Updated: Mar 11
The festival of Holi is celebrated as a way to welcome in spring, and is also seen as a new beginning where people can release all their inhibitions and start fresh.
And a really interesting legend associated with Holi is mentioned in our itihasa, our ancient hindu scriptures and texts. It connects the preserver of the world, the god Vishnu, an ardent devotee of him called Prahlad, and Prahlad's father & the asura king Hiranyakashipu. Let us find out what had exactly happened...
Hiranyakashipu was a powerful king who was blessed with a boon that made him virtually indestructible. He demanded that everyone worship him as a god.
However, his son Prahlad was a devout follower of Vishnu and refused to worship his father.
This angered Hiranyakashipu, and he thus decided to kill Prahlad. From poisoning his son’s food to pushing him off a mountain peak, he tried many things. But Prahlad always survived the attempts thanks to Vishnu.
Finally, Hiranyakashipu turned to his sister Holika for help. Holika had a boon which made her immune to fire.
On the night of the full moon, Holika took Prahlad in her lap and sat on a pyre. However, things went for a toss!
Prahlad survived the fire, but Holika was burnt to ashes. Vishnu had saved his devotee’s life yet again. Eventually, Hiranyakashipu was slayed by Narasimha, a half-man and half-lion avatar of Vishnu.
The story of Holika is a reminder of the triumph of good over evil and the power of devotion and celebrated every year as Holi.