HOLI - festival of colours.
- H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Life should be full colours! And each colour is meant to be seen and enjoyed separately, for if seen all mixed together, they will appear all black. All the colours like red, yellow, green, etc. should exist side by side and simultaneously be enjoyed together.Similarly, in life, different roles played by the same person should exist peacefully and distinctly inside him. For example, when a father continues to play his role of a 'father' in office, things are bound to go for a toss. In our country, a politician is sometimes a father first and a leader later.
In which ever situation we are in, we should play the corresponding role to the hilt and then life is bound to become colourful! This concept was called 'Varnashram' in ancient India. This meant - everyone, be it a doctor, teacher, father, whoever or whatever, is expected to play their roles with full enthusiasm. Mixing professions will always be counter productive. If a doctor also wants to do business, he should run a business separately and secondary to his profession and not make business out of medicine. Keeping these roles, these 'containers' of the mind, separate and distinct, is the secret of a happy life and this is what ‘HOLI’ teaches.
All colours emanate from white and when mixed again, they become black. When your mind is white and consciousness - pure, peaceful, happy and meditative, different colours and roles emerge. We get the strength to play various roles with full sincerity against the background of this consciousness is bound to be successful. We have to dip into our consciousness time and again. If we only look inwards and play around with colours outside of us, we are bound to find blackness all over again. Between roles we have to take deep rests, in order to play each role sincerely.
Now, the biggest impediment to deep rest is desire. Desire means stress. Even petty desires cause high stress, - the higher goals give relatively less botheration! Desire really tortures the mind at times. So what does one do? The only way out is to focus attention on the desire and surrender it. This act of focusing awareness or sight on desire or Kama is called 'kamakshi'. With awareness, desire loses it grip and surrender happens. Nectar flows out from within. The Goddess, Kamashi, holds a sugarcane stem in one hand and a flower in the other. The sugar-cane stem is so hard and has to be squeezed in order to obtain sweetness, while the flower is soft and collecting nectar from it is so easy. This truly represents life, which indeed has a little of both! It is far easier to obtain this bliss from the inside than it is to obtain pleasure from the outside world - which needs a lot more effort.
Lift Your Spirit with Joy of Colour
The word purana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pura nava', which means 'that which is new in the city'. It is a new way of presenting things. Puranas are full of colourful illustrations and stories. On the surface they appear to be mere fantasy, but actually they contain subtle truths.
An asura king, Hiranyakashyap, wanted everyone to worship him. But, his son Prahalad was a devotee of Lord Narayana, the king's sworn enemy. Angry, the king wanted Holika, his sister to get rid of Prahalad. Empowered to withstand fire; Holika sat on a burning pyre holding Prahalad on her lap. But, it was Holika who was burnt, Prahalad came out unharmed.
Hiranyakashyap symbolizes one who is gross. Prahalad embodies innocence, faith and bliss/joy. The spirit cannot be confined to love material only. Hiranyakashyap wanted all the joy to come from the material world. It did not happen that way. The individual jivatma cannot be bound to the material forever. It’s natural to eventually move towards Narayana, one's higher self.
Holika stands for the past burdens that try to burn Prahalad's innocence. But Prahlad, so deeply rooted in Narayana Bhakthi could burn all past impressions (sanskaras) and joy springs up with new colours. Life becomes a celebration. Burning the past, you gear up for a new beginning. Your emotions, like fire, burn you. But when there is a fountain of colours, they add charm to your life. In ignorance, emotions are a bother; in knowledge, the same emotions add colours.
In some places Holi is commemorated as the destruction of a female demon called Putana by Sri Krishna. An evening before the full moon night of Holi, huge bonfires are burnt as a symbolic representation of burning those evils. This exuberant festival is also associated with the immortal love of Radha & Krishna and played with all colours and vigour in Mathura (the place of birth of Krishna) and in Brindavan.
Today the spirit of Holi is much needed for all races to shed their inhibitions and differences and be in one colour - that of joy, peace and happiness. May all be coloured with one colour-the colour of Joy, the Colour of Shyam (Shyam Rung).Joy resides fully in Shyam.
So who is Shyam?
Untarung Shyam, Prem Roop Shyam,
Sneh roop Shyam, Karuna Sindhu Shyam-Ram, Krishna,
Shiv - Shakti, Megh Neel ShyamKarmaroop, Nirvikalpa- Vasudev Shyam!
Shyam, the one myself,one who is embodiment of Pure Love, Kindness and Compassion.He is Ram, Krishana, Shiv and Shakti -the beautiful Vast consciousness.He is eternal, the giver of Joy and Happiness. Shyam is eternal Joy! May all be immersed in Shyam rung and celebrate true Holi.
Each emotion is associated with a colour- Anger with red, jealousy with green, vibrancy and happiness with yellow, love with pink, vastness with blue, peace with white, sacrifice with saffron and knowledge with violet.
Holi should be colourful, not boring. When each colour is seen clearly, it is colourful. When all the colours get mixed, you end up with black .So also in life, we play different roles. Each role and emotion needs to be clearly defined. Emotional confusion creates problems. When you are a father, you have to play the part of a father. You can’t be a father at office. When you mix the roles in your life, you start making mistakes. Whatever role you play in life, give yourself fully to it. Harmony in diversity makes life vibrant and more colourful.
One legend talks about the time when Parvati was in Tapasya and Shiva was in Samadhi. In facilitating the divine union of the two, Kamadeva, the Lord of Love, gets burnt into ashes by Shiva. Shiva had to come out of his Samadhi to join Parvati, for celebration to take place. 'Parva' is festival and 'Parvati' means 'born out of festival'- celebration! For samadhi to unite with celebration, the presence of desire was necessary.So, desire (Kama) was invoked. But again, to celebrate, you need to overcome desireSo Shiva opened his third eye and burned Kama. When desire in the mind is burnt, celebration happens. A state of vairagya is not devoid of 'ras'or colours- Vairagya is often misunderstood as 'neeras' or monotonous. No. no.. actually it is 'navras', it has all the colours!