Fire Ceremony Havan Holi
Holi is a spring festival also known as festival of colours, and sometimes festival of love.
Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon).
The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.
The story behind the festival, Holi, begins with Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashyap, who was the father of Prahalad. Hiranyakashyap had declared himself as God and wanted his son Prahalad to worship him and not Vishnu. When Prahalad refused to do the same, he was made to sit with Holika in an open fire. Holika had been granted a boon that she could not be burned even if she was on live fire. When she was made to sit with Prahalad on the live fire, the opposite happened. She burned to death but Prahalad came out unharmed and alive from the fire.
The above story has a deep spiritual meaning. Hiranyakashyap represents “ego”, which when takes control, makes one forget about his own consciousness, so that the person starts thinking himself as the supreme power.
Prahalad represents a person with self realization who is in touch with ones consciousness. The consciousness cannot be burned, cut, dried or made wet by anything. It is imperishable and everlasting.
All those people who have acquired self-realization via Bhakti, Karma or Gyana path are in a state of God acquaintance and nothing can destroy them.
The obstacles to the pathway of self-realization are “attachment, anger, desire, greed and ego”. When all these negative factors overpower any individual, it leads one away from self realization or away from consciousness.
Holika represents the sum total of the negative forces in the body, which can kill you or harm you, if not controlled in time.
The practice of burning Holi a day before the festival of color signifies burning of all negative thoughts or emotions embedded in the mind and also to neutralize all the poison arising due to the negative feelings.
As soon as the negativity is removed from the mind, the spiritual vision opens up or the knowledge of the consciousness is attained. Once this is done, only the positive thoughts remain, which is celebrated as sharing and loving each other, the next day.
Sharing love is most important in removing all the above mentioned five obstacles to self-realization. Spreading love reduces anger as well as desires, detaches one from various attachments, reduces greed, and brings humility in a person. Burning ego and other negative qualities also burns the ill feeling amongst each other and makes everybody a friend.