Nagpur News: Holi, the Indian festival of colours is coming closer every passing day. Today is Holika Dahan. It is an evening of bonfires. On this day, a bonfire is lit and then worshiped. Holika Dahan symbolises the win of good over evil.
Story behind Holika Dahan:
The Indian festival of colours, Holi has been mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas. Holika Dahan is considered as a victory of Prahlad and defeat of his aunt, Holika. The story behind Holika Dahan is, a demon King named Hiranyakashyap wanted everyone in his kingdom to worship him as God. But, his son Prahlad started following Lord Naarayana. So, King Hiranyakashyap ordered his sister, Holika to kill his son, Prahlad. Though Holika was blessed with a boon that no fire can burn her, the king asked her to sit in fire with Prahlad on her lap. When she sat with Prahlad in burning fire, the opposite happened. Holika got burned to death and Prahlad came out unhurt. That is why, Holi is famous to celebrate victory of virtue over evil.
This year Holika Dahan will be celebrated on Tuesday, 26th March 2013, On the day of Pradosh Vyapani, Falgun Purnima in Bhadrhit kaal, Holika Dahan will be performed. On 26th March 2013, Holika Dahan will take place after sunset in Godhuli Bela, as Bhadra will remain till 18:39 only. That’s why, before Holika Dahan after Bhadra time, Holi Pujan will be performed.
Leaving the home of Bhadra and worshipping Holi in Nisha Mukh is considered fruitful. As per the astrology also, celebrating festivals in their auspicious Muhurta, turns out to be good and prosperous. In Hinduism, there are various beliefs, custom and traditions. Although, as the time changed, idea and conceptions of people also changed. Their way of thinking and understanding also changed. But still, the culture has not changed.
Today’s generation raises a number of doubts regrading old rituals. But in India’s religious atmosphere, rarely there might be any festival of a year which people don’t celebrate magnificently according to their customs.
Things to Cast into the Holi fire
The things to be cast in Holika include raw mango, coconut or Saptdhanay, toys made of sugar, some part of new crops. Wheat, Urad, Moong, gram, barley, rice and lentils are called the Sapthdhanay.
Method of Holi Pujan
Before Holika Dahan, Holi Pujan is being done. While doing this Puja, the person should sit near Holika facing in the east or north direction. The following materials should be used in Puja:
- One bowl of water, beads, Roli, rice, smell, flower, raw thread, turmeric, Moong, Batasha, Gulal , coconut etc. should be used. In addition, Dhan of new crop like fully grown wheat and grains earrings are also used in it.
- After this shield and other toys made of cow dung are kept near Holika.
- At the auspicious time of Holika Dahan, using water, beads, flowers, Gulal and jaggery, Holika is worshipped. Four beads of shield and toys made of cow dung are brought home and kept safe. One in name of ancestors, second in name of Hanuman God, Third in name of Goddess Shitala, fourth in name of family.
- Raw yarn is wrap around the Holika, moving in three or seven circles. Then the water of bowl and other material of Puja are dedicated to the Holika. In Puja we also use Roli and flowers. Using fragrant flowers, Holika Pujan is done by Panchopchar method. Water is used as offering after Poojan.
- After the sunset in Pradosh Kaal, the Holika is set on fire. As soon as the fire is lit up, the pole is taken out. From the public Holika fire is taken and brought to burn the Holika at home. At the end, all men wear auspicious mark of Roli, women sing songs and blessings are taken from elders.
- It is believed that intake of baked crop keeps you away from disease.
- It is believed that bringing left over fire and ash next day to home, helps to protect from inauspicious power. Also, this ash is applied on body.
Mantra to be Chanted for Prosperity at the Time of Applying Ash to the body,
वंदितासि सुरेन्द्रेण ब्रम्हणा शंकरेण च ।
अतस्त्वं पाहि माँ देवी! भूति भूतिप्रदा भव ॥
Chant the Following Mantra during Holika Pujan
अहकूटा भयत्रस्तैः कृता त्वं होलि बालिशैः
अतस्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूति-भूति प्रदायिनीम्
The mantra should be recited for three or five(odd number) rounds of rosary.
Holika Dahan is done After Holi Pujan
As duly after the Holika Pujan, Holika Dahan is being performed. Holika Dahan is always done after the Bhadra time. So, you should have an idea of Bhadra at the time of combustion. It is believed that Holika Dahan done at the time of Bhadra can increase the chances of accidents in that region.
Also, Holika Dahan is not done in Chaturdashi Tithi, Pratipda. In addition to this, Holika Dahan should not be done before sunset. While doing Holika Dahan, it’s considered good to perform the task in the auspicious time declared for it.
Holika Dahan in the Modern Times
In today’s era, considering the importance of trees, instead of wood the mutual incivility is being tried to be burnt. So that, we all can come together and work for the nation’s development and upliftment. Today it is believed that instead of burning tree, they should be brought up in their natural form. In this way, the earth facing air pollution and lack of trees can be saved. Human race can be saved only by saving nature. We should never forget this fact.