The Holika Dahan and the colourful Holi rituals & stories have travelled through ancient times for generations. Like all our ancient stories this also has the moral; “Victory of good over Evil”.
It is the story of Prahlad, the devotee of Lord Vishnu, who came out of the burning pyre unhurt. The fire pyre was set up by his father Hrinayakashyap. Since it was unacceptable for Hrinayakashyap to see his son Prahlad’s devotion to Lord Vishnu. He engaged his sister Holika in his evil intent to kill his son.
Holika sat with Prahlad on the burning fire with a cloak around her, it was a special cloak that would guard her against fire. However, as soon as Prahlad started praying to Lord Vishnu the fire protection shield of Holika flew over Prahalad and burnt her to death. Since that day Holika Dahan is commemorated by a burning pyre to celebrate the end of evil.
And next day, the festival of colours Holi is celebrated across India in various ways. This day besides offering prayers to God ‘also marks the start of the spring season. That’s why Holi is celebrated with colors and vibrant energy to match the tempo or fervour with the colourful vibrant spring season around.
Do you know what happens astronomically at the onset of spring?
The hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, and because of the warm temperature, frozen ground melts and this becomes favourable for plants to grow and blossom flowers of different colours. This beginning of the spring season is celebrated in many cultures across the world. Such as Japan celebrates the annual blooming of cherry trees as a national event.
It also has astrological significance
The Sun and Moon are positioned in opposite directions. And the Moon is placed in the Leo and Virgo house while Sun is in Pisces and Aquarius. And sometimes Rahu transits to Sagittarius. So as per astrology, it is a good time to carry out any puja, as it will give desirable results.
In 2023 Holika Dahan is on 7th March 2023 the full moon night of the Phagun Shukla Paksha. And the auspicious time for Holika Dahan is from 6:24 pm to 8:51 pm.
The next day after the full moon on the 8th of March is Holi.
These 7 steps on Holika Dahan and Holi will bring immense benefit to your life
- Two cloves, one batasha and betel leaf soaked in ghee offer it circling 11 times to Holika Dahan, also keep sugarcane, wheat and dry coconut as a sacrificial offering. It is believed doing this brings success and prosperity.
- Then next day collect the ashes of Holika Dahan and bring them home. Keep it safely at the place where house money is kept, as doing so ensures there will be no shortage of money in the home.
- This day Lord Vishnu’s blessings saved Prahalad, for this reason as a custom, some people keep 4 beads of cow dung near the Holika Dahan away from the fire. To seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu. This cow dung symbolises the devotee's ancestor, the second is safely kept in the name of the lord Hanumaan, the third is Mata Sheetala the Goddess who cures all ailments ( an incarnation of Goddess Parvati) and the fourth is a worshiper's family.
- To remove any kind of negativity from life there is a ritual being followed on Holika Dahan day; with a thick thread take your measurement from head to toe and keep it a little longer than the measurement. Offer it to the burning fire of Holika Dahan and after that apply the ashes on the forehead or the throat if you are a woman.
- Important mantras you should chant during Puja
For Lord Vishnu Chant this mantra while offering Roli, rice, flower and fragrance
ऊँ नृसिंहाय नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि समर्पयामि।।
Om Nrisinhayaya Namah: Panchopacharathe Gandhakshat Pushpani Samarpayaami.
And chant this while offering Roli, rice, flower and fragrance to Prahalad
ऊँ प्रह्लादाय नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि समर्पयामि।।
Om Prahladaay Namah: Panchapocharrathe Gandhakshat Pushpani Samarpayaami.
Then chant the following Mantra standing in front of the Holika, requesting to fulfil your wishes
असृक्पाभयसंत्रस्तै: कृता त्वं होलि बालिशै:
अतस्त्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूते भूतिप्रदा भव:।।
Asr̥kpābhayasantrastai: Kr̥tā tvaṁ hōli bāliśai:
Atastvāṁ pūjayiṣyāmi bhūtē bhūtipradā bhava
- As per astrology Holika Dahan performed at the auspicious time is very fruitful. It should be carried out after Bhadra and on Purnima or full moon day in the Pradosh Kaal. And remember to follow the rules of the Holashtak 8 days time period, which starts from the Ashtami tithi of Shukla Paksha of Phalgun month and ends on Purnima tithi or Holika Dahan day. In 2023 it starts on 27th February, and for the next 8 days, no auspicious activity is to be carried out.
- It is auspicious to donate on the day of Holi, it brings good Fortune & Peace in personal and professional life. But you must donate new things, not old discarded items. Otherwise, it may cause you a lot of emotional distress and misfortune. So do not give away old books, or clothes. Also, other items like steel, plastic, and used oil should not be donated. On the other hand, on Holi, donate Rice, Gulaal, Wheat, fresh oil and new clothes or books to needy people.
Holika Dahan removes negativity like jealousy, maliciousness and evil thought from the atmosphere and infuses positivity. It is strongly believed that the rituals observed confer prosperity and abundance in life.
In fact as per astrology, the next day after Holika Dahan, Holi is regarded as a highly auspicious time to observe any puja or mantra chanting for favourable results. You can perform Vastu Shanti Puja, Sankatmochan Hanumaan or Radhe Krishna Puja.
And since Lord Vishnu came to save Prahalad you can also chant the Vishnu Saharanama mantra.
'नमो स्तवन अनंताय सहस्त्र मूर्तये, सहस्त्रपादाक्षि शिरोरु बाहवे।
सहस्त्र नाम्ने पुरुषाय शाश्वते, सहस्त्रकोटि युग धारिणे नम:।।'
Celebrate the festival of positive spirit, Enjoy all the Colors of Holi as you see nature blossoming with colourful flowers and bountiful green fields, plants & trees.
Holi ki Shubhkamanaye aap Sabko!! Happy Holi to you all !!