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On This Festival of Holi May You be Dyed in The Divine Color
"When the world seems to be set on fire,
All sense pleasures appear insipid,
And you are completely free from attachments
Know that to be the real Holi."
- Param Pujya Bapu Ji
When you feel that the world is a blazing inferno, know that you have celebrated the real Holi. The world is actually like a huge fire but unfortunately we do not realize it. Many times throughout the day we fall prey to the shocks of joy and sorrow over trivial matters, which arise out of the feelings of ‘mine’ & ‘thine’, ‘this & that’, etc.
Holi is followed by the festival of Dhulendi. Its message is, ‘let your wishes, desires, and shortcomings bite the dust. Live just like a child that dances, plays, sees and behaves innocently. Muster spiritual power to overcome the passions arising in your mind. Spiritual power is obtained through meditation, satsanga and the pious darshana of great men. You should, therefore, celebrate the festivals of Holi and Dhulendi in such a holy place that it may bring an end to your long long journey through numerous births, and relieve you of the exhaustion of millions of years.
To make a bonfire by igniting firewood is not the real purpose of Holi; rather, it is just the formal Holi for those who are only wandering in the samsara. The Holi for a sÍdhaka is unique. The sadhaka will celebrate Holi by incinerating all his passions in the holy bonfire of Brahmajnana lit by collecting and rubbing the firewoods of self-restraint and wisdom. Then the next day he will celebrate Dhulendi innocently like a child, and sing the divine song of –‘Shivoham… Shivoham’, i.e. I am He. Thereupon, he is left with the memory of the Lord alone… wherever he casts a glance he beholds himself alone to be playing with his own Self, talking to his own Self, looking at his own Self, and is verily intoxicated with the perfect bliss of his own Self.
One who can remain ever intoxicated with the bliss of his own Being, abides in permanent bliss no matter where he goes or what he does. One who does not revel in Self-bliss, or who cannot fathom the joy within himself will fail to find it anywhere else. Whereas one who has found the joy within, will become joy personified wherever he is. Whatever he says will become like nectar, whatever he casts his glance upon will become blessed, and whatever actions he performs will turn into a pious act of devotion to the Lord. One who succeeds in celebrating the inner spiritual Holi, who comes by the inner effulgence and the inner love –gets dyed in the permanent spiritual color. The worldly Holi only dyes our clothes and not our inner being, and that color too is not permanent. Although sometimes the color is fast, the clothes themselves eventually wear out. However, if you happen to get dyed in the permanent color of the Saintly Holi… alas! May such a supremely fortunate day come in your life that brings you the color of the spiritual Holi sprinkled by the Self-realized saints; then even if all the 330 million gods try to remove that color by washing, they simply will not succeed. Rather, they themselves would become dyed in your color. The Saintly Holi aims to dye you in permanent (spiritual) color so that it can never fade. May you attain such a glorious spiritual state from where there is absolutely no chance of a downfall. May you gain That which cannot be lost. Colors of the worldly Holi once attained do subsequently get lost.
When an unbaked and unleavened bread is bound with a thread and then baked on the fire, the bread gets baked to the core but the thread remains intact. Your body too is akin to an unleavened bread. Your parents ate the unleavened bread, which produced the vital fluids in their bodies to bring you forth. Then you grew up subsisting on the unleavened bread. Therefore, consider even this body that you have been identifying yourself with, to be something akin to an unleavened bread only. Holi brings us the message that this bread-like body will ultimately get cremated or buried (putrefied), but the Soul, which is like a thread interwoven both inside and all around it, will never be burnt or cut off. Do realize this thread of Self-bliss, Brahmic bliss, as It is.
Bhar pichkari Gurudev maren - bheegen gurubhakt sareyAll the festivals are instituted by the great saints for your benefaction. All the festivals are designed to provide you maximum benefits towards becoming one with the Cosmic Consciousness, to enter the abode of your real Father. This verily is the main aim of all festivals. Your real Father is not given to lust or egoism. In fact, so supremely simple is your real Father that even ‘simplicity’ itself looks pale in comparison. So intoxicated with Love is your real Father, so great a reservoir of Bliss and idol of Love He is that even ‘love’ entreats Him –and He is with you!
The festivals like Holi give you an opportunity to become simple. If a rich man celebrates Holi as a rich man, he will fail to derive full benefits of this festival. Anyone –be it an officer, a son or father –who celebrates Holi while sticking to his individual identity –will remain deprived of the true joy of this spectacular festival. It is only when people become self-forgetful shedding their vanity that they get to learn the art of natural living to some extent. One gets inner joy at such times. If only we adopted this natural way of living into our day to day life, then we could remain joyful even in our mundane dealings.
However, with the passage of time this festival became vitiated, with people polluting the bodies and minds of one another by using chemical colors to celebrate it. In order that the Divinity in the form of society remains healthy, happy, and intoxicated with divine bliss, I started to celebrate the festival of Holi in its traditional form in the ashram. It is extremely harmful to throw chemical colors in celebration of Holi, while the color prepared from Palash (Butea Frondosa) flowers is highly beneficial. This color protects the seven dhÍtus of the body from all sorts of abnormalities and keeps them in perfect balance. Here, the holy water from the Ganges and other places of pilgrimage are also mixed with that pious color.
‘When the Guru sprinkles the color of Knowledge, the real Holi is celebrated; which in turn removes the temporary stains of worldly colors and dyes one in the fast color of the Supreme One.’
This festival of Holi aims at removing all the external colors of our life to dye it in the sole permanent color of the Self. Therefore, while the physical celebration of Holi is alright, one must celebrate it mentally as well. You should visualize that you have sprinkled your (worldly) color on the Guru and also the Guru has sprinkled His (spiritual) color on you. Why, one will only give what one has.
The night of Holi is one of the four meritorious Maharatris, great nights. Japa and vigil during the night of Holi is highly beneficial. Just a single japa done on this night gives fruits equal to that of a thousand japas done on any other ordinary day. Therefore, may all of you bring about a fabulous increase in your merits by doing japa and observing a vigil during this supremely meritorious night!.
Chemical colours available in market are mostly prepared using engine oil mixed with metal oxides or dyesi.e. BLACK colour is prepared using “Lead oxide” that causes liver diseases. It also inhibits hearing ability in human beings.GREEN colour contains ‘copper sulphate’ that cause eye disorders and can also lead to complete blindness. Purple colour contains ‘chromium iodide’ that can cause bronchial asthma and allergy like disease. Silver colour contains ‘aluminum bromide‘ that can cause cancer. Blue Colour contains ‘prussian blue’ that can cause skin diseases. Red colour contains ‘mercuric sulfate’ that can cause skin cancer and lead to mental retardation. So, avoid playing Holi with chemical colours at all costs.