Holi - Sunday 16th March
Holi Falgun Sud Purnima
There was a demon king named Hiranyakshipu. He considered God his enemy. He had a son named Prahallad. Though born in demon clan, he was a true Bhakta and was totally devoted towards God. His father asked, cajoled and threatened him to give up the worship of God, but Prahallad had none of it. He continued on the path of devotion without worrying about the consequences. Hiranyakshipu tried to kill Prahallad by many means but God always protected him.
Hiranyakshipu had a sister named Holika. She had a shawl, wearing which the fire could not burn her. She advised her brother to prepare the pyre. She would sit on this fire holding Prahallad in her lap. The flames will burn Prahallad while she would not be harmed.
This plan was put in the action. The pyre was lit up. But who can kill the one whose protector is God Himself. The shawl that Holika was wearing dropped on Prahallad sitting in her lap. As a result, Holika was turned to ashes while Prahallad emerged unscathed. From this day we celebrate Holi by lighting the symbolic pyre to burn the evil influences. People offer coconut to AgniDev (demigod of fire) as a token gift for protecting Prahallad from his flames.
Like the external symbolic fire, we should light an internal fire to burn the evil influences on our sense and purify them.