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Significance of colors in Holi
April 09, 2013 by:
Ravikumar Ambadi Points: 12
Holi, the color of festivals are being celebrated all over the world with great enthusiasm. However the core aim of use of colors has been changed once the synthetic colors have been started using.
Holi, one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals is also called as the festival of colors. This indicates the significance of colors in this festival. Powders of different colors are used during this festival to throw at the faces of people. These powders may mix in water to make colorful liquids which will be sprayed on others using spraying guns too. Just like any other celebration, Holi too commemorate a happy moments depicted in the holy pages of Puranas, the basic texts of Hinduism.
Hiranyakashyap was a demon king who ordered his subjects not to worship gods. Earlier he had undergone a sever penance and received a boon from Lord Brahma (the creator among Hindu trinities) that he should not be killed either in the night or in the day, either inside the house or outside the house. He also insisted that he should not be killed either by a human being or by an animal and more over; he should not be killed either by a weapon or any techniques of science. In other words, it was almost impossible for him to get killed. Powered with this unique boon, he started conquering worlds. He insisted that he should be the only person whom his subjects should worship.
However, his son Prahlada was a strong devotee of Lord Vishnu. He never kept away from his daily prayers to Lord Vishnu. He was not ready to obey his father's orders. Angry with this, Hiranyakasyap tried to kill his son many times but failed each time. Finally he asked his son to sit on the lap of his sister Holika who got a boon that she will never burnt down by the fire. Prahlada did sit on his sister's lap. Hiranyakashyap put them on fire. He knew that Holika will come unharmed because of the power of boon she got, but Prahlada will die. To his great astonishment, Holika died in fire and Prahlada came out unharmed.
Holi is commemorating this moment and people are enjoying the win of virtue over the vices of demons. Throwing colors or spraying colors are the expression of this joy. However it has a scientific reason too. This festival is coming in the beginning of spring season every year. The climatic conditions start changing during this period and these changes may bring in many diseases. The chances for viral fevers are more during this climatic change. The natural colors used in the old days were being produced from the medicinal plants such as Lemon, turmeric, saffron etc. When you receive these powders on your body, the medicinal part of it will get absorbed and yourself immunity will improve to fight these diseases that are the results of climate changes.
However, the synthetic colors used nowadays are functioning in the opposite direction. The chemicals inside those colors such as Copper Sulphate, lead Oxide, etc are proven to be harmful to our health. Besides causing several allergic effects, some of these colors may cause blindness, renal problems etc too.
Spraying or throwing of color has one other significance too. Almost everybody look alike with colored faces. This symbolizes the basic concept of Hinduism which says all are one and the one will be seen in different forms to create the illusion. Here by covering the faces with colors they are confirming that all are one and when we see them in different forms it is just illusion. As the Vedas teach, the world is just an illusion and the truth is somewhat else. The ultimate intention of the life of each human being is to seek that truth.
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