Thursday, March 5, 2015

Holi Kama Dahanam and Kamotsvam - Burning of Unfuliflled Desires and Celebrating New Desires

Holi Kama Dahanam - Kamotsavam

Manmadha  was burnt to ashes by the fire from the third eye of Lord Siva who in His wrath opened it because he was disturbed in His penance. This extreme act was made by Manmadha at the behest of his father Lord Vishnu in order to save Devathas from Rakshasa Tarakasura who could be killed only by the son born to Lord Siva and Parvathi. Manmadha disturbed the penance of Lord Siva so that He could marry Parvathi.

Mahamadha was the son of Maya (the primary illusion or the general attracting power and is married to Rati, affection and his bosom friend is Vasant (the spring season). Manmadha or Kama is represented as an external youth with eight arms and attended by four nymhs. Pleasure, affection, passion and power; bearing the shell, the lotus, a bow and five arrows and a banner, riding on a parrot.

In certain places, the festival is inaugurated on Phalguna Suddha Padyami (February-March), Committees are formed for each locality in every town and village. The fire-pit place is fixed  and the first instalment of articles to be burnt on Purnima along with the picture of Manmadha is stored there. The committee members go around the place, small dance programmes are conducted and money is collected from well-to-do families.  The  main function, which is a public function is on Purnima.    An  earthen image of a  female is placed in the centre of the place where Kamadahanam  is to   take place   and  some kind of puja is performed.    The gathered  material  is  placed  all round the image. A picture of Kama or Manmadha disturbing the penance of Lord Siva is taken   round in procession with wild  dances,  cries and  abuses. In fact there is a belief that every  one  should be a target of some abuse in order to counteract the evil effect of unfavourable starts.     Obscence language is used at any   body and everybody and vulgar verses are sung aloud.    After the procession the picture is burnt along with the material in the pit.    After  the contents of  the pit are practically burnt, half-burnt sticks are taken home and oil lamps are lit with it. Generally vasantham or sprinkling of coloured water commences then and there itself.    There will be processions and country  dances.   Vasantham is of light colour and it is  prepared   with   water,   saffron  and lime. In some places  the ash at   the firepit is  removed  in   handfuls   by   farmers and is   mixed in manure and scattered in  the  fields with the belief that it will increase farm produce.

Kama Dahanam and Kamotsvam - The Significance

Shiva burnt Manmadha. But he has to give rebirth to him. What does it signify? Shiva destroyed the desires which are not unfulfilled. Shiva destroyed failures. Once again he listened to the reason and accepted the fulfillment process of new desires. The festival symbolizes it. Everyone of his has to burn all his failures in Holika Dahanam and start fresh projects on Holi Day. The God or Devata of desires, Manmadha is given rebirth. It is starting of new desires, new dreams and new projects and new relationships.

Happy Holi, Happy Life

Another story of Holy

According  to  Vaishnava  Puranas. Holi is the anniversary   of   Krishna killing   a  she-demon variously named Sankhashuda, Hori,  Holi, Holika, Medha and Dhundha.  

The festival   dates from  Vedic times. According to another legend,  Holika was  the   name  of a she-demon who used to devour   children and children were supplied to her by turns from  each  family in  the places where she held sway.    One day, an old woman's  only  grandson was to be offered as victim and she was   lamenting her   bitter misfortune.    A holy  mendicant  happened to   pass her  door,   and  heard her cries. He thought for  a   while  and  advised  that  Holika could be killed by abusing her with vile and obscene expressions. She was destined   to die when large number of people wished her death publicly through abuses. The whole village  took  this holy  man at his word and when   Holika  came  for  her prey next she was met  by huge group of people who hurled all absues on her, and she dropped dead  as  prophecied. This event is supposed to be commemorated by the festival and all bad things are abused so that they die or go away.  

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