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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wishing You all "Happy Holi" - Festival of Victory of Good Over Evil

The festival of Holi is celebrated in India with a lot of enthusiasm as it marks a change. A change of season from the cold harsh winter to the colorful spring that melts the ice on the ground, and brings out the green grass and colors of the soil, the trees look radiant once again with their fresh green leaves and colorful flowers as also the colorful flowering plants in all the gardens. The days are longer once again and the sun shines it's brilliance over the mother earth bringing with it its much needed warmth so that people can shed their heavy winter garments and come out in the light summer shades of cotton fabric to enjoy the spring.

Holi is a festival that marks "Victory of Good over Evil". Since there is warmth in the air and sunshine once again, it gets reflected in the mood of the people as they express their happiness with song and dance, music, laughter, sweets, drinks and colors that considersbly cheer up everyone. This day is called Holi. What a wonderful way to begin a year, isn't it. If only this "feeling of goodness" would last till the end of the year...!

Do you know the mythological story behind why Holi is celebrated? Well for those who don't know it yet, read it here: This is how it goes..(quoted below)

"There was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana a...nd refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unscathed. Treacherously, Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion. Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil. Holi is also celebrated as the triumph of a devotee. As the legend depicts that anybody, howsoever strong, cannot harm a true devotee. And, those who dare torture a true devotee of god shall be reduced to ashes."

I think that it is very important to revive stories like these to our children, for in modern times, there is all the more a very urgent need to fight for "goodness" and overcome the "bad" or "evil"  that threatens to overtake the world at large...!

When I look all around me, I see a world that has changed completely and there seems to be nothing but "chaos" all around. People are confused. There is tyranny everywhere, governing systems are failing miserably leading to a very insecure and unstable environment. I feel very concerned and sad with the state of affairs in the world at large, as it is becoming more and more selfish and inhuman in nature, largely due to commercialism.

I posted this story on my Facebook wall and one of my friends from Xomba said, "thanks for posting this". I was happy to see that it was still important to some people. I strongly feel that we are severly lacking this input of traditional values, stories and culture to our younger generation in the passage of time and soon a time will come when there won't remain any "cultural" differences anymore. Due to this lack in our teachings or preachings to our children they are not able to have a smooth transition from "childhood" to "adulthood".  This may also be largely due to time constraints and parents get busy in their quest for money and trying to run the home, that they don't find any time to tell stories to their kids or even guide them with interesting anecdotes. In fact, people have even stopped writing such stories for kids now and I feel sorry for today's generation in many ways.

Children today (can't really blame them) are becoming more and more materialistic (thanks to commercialism) and learning to measure and value everything according to it...Lines have vanished, that demarcated good from bad, moral from immoral, right from wrong, legal from illegal, truth from lies, good manners and bad manners....The world at large has changed..So, what do we teach our kids today and how? Where are the role models?

How can we fight "evil" when the thin line between "good" and "evil" itself have diminished! Where are the true "devotees" today? Will there be a saviour to bring "Victory of Good Over Evil?"
I certainly hope so, for without hope, one would not be able to survive. So it is with this hope in my heart that I wish all the readers and the Xomba community a very "Happy Holi" and hope that the "warmth" this year should last through the year and bring out the goodness and also peace back on this earth.


Originally posted on Xomba

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