All About Holy Hai

Holi Hai! That means it’s time to play holi! Holi is called the festival of colors. We would play holi by squirting our friends with water guns with holi colors in the water, throw color at each other, and eat lots of good food. We would usually celebrate this special moment of good over evil with all our friends outside in the great weather, but this year, due to Covid, we can’t. The situation was worse last year when the pandemic started, so we never got to play holi. This year, however, we got to play with a couple of our close friends. We eliminated the water guns and going outside (the weather was bad), but two things stayed the same: good food and also colors! Holi has a very dark backstory. Holi is celebrated to honor the rise of good over evil and to show that God loves us. 

It all started when Prahalad, son of Hiranyakashipu, ruler of the Asuras, was born. At that time, his father possessed the boon (gift) of being immortal(meaning he will not die by man or beast, with a weapon or without, during day or night, indoors or outdoors, on earth or in the sky and possessing the undisputed lordship over the material world). He wreaked havoc in the Gods’ palace, and called himself ruler of the 3 worlds (earth, heaven, and the underworld). Meanwhile, his wife, Kayadhu, was learning about the literal opposite thing from a sage. The sage was saying that Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the 3 worlds, and we should pray and honor him. Inside her womb, Prahalad was taking in all the knowledge given. He then became a follower of Lord Vishnu when he was born. 

Later in his early life, his father found out that he wasn’t his loyal follower, that his teacher couldn’t help him, and that Prahalad was preaching (in Hirnyakahipu’s eye) wrong information to the rest of the pupils in the teacher’s ashram (school). Hiranyakahipu’s son was once his greatest pride but is now his worst nightmare! Hiranyakahipu resolved to kill Prahalad and attempted to murder him many times. He tried to kill him with poisonous snakes, but when they bit him, their bite was like jelly on him. He tried to trample him with enraging elephants, but they broke their tusks and sprained their ankles! Hiranyakahipu was so desperate that he fed his only son poison. Luckily the poison didn’t affect him. Once again, the poison changed into nectar as soon as it touched his lips. Then Hiranyakahipu was super annoyed and threw him off a cliff. He thought that his son was surely dead, but when he went to check on him, he was wrong! His son was alive and fully functioning! He didn’t even have a little scratch on him! 

Finally, super angry, he sent Prahalad into a fire with his sister (Hiranyakahipu’s sister was called Holica). Holica had a boon that made her immune to fire. So she was going to survive, but thanks to Lord Vishnu’s protection (which saved him all the times he almost died), he survived and Holica died! Also, once in Hiranyakashipu’s own mahal (palace), he was so enraged at his son’s continuation of faith and his immortality he literally attacked a pillar to clarify that Lord Vishnu wasn’t everywhere. But when he attacked the piller, a puff of smoke filled the air and a half-man half-lion-like creature was stepping out of the pillar. It was Narasimha. A incarnation of Vishnu attacked and killed him in the middle of the doorway(not inside or outside) with claws(not hands or weapons) while levitating (not on the ground or on air) and also in twilight hour (not day or night, this officially was everything against the boon he got).  We celebrate this auspicious moment by spreading joy and making everything colorful! 

Tvesha Patel ’27, Staff Writer