This year the month of Phalgun concludes usually in March with Purnima (the full moon).
This month was especially auspicious for two reasons, Maha Shivratri in the dark
side of the month, and the much celebrated Holi festival.
The day is celebrated with playing of rung/colours; spraying rung onto one another.
Singing and dancing to the beats of dholak is also part of the tradition.
Holika Dahan will be held on 12th March evening. On this day Hindus light or burn
bonfire made from logs of wood to symbolize victory of good over evil and observe
Holi Pooja.Like most other Hindu festivals Holi denotes the triumph
of righteousness over evil.
The festival derives its name from Holika, the sister of an ancient demon King
Hiranyakshipu. She was set alight on this day with her nephew Bhakt Prahlad in her
lap. Despite a boon to be unharmed by flames, Holika did not survive the fire, but
Bhakt Prahlad walked away unscratched.
Favourite Offerings for Lord Narsing:
All Lord Vishnu offerings like:
- Yellow flowers
- Yellow clothes
- Sweets made out of ghee
Lord Narsing is one of 24 reincarnations of Lord Vishnu. Although he is not
worshipped as commonly as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, he is regarded as one of
the four main reincarnations (the others being Ram, Krishna and Vaman), because
they came to protect their bhakts (devotees).
His form is half human half animal. This form was necessary to kill King
It is commonly believed that Hindus started worshipping deities in the form of
(or murtis) after Lord Visnu’s reincarnation
from a pillar as Lord Narsing.
On this day Lord Vishnu reincarnated as Lord Narsing [half animal and half human
form], at 6.00pm sharp being neither day nor night. He destroyed Prahlad’s dad,
King Hiranyakashipu because the King had declared himself to be the absolute
authority, i.e. being above God. King Hiranyakshipu had stopped everyone from
worshipping God, and had turned everybody towards recognising him as the
authority above God.
The King had tried to get his own son Bhakt Prahlad killed a few times, due to the
fact that Bhakt Prahlad disputed his dad in his claim for supremacy over God, and
continued to worship Lord Vishnu and embrace Hinduism in its entirety. This
frustrated King Hiranyakshipu tried various means to get rid of his son and stop him
from spreading the word against his own father.
Some of the means he employed were:
- Throwing his son off a mountain
- Drowning him in the sea
- Having him burnt by his sister Holika,
- Having Bhakt Prahlad hold a big pillar (khambh) which has been heated to a
very high temperature.
But Bhakt Prahlad’s devotion (bhakti) was so strong that nothing would harm him.
Lord Vishnu emerged, in the form of Narsing, out of the same pillar (khambh), and
killed King Hiranyakshipu. Lord Narsing derived his name because of his form being
half human, half animal. ‘Nar’ means human and ‘sing’ means lion. Lord Narsing
killed the King in the twilight hour (not day, not night), on the entrance of his palace
court (not inside, not outside), over his lap (not on earth surface, not in the air),
using his lion-like claws (not with weapon, not without a weapon). These special
conditions were necessary due to a boon Lord Brahma had granted King
Hiranyakshipu after the King had performed great tapasya to gain Lordship over the
material world. The boon was that King Hiranyakshipu could not be killed by a man
or a beast, with a weapon or without a weapon, during the day or the night, indoors
or outdoors, on the earth or in the air.
It was while King Hiranyakshipu was performing his tapasya, that his wife Queen
Kayadhu, who was already expecting their child (Bhakt Prahlad) was sent by the
God’s to Sage Narada’s hermitage where she learnt all about the glory of Lord
Vishnu. As she was learning, so too was her son, Bhakt Prahlad, absorbing all this
great knowledge whilst still in his mother’s womb. As the boy grew up he had
unshakable shraddha and bhakti towards Lord Vishnu, despite his father’s
megalomania and attempts at intimidation.
Bhakt Prahlad was considered very divine, and he still is today, because at such a
tender age he challenged his dad’s ways. Where as the elders in King
Hiranyakshipu’s Kingdom had succumbed to the King’s orders and had started
After the death of King Hiranyakshipu, his son Bhakt Prahlad ruled as King, wisely,
for many many years.
Lessons from Holi Festival
We can be inspired by the young Bhakt Prahlad’s immense devotion and reminded
that with such unselfish devotion and faith in God, through all hardships and
calamities we will be protected and that no evil, however strong, can conquer
righteousness and the immense grace of God.
The burning of the Holika during Holi is also to remind us of the burning of our evil
tendencies, of conceit, greed, hatred and lust and all impurities. After all it was only
the pure Bhakt Prahlad who emerged from the flames unscathed when his aunt
Holika tried to kill him there.
Lord Ram and Lord Krishna
It is believed that Lord Ram in Tretha Yug celebrated Holi on this day, and so did
Lord Krishna in Dwapar Yug. Holi, as it is celebrated today with much colour,
festivities, dances and food was actually started during Lord Krishna’s time.
It is said in Shiv Maha Puran that the Phalgun and Sharvan month are the two most
auspicious for Lord Shiv’s bhakti.
Lord Shiva’s connection to Lord Narsing came after Lord Narsing killed King
Hiranyakshipu and crowned Bhakt Prahlad as the new ruler of the Kingdom.
The Shiv Puran says that Lord Narsing’s anger was not calmed even after replacing
King Hiranyakshipu. It was then that all the Gods and Goddesses went to Lord Shiva
and asked for help. Lord Shiva first sent his Bhairo form and then later his Virbhadra
form to calm Lord Narsing.
The playing of colour started from the King’s death when people used his blood
and ashes from the dead Holika. Since then devotees have diversified their
celebrations by playing Holi colour in a variety of different types (rung).