Marketing Director Note March 2017

01 Mar 17

India knows how to do spring.

Holi, which is March 12 this year, is the annual Hindu religious festival in which people fling vivid colored powders and scented water at one another. Joy and giddiness collide in a fog of pigments.

Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'. Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends & stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People rub 'gulal' and 'abeer' on each others' faces and cheer up saying, "bura na maano Holi hai".

The festival gets its name from the Puranic story of Holika. Holika was the sister the demon-king Hiranyakashipu. The king, egoistic as he was, desired that everybody in his kingdom worship him alone. Much to his ire, he found that his son, Prahlada, was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. It was then that Hiranyakashipu decided to kill Prahlada in connivance with his sister. Holika had been granted a boon that gave her the power to remain unaffected by fire. To lure Prahlada into a fire, Holika sat him on her lap and pretended to play with him while Hiranyakashipu ordered his men to set the place where they sat on fire. It was then that Holika's boon failed her. In her sinister venture to kill the Lord's devotee, Holika was burned to ashes while Prahlada came out unscathed.

Another reason why Holi is significant is its association with Raasleela, the Divine Dance that Lord Krishna performed for the gopis , his devotees in Vrindavan on this day.

Another important aspect of Holi is its joy and fun. Contrary to common perception, spirituality is about enjoying life to its fullest. The spiritual life is not about giving up our possessions but discovering higher, permanent joys. It is a path filled with serendipity and moments of sheer joy reflected in the life of Lord Krishna.

Thus, the spirituality that Vedanta speaks is of isn't meant only for ascetics in the Himalayas. It is a philosophy that is meant for men and women of the action. It is a vibrant, living knowledge that enables us to make life a celebration. So on Holi, we must remember to bring the color into our lives by living the principles of Vedanta.