The significance of Holi or Phagwah


Holi or Phagwah is a seasonal festival which predates the Vedic era. From remote antiquity, this festival was celebrated with great pomp and joy by all cross- sections of the Hindu community.

Phagwah symbolizes the freedom from confinement in every regard. It is a time when nature exhibits its beauty with the introduction of the spring season. With the advent of spring, Life blooms in every kingdom. The plants, animals, birds and humans welcome and celebrate the freedom influenced by Mother Nature’s hospitality.

The season offers many opportunities for human reflection. Every human being should aspire to be a product of Liberation. In simple, man should recognize he is more a product of divinity rather than sin. Liberation, the high point of the Hindu Life can only be achieved when the divine inherent potentialities in the individual is explored and exploited to its fullest extent. The capacity for such an exploration solely depends on the discriminate power of the aspirant i.e. to be loyal to our conscience rather than be a slave to our minds and senses.

Phagwah also sends the message of integration and cohesion. The multi colors associated with the festival is a clear testimony of varieties adding to nature’s beauty.

It is the conflagration of different flowers that influences the delight of the gardener likewise when there is human integration and cohesion, God the great gardener becomes delighted. The changing seasons also send the indisputable message of the dynamics of changes. All changes at every level are influenced by Mother Nature’s hospitality , whether the movement of sea shells, the flow of the river, and the changes in body structure or even organizational changes, all inevitably are materialized by the power of nature and should be accepted like the different seasons. The phenomenal changes of Life are transitory and are not considered adversely by the wise.

The message of good triumphing over evil must not be over looked. The story of Bhakt Prahalaal and his tyrant father Hiraanyakasipu should never be forgotten. There is no crime in civil resistance. Bhakt Prahalaal never resorted to violence; he excluded himself from the political affairs of the kingdom which was ruled through dictatorship. He didn’t allow himself to be bullied by the opposing forces created by his father. As a matter of fact, he never wanted to inherit a kingdom that is rooted in violence and atrocities. It was this type of resistance Mahatma Gandhi emulated to confront his oppressors. Gandhi’s victory over the British oppressors was a clear indication that hate, violence and war are not the answers to any crisis.

It is Bhakt Prahalaal who set the standard to befriend the one all pervasive God and strengthened his faith with that all- powerful lord to weaken the dictatorship of his father and to create a new epoch where righteousness and Dharm was established.

Holi is also a time for sharing. It is a time when farmers and peasant celebrate the harvesting of their crops and at the same time, indulge in Yagnas and Pujas, thanking God for his benedictions and also securing blessings for their future crops. Basant therefore sends a universal message, which has the potentialities to remove hopelessness and reinstate confidence.

May all be blessed through the significance of the festival.

The Viraat Sabhaa Guyana extends Holi greetings to all Guyanese.

President of the Viraat Sabhaa Guyana

Pandit Ravi


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