Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the "Festival of Colors" and the "Festival of Spring". The festival celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha Krishna. It celebrates the victory of Vishnu as Narasimha Narayana over Hiranyakashipu. It originated and is predominantly celebrated in the South Asia but has also spread to other regions of Asia and parts of the Western world through the Indian diaspora.
The spiritual significance of Holi is the triumph of good over evil. It is also the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts and is a day to forget and forgive.
Love Promotes the Spirit of Forgiveness
The most important quality is purity. Today everything is polluted. Water, air, and all the five elements are polluted. As a result the mind of man is also polluted. How is purity to be achieved? Fill your minds with thoughts of God, dedicate all your actions to God, and consider God as the inner motivator. Contemplation of God is not a matter for derision. You need have no fear on that account. You must have full faith in God, who is the universal sustainer. He is the protector, but not the punisher. The punishment you receive is the consequence of your own actions. Therefore chant, sing, perform good deeds, and engage yourselves in service of your fellow beings. Nourish love in your hearts. Love will drive away all bad thoughts. It will promote the spirit of forgiveness.1
Forgiveness—the Greatest Power For a Human Being
The essential nature of love is sacrifice. Under any circumstance it does not give room to hatred. It is love that brings even a person far away closer and more intimate to you. It is love that drives away the feeling of separateness and promotes the feeling of oneness. Love also raises a person from the animal to the human. Prema (love) is the prana (life force) of man and the prana itself is prema. One without love is like a lifeless corpse. Love is shown only to persons who are alive. No one will love a corpse. Love and life are therefore interrelated and intimately connected. In this worldly life, love is manifesting in several forms, such as the love between mother and son, husband and wife, and between relatives. This love based on physical relationships arises out of selfish motives and self-interest. But the love of the Divine is devoid of any trace of self-interest. It is love for the sake of love alone. This is called bhakti (devotion). One characteristic of this love is to give 16 and not to receive. Secondly, love knows no fear. Thirdly, it is only for love’s sake and not for a selfish motive. All these three angles of love jointly connote prapatti (surrender). When one revels in this attitude of prapatti, one experiences the bliss of the Divine. For this, the prime requisite is kshama (forgiveness). Only a person who has this attitude of kshama can be considered to be endowed with sacred love. This cannot be learned from textbooks. Nor can it be acquired from preceptors, nor from anyone else. It is to be cultivated by oneself in times of difficulties, trials, and tribulations that one is forced to meet. This quality of forbearance and forgiveness can take root only when we face problems and difficulties that cause grief and misery. When you are confronted with problems and difficulties, you should not get upset and become victims of depression, which is a sign of weakness. In such a situation, you should bring tolerance and an attitude of forgiveness into play and should not get agitated giving rise to anger, hatred, and a revengeful attitude. You are embodiments of strength and not weakness. Therefore, in times of despair, you should be filled with the feeling of forbearance and be ready to forgive and forget. This quality of kshama (forgiveness) is the greatest power for a human being. If one loses this quality, he becomes demonic. Kshama is sathyam, truth; Kshama is dharma, virtue; Kshama is ahimsa, non-violence; Kshama is yajna, sacrifice; Kshama is santosha, happiness; Kshama is daya, compassion; Kshama is everything in the world.2