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Holi 2023: While Holi is celebrated in almost every part of India, Holi in Braj is particularly famous. Braj is a historical region which covers Mathura, Vrindavan and some surrounding areas. Holi here attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world because of its unique customs and traditions. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan is the place where he/she grew up as a child. Let us know from the famous Acharya Pundarika Goswami about the colorful festival of Shri Radha Raman Temple (Shri Radha Raman Temple, Vrindavan).
How did Holi start?
When Shri Krishna was young, he/she told Mother Yashoda about Radha Rani being fair, while Shri Krishna himself was dark. Yashoda Mata suggested him/her to paint Radha Rani with colors so that both of them look alike. And so for years Shri Krishna, accompanied by friends, used to go from his/her village- Nandgaon to Barsana, to paint Radha Rani and other gopis, and hence the tradition developed. Vrindavan is where the festivities begin first, usually a week before the day of Holi. According to tradition, the men of Nandgaon come to Barsana to paint the women, who, in jest, beat them with sticks in return. It is known as the famous Lathmar Holi of Barsana.
Holi with flowers is played on Holika Dahan
Holi is not only a festival of colors but also a proof of the victory of good over evil. Shri Prahlad ji, a dear devotee of Lord Vishnu, gives proof of the power of devotion. Pundarika Goswami ji tells how devotee Prahlada’s devotion to Lord Shri Vishnu, bound the Lord himself. The festival of Holika Dahan also reminds us of the power of devotion, when we once again remember the great devotee Prahlad and his/her aunt Holika. How Holika was preparing to kill the devotee Prahlad by lighting the fire and sitting on her lap, and how the devotee Prahlad kept chanting only the name after offering everything to God. Finally Holika was burnt and the devotion of devotee Prahlad won.
On the day of Holika Dahan, Holi with flowers is celebrated in Vrindavan. After the procession comes the time of Holika Dahan in the evening. According to the Panchang, huge piles of wooden planks and tree branches are made and then set on fire at the appropriate time.
Event lasts for a week
Shri Radharaman Temple in Vrindavan is a famous place to enjoy the festivities as it hosts a week long Holi festival. These days Mooshree Radha Raman Lal Ju is dressed in white clothes to play Holi. Holi in Vrindavan is played with colored water and gulal, which is made using organic substances like flowers and saffron. Goswami Jan – Using flowers, buckets, color trays, water cannons, etc., sprinkles colors on all the devotees on behalf of Thakur ji. The whole atmosphere in the temple is made more alive with bhajan-kirtan and people dance to the tunes while enjoying the colours.
Acharya Pundarika Goswami explains how Lord Krishna brought society together, removed boundaries and taught us to enjoy every colour. Colors represent the different ups and downs of life, and Krishna teaches us to enjoy each stage of life. Moreover, Holi is a way of bringing people from different walks of life together under one roof to celebrate.
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