Holi: Story Behind The Festival Of Colours

By Staff

As we celebrate Holi this year, lets take a look into our mythology. The stories that revolve around this festival are quite intriguing. There is the story of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, his equally evil sister Holika and how Lord Vishnu saved his ardent devotee from them. Then there is the Hindu God of Love playing cupid with none other than the most fiercest of God's, Shiva. You should read them to believe them.

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This Holi 2015, along with the various colours and the bhaang take a class of Hindu mythology as well. Read on and have fun. Happy Holi!

Festival Of Colours Holi

Hiranyakashipu, Prahladaa and Holika
Hiranyakashipu was an asura according to the Hindu mythology. He gained indestructible powers after performing penance to Lord Brahma. His only wish was to be worshipped by the people and to instigate revenge against Lord Vishnu for killing his younger brother Hiranyaksha.

Even though the people were scared of Hiranyakashipu and eventually started worshipping him, his own son Prahlada was an avid devotee of Lord Narayana, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu was infuriated. He tried killing Prahlada several times but each time Lord Vishnu saved his devotee.

Holi: Story Behind Festival Of Colours

Hiranyakashipu finally approached his sister Holika who had a boon that she couldn't get burnt in a fire. Holika tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her. As the fires raged on Prahlada understood what was happening and he started chanting Lord Vishnu's name. Holika, unaware that her boon worked only when one person entered the fire, was instantly charred into ashes. Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narsimha and ripped apart Hiranyakashipu.

Holi is said to have got its name after Holika who was killed in the fire. It celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Festival Of Colours Holi

Kamadeva And Lord Shiva
Kamadeva or Madan as he is popularly known is the Hindu God of Love. The story begins when Lord Shiva is deep in penance after the death of Sati. He is so engrossed that he doesn't notice that Sati was reborn as Parvati and is doing penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband.

So, Lord Brahma came up with an idea to send Kamadeva to invoke feelings of passion in Lord Shiva for Parvati. Kamadeva passes by Nandini, as a southern breeze and enters Shiva's abode. He shoots five arrows of flowers at Shiva. Shiva is enraged as he was interrupted amidst his penance and he opens his third eye to burn Kamadeva into flames.

It is believed that Lord Shiva burned down Kamadeva on Holi and hence people celebrate Kamadeva's great sacrifice on that day as well.

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