Last Updated on 6 March 2023, 12:35 PM IST: Holi Festival 2023: India is the land of bunch of festivals and Holi amongst them is celebrated within and outside the nation. Holi is known as the festival of colors because of its popular way of celebration but it is not limited to just celebrating it with colors. It has its popular historical and spiritual significance which is very vital for people to understand. Let us know about the details of the festival and the true story of Holika Dahan.
What Is the Holi Festival?
Holi is known as the festival of colours as well as the festival of the Spring season. It is one of the most popular Hindu festivals celebrated by people across all states in India, regardless of caste and creed people come together and celebrate this festival with great joy and enthusiasm.
About Evil Holika on Holi 2023 Festival
The word Holi is derived from the word “Holika“, who was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu. This festival is celebrated in remembrance of the victory of good over evil, i.e. on the next day after Holika was burnt on a pyre.
Holi 2023 Festival Date in India
According to the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the last full moon day or Poornima of the month of Falgun. This year Holi festival falls on March 8, 2023. And Holika Dahan will be observed a day before Holi which will be on 7th March 2023.
The Story Behind Holi: Why Is It Celebrated?
Holika Dahan: Prahalad was the son of Hiranyakashipu (the evil demon king) and Kayadu. Hiranyakashipu was granted a boon by Lord Brahma that he could not be killed by anyone whether a man or an animal, neither during the day time nor at night; neither from anything born from the living womb; neither on land nor in the water / the air; neither outdoors nor indoors, not even with any man-made weapons. Thus, Hiranyakashipu considered himself to be an eternal God. His son Prahalad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He used to mistreat his son and commanded Prahlad to worship him instead of Lord Vishnu.
Holika Dahan 2023: As Prahlad did not obey his father’s orders and continued to worship Lord Vishnu, the evil king Hiranyakashipu made a plan along with his sister Holika to kill Prahlad. As Holika had a blanket that could not be burnt by fire, they made a plan to kill Prahalad by making him sit on a pyre. As per the plan, Holika would sit on the pyre covered with that blanket with Prahlad in her lap with the intention that Prahalad would be burnt and she would come out alive, as the fire will not affect her inside the sheet. Surprisingly, the opposite happened.
God blew strong wind there that made that blanket cover Prahalad instead. Holika was burnt to ashes and Prahalad remained safe and unhurt. Since then the tradition of celebrating Holika Dahan began, and to date, people are celebrating the same to commemorate the victory of good over evil.
Know the True Story of Devotee Prahlad on the Festival of Holi
This incident of “protecting the kittens” increased Prahlad’s faith in God even more. Prahlad was sent by his father King Hiranyakashipu to a school (Paathshala) located outside the city to gain knowledge of alphabets and devotion, where two Acharyas used to teach: one Sana and the other Murka. They used to teach about religion. On the orders of Hiranyakashipu, they used to tell everyone the name Hiranyakashipu-Hiranyakashipu as the mantra to chant.
They used to say that the name of Ram-Vishnu or any other God “should not be chanted. Hiranyakashipu (Hirnakush) is the Supreme Soul.” Prahlad also used to chant his father’s name. If anyone was found chanting Ram-Ram or other names of the Lord in place of Hiranyakashipu, she/he was given the death penalty in front of everyone.
On his way to school, a potter kept pots in the Aava (kiln, a type of oven used for baking pots). They were covered with woods and cow dung cakes, and were prepared to be lit in the morning.
Holi 2023 Festival: In the night, a cat put her babies in a pot in the same Aava. In the morning, the cat went to other houses for food. The potter set Aava on fire. After sometime, the cat came back and seeing her child in trouble started meowing. Potter immediately understood.
She also started praying to God and started crying, “Oh God! Oh Ram! We will incur grave sin. Protect these kittens.” She was saying this over and over again. At that time, the devotee Prahlad was going to school by the same route. When he saw the potter crying, he went near her. She was repeatedly saying,” Ohh Ram! Oh Lord Vishnu! Oh God! Save these kittens. We will incur sin.” Prahlad said to her, “O mother! You shouldn’t say Ram. Take my father’s name, otherwise he will kill you.”
The potter told, “Kittens are left in this Aava. We were unaware of this. I am praying to God for the safety of these kittens. King Hiranyakashipu cannot save them from this fierce fire; only God can save them.” The devotee Prahlad said, “Mother! Call me when you take the pitchers out.” It is said that the pitchers kept in the Aava used to take a month to be prepared.
At that time, in mere two-and-a-half (2.1/2) days, the Aava was done. God blew such a cool wind that the fire extinguished. The pots were taken out by calling the devotee Prahlad. The pot in which the kittens were, was raw. The kittens were safe. All the other pitchers were baked. Seeing this scene, Prahlad accepted that human beings cannot do anything in such a dire situation. Only God is all-capable.
Holi Festival in English: The world does not even know about the real Ram
Devotee Prahlad ji had told the potter, “If God saves the kittens, then I will also chant the name of God. I will not chant my father’s name.” After that day, Prahlad started chanting the name of Ram. This incident is from Satyug. At that time the son of Dasaratha, Ramchandra was not even born. When Sana and Murka teachers came to know that Prahlad was chanting Ram, they explained him a lot that he should chant the name of King Hiranyakashipu.
Devotee Prahlad was a very virtuous soul.
Prahlad said, “Gurudev! My father is a human, a king, but not a God. Only God can protect in terrible circumstances. Only God can do the welfare of living beings. What does a king give to the people? On the contrary, tax is collected from the public. God nurtures all. When He rains, then humans become prosperous. It is necessary to be a king, but one should not be unjust.
Holi 2023 Festival: The king is made to maintain law and order. It is the duty of the king to protect the citizens from the miscreants. The king gets the kingdom only by the worship of God. If the king troubles the citizens, then God punishes him and puts him in hell. Then he suffers in the lives of animals and birds. That’s why, the king should also take the name of the Supreme Soul and act fearing God.”
Sana said,”Prince! You are our disciple, not a guru. You are teaching us.” Prahlad said, “Sorry Gurudev. I am not teaching you; I am telling you the responsibility of a king.” Murka Pandey said, “O prince! Who gave you this knowledge?”
Prahlad was the previous virtuous soul
Prahlad said, “Gurudev, I am recalling the past. When I was in mother’s womb. Narad ji came to me (by acquiring a subtle form) and told me the glory of God and human duty. And, also gave me the name to chant. Now I will do the same chanting.”
Holi 2023 Festival: The Sana-Murka Pandits told the king that his son chanted the name of Ram and was not, “listening to us. When we taught him, he started narrating knowledge to us.” When Hiranyakashipu called and asked him not to chant the name of Ram, Prahlad clearly said, “Father, only God is capable. Only God can save us from every trouble. Humans are not capable. If a devotee gets some power from God after doing sadhna, then she/he shows off being best among ordinary people, but cannot be better than God. God is the best. He is capable.”
All attempts to kill Prahlad gets failed
Holi Festival in Hindi: On Hearing all this from the devotee Prahlad, the arrogant Hiranyakashipu became angry and told the servants-soldiers to take him away from his eyes and leave him in the jungle among the snakes. “He will die from snake bite.” Soldiers did the same. But Prahlad didn’t die because snakes didn’t bite him. He was sleeping at ease. The snakes were shadowing the devotee Prahlad by spreading their hood to protect him from the sun in the morning.
■ Also Read: How To Celebrate Real Holi?
The king said to soldiers, “Go and get the dead body from the forest.” When the soldiers went to the forest, Prahlad was lying. The snakes moved here and there. The soldiers saw that. Thinking that Prahlad was dead, when they started lifting him, he himself stood up. Prahlad was ten years old. Then, an attempt was made to kill him by throwing him from the mountain. Prahlad fell on the dense flowering plants; didn’t die.
Holi Is a Festival With Different Names
Holi is celebrated with different names across the country like Dulhendi in the northern part of India, Dol Jatra or Dol Poornima in Orissa and Bengal and Phagwah in Assam.
Festival of Holi and Its Rituals
Holi is celebrated for two days. The festival begins on the night of the full moon, where people light a bonfire and gather around it. This ritual is celebrated to remember the destruction of Holika, and people also have a false belief that lighting a fire will wipe off the bad and evil thoughts from the environment and from their lives too. But our Holy Scriptures like Holy Geeta ji in chapter 17 verse 23 indicate us to worship Supreme God Kabir with OM-TAT-SAT being the mantra of His attainment. Hence we should trust our Holy Scriptures in such situations.
Which Is the True Practice That Can Cleanse Away Bad Thoughts and Evil Spirits From Lives?
It is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4 Verse 25 to 30, that devotees perform different types of acts like Havan (sacrificial fire), meditation, fasting, pranayam, charity and austerity. All these are self-made ways of garnering good karma but are not supported by Holy Scriptures. None of such acts can help in eliminating the sins of past life or this life, and they have to be borne throughout one’s life if they keep doing worship against scriptures.
It is explained very wisely in the Spiritual discourses of Great Spiritual Leader Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj that upon taking Naam Diksha (initiation) from Him after going through the Spiritual Knowledge given by Him, one can easily clear off all one’s sins of past and present very easily. It is because of the method of worship which is in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and as given by Supreme God Kabir 600 years ago. Kabir Saheb says:
Kabir, Jab hi Satnaam hriday dharyo, Bhayo paap ko naash |
Maano chigni agni ki, Pade puraani ghaas ||
The indicative mantras given in Holy Geeta ji chapter 17 verse 23 (TAT-SAT) are to be revealed by a Tatvdarshi Saint who is none other than Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj. It is the power in these mantras to clear off the sins that makes them unique. And it is the same reason why it is being disclosed by a Tatvdarshi Saint who is the sole representative of Supreme God Kabir.
This is the only True path for Moksh and as per the indications given in our Holy Scriptures. This True path of worship is being shown to us by the grace of Tatvdarshi Guru Sant Rampal ji Maharaj. No other Guru in this era is giving the True Spiritual Knowledge and the right mantras for attaining salvation.
Toxic Holi Festival of 2023
In the current scenario the way of celebrating Holi has changed. Instead of playing Holi like earlier, with Gulal, flowers and chemical-free dry colours, people have started using paints, chemicals, dyes, eggs, oil, mud and many more such harmful and toxic things, which end up affecting the skin and create other side effects. And also mark the spirit of the Festival, rendering it almost meaningless.
Holi 2023 Festival: One day before and on holi, people organise pool and booze parties, and they play cards till morning and drink cannabis & alcohol. Women of all age groups are the usual targets during Holi. Holi has turned out to be a way for people to practice bad habits like these. Let this holi be the one way for adopting the right way of living as given by Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj.
Holi Festival 2023 Quotes
- This Holi, bring the colors of joy & happiness by performing true worship of Almighty God Kabir Saheb Ji
- Let Satguru paint the canvas of your life by taking the refuge in complete Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj
- Everybody must play the Ram Rang Holi by performing the true worship
- The real Holi is Ram Rang Holi — the joy we get by reciting the Satnam Mantra is the real Holi
- Ram Rang Holi was played by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Ravidas ji, and all the other true saints
- All the true saints have advised to play Ram Rang Holi by performing true worship after taking initiation from a complete Saint
- The color of this fake Holi fades away in some time. But, the colors of Ram Rang Hori never fade and will always retain their fervour. They will help the soul reach the place which is Eternally colored in Supreme’s colors
Know the Real Hori: “Ram Rang Hori”
The True Spirit of Holi is brought to light in the striking Vaani of Garib Das Ji, a 17th century Saint who was taken to eternal place by Supreme God Kabir ji at the tender age of 10 years, and his path to salvation got initiated after this incident. After returning from Amarlok, He recited the divine Vaani by the grace of Supreme God Kabir ji. This Vaani is also understood as the holy Sukshm Veda or the 5th Veda.
In His holy words, Saint Garib Das Ji explains what TRUE Holi or everlasting happiness is. According to him, the right way one should play Holi is by taking the Naam Diksha (Initiation) from a True Guru and douse the soul in colors of true worship of the Almighty. These are the colors that never fade, will always retain their fervor and will ultimately help the soul reach a place which is Eternally coloured in Supreme’s colors, that is, will help the soul attain Salvation.
Here are a few lines from his vaani, which explain the kind of Holi that must be played:
Samrath ka sharna gaho rang hori ho| Kabhi na ho akaaj Ram rang Hori ho ||
Satnaam palde rang hori ho| Chaudah lok chadhaave Raam rang Hori ho ||
Atam aur Paramatma rang hori ho| Ek dehi mein do Raam rang Hori ho ||
Satguru mela karat hei rang hori ho| Chalo Agampur dhaam Raam rang Hori ho ||
Garbdas Ji Maharaj indicates that Supreme God Kabir Ji is the Samrath (Omnipotent), Aadi Raam or Satpurush, the Highest Holy Power that the soul should take refuge in. He will never let the pious soul that is in His refuge go astray or be harmed. The power of true Satnaam is also explained in the words of Garib Das Ji, that it can’t even be compared to even gaining the rule of all 14 lower realms (Loks) of Mrityu Lok. Satguru Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj is the only TRUE Guru, the only True Saint, who can help the soul reach the ultimate destination, Amarlok, where the one Supreme God, the omnipotent Kavirdev Ji resides. And will end all the useless living-dying and karmic strife in 84 lakh species of animals as rebirth, that a soul suffers right now here on prithvi lok (earth).
Consider It: Today’s Holi Has Become a Gimmick, or Not?
We humbly request all pious souls to understand the difference between the two kinds of Holi, one which has become more of a gimmick and disempowers the soul and the second which empowers the soul and will ultimately lead us back to our ever-peaceful Eternal home.
The way of True bhakti/worship, i.e. playing “Ram Rang Hori“, will be ascertained when Naam daan is taken from True Guru, Tatvdarshi Sant Rampal ji Maharaj and this true worship “Ram rang Hori” will help us attain Poorn Moksh (a state of everlasting peace and happiness). Please do watch the holy Satsangs of Tatvdarshi Sant Rampal ji Maharaj on the YouTube channel “Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj“.
FAQ Regarding Holi Festival
A: Holy is Celebrated every year on Full moon day of Phalguna.
A: According to Saint Garibdas Ji Maharaj the Correct way of Celebrating Holi is by performing satbhakti by taking Initiation from Tatvadarshi Saint.
A: Holi is one such festival with the prime theme of good beating away evil.
A: Demon king Hiranyakashipu was granted five magical powers of protection, which he believed would combine to make him immortal. Holding firm in this belief, he forced his subjects to worship him as a god. However, his son Prahlad refused to do so. Therefore king Hiranyakashipu wanted to kill his Son Prahlad?
A: Holika had a special cloak that protected her from fire, and she planned to bring Prahlad into the fire with her, then remove the cloak and expose Prahlad to the flames. However, her plan failed and the cloak flew from Holika to Prahlad, thus protecting the righteous son and leaving the evil Holika to burn in the flames.