In the month of March, Veer a 10-year-old boy, came to visit his Grand Maa and planned for a stay there. One day in the early morning hours, Veer saw some ladies and kids gather around a heap of wood logs. As he saw them Veer asked his granny,
- Veer: Granny, where are these people going and what are they doing?
- Granny: Veer, they are preparing for Holika Dahan Pooja.
- Veer: What is Holika Dahan Granny; Can you please explain it to me?
- Granny: (smile) Ok Son! It has religious values and I will explain it with the famous story behind Holika Dahan.
Once upon a time, there was a demon king called Hiranyakashyap. He believed himself to be the real god. He wanted everyone in his kingdom to worship him. Rest all the other gods and goddess should be destroyed. In front of the king’s power all the people obeyed him and all the temples and the idols of gods were demolished.
However, there was someone in Hiranyakashapya home, who dare to differ from his thoughts. It was his own son Prahalad, who did not worship him. He used to pray and bow down to the all-mighty Lord Vishnu.
This act of his own son made Hiranyakashyap very angry. The level of anger reaches to this extent that he decided to kill him. As disobedience of Prahalad revokes the people of his kingdom.
To get his son killed he called his demon sister Holika. Sister Holika has a vardaan(boon) that she cannot be burnt alive in the fire. Therefore, she decided to use this magical power of her to kill Prahalad. One evening she loved Prahalad and artfully she brought him to her lap. Then she sat over the huge bonfire, thinking that Prahalad will die soon and she will come back safely.
Veer: Then what happened Granny? What happened to Prahalad?
Granny: (Smile) But, something unexpected happens, God took favour of Prahalad, as he was worshipping lord Vishnu, always with his pure heart. On the other hand, Holika died as she had the ill intension of killing a small child, just because he was worshipping the real power “God”!
In the end, his father was shocked as Holika’s powers did not work. And Prahalad came out safely while he was chanting “Lord Vishnu”, who saved him while wicked Holika has burned away.
So, what did you learn from this story Veer?
Veer: (Excited) That we should always worship God.
Granny: Of course, and also “Good always beats evil”. So, you should always help others and never use your strength to harm others.
Importance of the Story: We do the bonfire in the evening a day before the Holi festival, to embark on the presence of Goodness and humanity while remembering Prahalad and Lord Vishnu. Satyanarayan Katha is also performed to receive the blessings of Lord Maha Vishnu.
Veer: (Politely) Granny can I also go and see the bonfire in the evening?
Granny hugged Veer and nod her head in confirmation.