Demon Kind. He as jealous of the Gods, and forbade his subjects from praying to them. He ordered them to worship him as the Almighty. To worship the Gods, or to chant their name was punishable by death.
Hiranya Kashyap was away on a quest to gain more power. In his absence, his wife gave birth to a son, Prahlad. His early years, while his father was away, was under the care of (Lord) Dattatreya, and he became a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
On Hiranya Kashyap’s return, Prahlad’s education as taken over by Shankracharya, who taught him that his father was God. But Prahlad refused to accept this. In fact, he spread the name of God, and wanted others to convert into worshipping Lord Vishnu.
Hiranya Kashyap failing to convince Prahlad decided to punish him. He threw Prahlad off a mountain, without success. He put him in a den of Dragons and Lions, but was still unsuccessful in harming him.
Prahlad’s faith in his God was unwavering.
As a last resort, Hiranya Kashyap came up with the plan of a fool-proof death trap. He asked his sister, Holika, for help in killing Prahlad. Holika agreed, and asked him to organise a bonfire. She would sit in the fire with Prahlad in her lap, and let the fire take over. She had been given a boon by the Gods that she could not be harmed by fire, nothing untoward would happen to her, but Prahlad would perish.
But, she had known the outcome – Fire could not harm her if she was alone. But, here, she had Prahlad in her lap.
Another story is that the Gods had given Holika a cloth to wrap around herself and Fire would not be able to harm her. When she went to sit in the Fire, she wrapped the cloth around Prahlad and sat with him in her lap. She perished in the Fire, but Prahlad came out of it unscathed.
Holi is the celebration of
Holika’s Love and sacrifice for Prahlad.
Of Prahlad’s Faith and Devotion to Lord Vishnu,
And of Lord Vishnu’s protection of his devotee.
Happy Holi to you and your Family.