HOLI – ONLY SECULAR FESTIVAL FOR ONE AND ALL:
Holi represents unity in diversity among the people of India which has been the very hallmark of this great nation. India is home to people of a variety of castes and communities who live together in a harmonious co-existence. They share a cordial relation with each other and live with a feeling of brotherhood which speaks volumes about the rich cultural tradition and heritage of our motherland.
HOLI IS ALSO KNOWN AS MADAN UTSAV:
Holi which is also known as Madan Utsav is almost 150 years old. What is Madan Utsav or Holi in northern India, Dhulendi in Western India, Vasanthosavam in Peninsular India, is Dol Jatra in Bengal. Whatever the name be, this festival is a magnificent kaleidoscope of colours, music and dance which binds hearts together and spreads the message of harmony.
THE LEGEND BEHIND MADAN UTSAV:
The death of Sati was a huge blow to Lord Shiva and as a result he lost interest in everything around him. He found solace in meditation and hence took to deep meditation. However, this was considered disastrous by the gods as it meant the tyranny of demon Tarkasur.
SIGNIFICANCE OF HOLIKA DAHAN (HOLI PUJA):
On the eve of Holi, a huge pile of dry leaves, wood logs and cow dung cakes are gathered. Holika pujan is done in which the following mantra is recited:
“Asrikpabhaysantrastaye krita twang holi balishaye
Atastwang Pujayishayami Bhute Bhutiprada Bhava”
After the completion of puja, the heap of gathered things is set alight. This is known as Holika Dahan.
People who are suffering with ill health or overstressed with a problem should go round the Holika fire 7 times and throw Gomti Chakra each time. They should collect ashes and put on their forehead. This is the easiest way to get rid of negativity. Truly this is the Golden chance to burn your misfortune in the Holika fire.
HOLIKA DAHAN MUHURTAS (IST) FOR THE IMPORTANT CITIES:
Poornima Tithi will remain in all over India on 1st March 2018 begining from 8:58 hours in the morning and ending at early morning at 6:21 hours. Based on this Holika Dahan should be done on 1st March after the Pradosh Kaal ends. Accordingly Holika Dahan should be done after the end of Pradosh Kaal. Muhurtha for Holika Dahan is 19:38 hours onwards.
Kolkata 19:38 hours
Mumbai 19:38 hours
New Delhi 19:38 hours
Chennai 19:38 hours
Bangalore 19:38 hours
Kanpur 19:38 hours
Ahmedabad 19:38 hours
Ujjain 19:38 hours
Hyderabad 19:38 hours
Jaipur 19:38 hours
DESTRUCTION OF EVILS:
Holika Dahan (Holi Puja) is representative of the destruction of evils not only of the external environment but also of the internal evils that we possess. Along with all the objects, our miseries and misfortunes too burn to ashes in the Holika fire. In fact, Holi provides us with a wonderful opportunity to drive away all our adversities and misfortunes and embrace a happy, prosperous and successful life.
KEY TO SOLVE ALL THE PROBLEMS BY HOLI PUJA:
A special Holi puja offered on this occasion is the key to solve all the problems of life and welcome a spirited, positive and joyous life. As the Holi pyre is burnt to ashes, it is believed that a purified, harmonius and peaceful state of being is established. The fiery form and direction of Holika agni is indicative of the future of a person or community. The Holika ashes have a religious significance and kept at home for different purposes.
The period of eight days from Phalgun Shukla Asthami to Purnima, Holasthak is observed. In many states of India, with the beginning of Holasthak, a branch of tree is cut and various coloured clothes are tied on that branch. This branch is dug on the ground and people celebrate Holi under this branch. Holasthak is however not favourable for any sacraments or to begin a new activity. This year Holasthak begins on 23rd February 2018. It ends with Holika dahan.