The Indian mythology is interesting beyond believe. There is an array of unending stories and tangy tales narrated to every Indian Kid by their parents, or if they are lucky, by their grandparents. Every festival, every planetary movement and every shining star, has a story to it. And trust me we have heard them all.
Holi is around the corner and I would love to be your story telling grumpy granny for a day. There is an interesting legends related to the colorful festival of Holi. Starting off, Hindu mythology is a close knitted combination of Good and evil, good being Gods and evil being the Asura.
Hiranyakashipu was an evil Asur lord and husband of a kind-hearted Asur Queen. The Queen secretly prayed God Vishnu and was soon blessed with a child. The Asur Prince was beautiful and grew up to be a kind-hearted boy himself. There was nothing evil about the little Asur prince and Hiranyakashipu was concerned.
As time passed by, Prince Prahalad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Furious King tried numerous ways to destroy his son’s beliefs, but failed miserably. King ordered to execute the young Prince but every time, he was saved by the blessing of Vishnu. Having tried everything, Hiraniyakashipu ordered his evil Asur sister Holika to sit on the burning pyre with Prahalad. Holika was blessed with a magical shawl that would prevent the fire from harming her. Young Prahlad fearlessly followed his father’s order and sat on the pyre with his aunt. He called Lord Vishnu for help and the blessing of Holika reversed. Prahalad remained unhurt and Holika was burnt to death.
From this day onwards, a day before Holi, in the night, pyre is set on play grounds and Holika is burned. Burning of Holika is an important part of Holi celebration and commemorates the victory of Good over evil. So this year, when you see Holika burning, a night before the playing of color, remember the story and narrate it to as many people as you like.