Rituals of the ancient festival of Holi are religiously followed every year with great enthusiasm and Safety.
Preparations & Arrangement
Days before Holi people start gathering wood for the lighting of the bonfire called Holika at the major crossroads of the city. This ensures that at the time of the actual celebration a huge pile of wood is collected.
Holika Dahan Celebrations
The history Holika Dahan goes back in time form Satya Yuga of Hindu Mythology, the forth incarnation of Shri Naarayana in form of Narasimha.
References found in Bhagavat Purana, a king named Hiranyakashipu who, like many demons and Asuras, had the intense desire to be immortal. To fulfill this desire, he performed the required Tapas or penances until he was granted a boon by Brahma. This achievement made him arrogant. Hiranyakashyapu decreed that only he be worshiped as a God. Out of arrogance he started punishing and killing all who defied him. His son, Prahlad, disagreed with his father, and refused to worship his father as a god, continuing instead to worship Vishnu (Shri Naarayana).
Hiranyakashipu very angry with this act of Prahlad and made various attempts to kill Prahlad. In such an instance on Prahlad's life, King Hiranyakashyapu called upon his sister Holika for help. Holika had a special cloak that protected her from being harmed by fire. Hiranyakashyapu asked her to sit on a bonfire with Prahlad, by tricking the boy to sit on her lap and she herself took her seat in flames. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her evil desire by her life. Holika was unaware that the boon worked only when she entered a fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Vishnu all this while, came out unscathed as Vishnu blessed him for his extreme devotion.
From then on the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan takes place. Effigy of Holika made out of cow dung is placed in the wood and burnt. Symbolize that Holika tried to kill Hiranyakashyap's son Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. The victory of good over evil and also the triumph of a true devotee.
Timings & Tithi:
Holika Dahan Muhurta
Holika Dahan Muhurta = 18:31 to 20:23
Duration = 1 Hour 52 Mins
Bhadra Punchha = 04:11 to 05:23
Bhadra Mukha = 05:23 to 07:23
Rangwali Holi on 13th, March
Purnima Tithi Begins = 20:23 on 11/Mar/2017
Purnima Tithi Ends = 20:23 on 12/Mar/2017
Holi Puja Vidhi
It is believed that all sorts of fear can be conquered by doing Holika Puja on Holi. Holika Puja bestows power, prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Holika was created to ward off all sorts of fear. Hence Holika, although a Demoness, is worshipped along with Prahlada before Holika Dahan.
In religious books, Holika Puja is suggested before Holika Dahan. Holika Dahan should be done at an appropriate time after consulting Hindu Panchang. It is important to perform Holika Dahan at the right time as doing it at the wrong time might bring misfortune and suffering. Please visit Holika Dahan Muhurat to know the appropriate time of Holika Dahan for your city.
The following Samagri or materials should be used for Puja: One bowl of water, beads made of cow dung, Roli, rice which are not broken (also called Akshat in Sanskrit), fragrances like Agarbatti and Dhoop, flowers, raw cotton thread, turmeric pieces, unbroken lentil of Moong, Batasha, Gulal powder and coconut. Also, fully grown grains of freshly cultivated crops like wheat and gram can be included in the Puja items.
The place where Holika is kept is rinsed with cow dung and the holy water of Ganges. A wooden pole is kept in the center and surrounded with beads or garlands of toys made of cow dung which are popularly known as Gulari, Bharbholiye or Badkula. Idols of Holika and Prahlada usually made of cow dung are placed on the top of the heap. Holika pile is decorated with shields, swords, sun, moon, stars and other toys made of cow dung.
During Holika Dahan, idol of Prahlada is taken out. Also four beads of cow dung are kept safe before bonfire. One is kept safe in the name of ancestors, second in the name of God Hanuman, third in name of Goddess Sheetala and fourth in the name of the family.
We have listed down Mantra in Sanskrit and along with that we have explained the essence of those Mantras. If one is not able to chant those Mantras, then one can chant them in his own language with the same spirit.
Step 1 - Keep all Puja ingredients in a plate. Accompany a small water pot with Puja Thali. While on the Puja spot, sit down such that either facing the East or the North direction. After that sprinkle some water on the Puja Thali and yourself while chanting following Mantra thrice.
ऊँ पुण्डरीकाक्ष: पुनातु। x 3
Above Mantra is to remember Lord Vishnu and seek his blessings before starting any auspicious work. It is also done to purify the place of worship.
Step 2 - Now take the water, rice, flower and some money in the right hand and take Sankalp.
ऊँ विष्णु: विष्णु: विष्णु: श्रीमद्भगवतो महापुरुषस्य विष्णोराज्ञया अद्य दिवसे ________ (संवत्सर का नाम लें e.g. विश्वावसु) नाम संवत्सरे संवत् ________ (e.g. 2069) फाल्गुन मासे शुभे शुक्लपक्षे पूर्णिमायां शुभ तिथि ________ (e.g. मंगलवासरे) ________ गौत्र (अपने गौत्र का नाम लें) उत्पन्ना ________ (अपने नाम का उच्चारण करें) मम इह जन्मनि जन्मान्तरे वा सर्वपापक्षयपूर्वक दीर्घायुविपुलधनधान्यं शत्रुपराजय मम् दैहिक दैविक भौतिक त्रिविध ताप निवृत्यर्थं सदभीष्टसिद्धयर्थे प्रह्लादनृसिंहहोली इत्यादीनां पूजनमहं करिष्यामि।
By chanting above Mantra, one is reciting currently prevailing Hindu date, place of worship, his family surname and his name, including purpose of Puja and to whom Puja is offered, so that all the benefits of Puja are targeted to the worshipper.
Step 3 - Now remember Lord Ganesha after taking flower and rice in the right hand. The Mantra to chant while remembering Lord Ganesha is
-गजाननं भूतगणादिसेवितं कपित्थजम्बूफलचारुभक्षणम्।
उमासुतं शोकविनाशकारकं नमामि विघ्नेश्वरपादपमजम्।।
ऊँ गं गणपतये नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि समर्पयामि।
While reciting above Mantra, apply Roli and rice on a flower and offer it along with fragrance to Lord Ganesha.
Step 4 - After worshipping Lord Ganesha, remember Goddess Ambika and chant following Mantra. While reciting below Mantra, applying Roli and rice on a flower and offer it along with fragrance to Goddess Ambika.
ऊँ अम्बिकायै नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि सर्मपयामि।।
Step 5 - Now remember Lord Narasimha by chanting following Mantra. While reciting below Mantra, applying Roli and rice on a flower and offer it along with fragrance to Lord Narasimha.
ऊँ नृसिंहाय नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि समर्पयामि।।
Step 6 - Now remember devotee Prahlada and chant following Mantra. While reciting below Mantra, applying Roli and rice on a flower and offer it along with fragrance to devotee Prahlada.
ऊँ प्रह्लादाय नम: पंचोपचारार्थे गंधाक्षतपुष्पाणि समर्पयामि।।
Step 7 - Now stand in front of Holi with folded hands and request to fulfill your wishes while chanting following Mantra.
असृक्पाभयसंत्रस्तै: कृता त्वं होलि बालिशै:
अतस्त्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूते भूतिप्रदा भव:।।
It means that some foolish and childish people, due to constant fear of blood sucking demons, created Holika. Hence, I worship you and seek power, wealth and prosperity for myself.
Step 8 - Offer rice, fragrances, flower, unbreakable Moong lentil, turmeric pieces, coconut and Bharbholiye (garland made of dried cow dung which is also known as Gulari and Badkula) to Holika. Three, five or seven rounds of raw yarn are tied around the Holika while circumambulating it. After that empty the water pot in front of Holika pile.
Step 9 - Holika is burnt after that. Usually, the fire from the public bonfire is brought home to burn Holika. After that, all men wear auspicious mark of Roli and take blessings from elders. People circumambulate Holika and offer new crops to the bonfire and roast them. The roasted grains are distributed as Holika Prasad.
Next morning, on the day of wet Holi, the ash from the bonfire is collected and smeared on the body. The ash is considered pious and it is believed that body and soul is purified after applying it. By using the ash of bonfire many remedies are suggested by astrologers.