And, as with all festivals there are the stories that give them life. One of the most interesting is that of Holika, the sister of an evil king, who is employed to force Prince Prahlad, her nephew to renounce his great love for God. Holika was a great yogi and she had the benediction that she could not be burnt by fire, so she carried Prince Prahlad into a blazing fire to rid the kingdom of his goodness. The story goes that in agreeing to act against the universal benefit Holika forfeited her benediction and she was burned to ashes while Prince Prahlad inherited her power and survived. It’s a story celebrating the victory of love and integrity over hatred and greed.
Uncomfortably, I always feel more like Holika than Prince Prahlad after hearing that story. Prince Prahlad is an emblem of goodness and peace. Yet, if I’m not a peaceful person myself, serenely controlling my desires, my anger and my greed, I can’t feel that I can credibly promote peace. So I need help.
My dear Lord! I am my own worst enemy. I don’t have a peaceful mind or a peaceful heart. I depend on your enthusiasm and your confidence so that I can begin to become a worthy example of your peace. Hare Krishna.