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Just as the Holi (????) of Barsana India is renowned for its spectacular style of colored play, Holi at Barsana Dham is becoming renowned in the US for its devotional and joyous celebration of this playful festival. Beginning in the afternoon with the chanting of Holi pads and rasiya songs that describe the Holi leelas of Radha Krishn, the enthusiasm begins to build. Then a speech on the real meaning of Holi (such as the one printed below) inspires all in attendance to ponder who they really came to play Holi with—Radha Krishn. Chanting of the Holi leelas further adds to the feelings of mutual forgiveness, acceptance and Divine love that mark this occasion. After a prasad dinner and traditional sweets are served to the thousands of guests, a bell is rung to signal the beginning of Holi play on the Maharas Mandal. Gulal (pink powder) is provided which people throw on each other as they dance and sing, until a cloud of red dust fills the air, and all have turned the color of love. It must be experienced to be understood.
Shree Swamiji’s Holi Message
The blessed souls. Today we are celebrating Holi in Barsana Dham, USA. This Barsana Dham and Barsana Dham in India are the very same. The one in India was produced by Radha Rani Herself 5,000 years ago, and this was manifested by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. With his Grace, this Barsana Dham came into being.
Here we are celebrating Holi. We were just singing a pad “Hori aee ri, ari O nathwari! Hori aee ri.” I’ll explain the meaning of that briefly.
Krishn, saying to a Gopi, “O Gopi! Hori aee ri. Hori! Hori aee ri, ari O nathwari.” Nath means nose ring. A very common ornament in Braj, they wear nath, nose ring. “O! The one who is wearing nose ring, nathwari! Gori, Gopi, Hori has come! Hori aee ri, ari O nathwari! Hori aee ri. Ghunghat ke pat kholi kheli le, lai pyari kar pichkari, Hori aee ri.” So, Krishn and this Gopi are playing holi.
Gopis came from Divine Vrindaban. Radha Krishn came from Divine Vrindaban. They were all Divine descensions. But there is a message behind that.
“O ghunghat wari!” Ghunghat means wearing a veil. “Ghunghat ke pat kholi, open the veil, and play holi face to face!” Then…“Bahut dinan te kahati rahi tu, hori avati, Banwari.” O Gopi! “Bahut dinan te kahati rahi tu,” for a long time you were saying, “O Krishn! I’ll play hori with You. I’ll play hori with you on hori day.” You were saying this for a long time. Now hori has come, play now!
“Man bhaee ‘Kripalu’ kari le tu, yah tero piya Giridhari. O Gopi, do whatever you wish, this is your Krishn! Your own Krishn.” If you understand this message, you can play real holi with Krishn and Radha, right away.
Krishn says, “Ghunghat ke pat kholi. This soul is wearing the veil of maya.” Maya means attachment in the world. You have lots of attachments: family, friends, business, house, personal affairs, own personality, own skills—you are attached everywhere. This is a curtain between you and Krishn. This is ghunghat. It is veiling your eyes to see Krishn. So pat kholi. Open this veil and play holi face to face with Krishn.
So, Ghunghat ke pat kholi kheli le, lai pyari kar pichkari. Kar pichkari, you know, we play with pichkari (a large syringe-shaped squirter). We fill the pichkari with color and throw. So, “O Gopi! If the pichkari is already filled with mud, you can’t fill it with color. It has to be empty. Only an empty pichkari can be filled with color. Your heart is full of worldly mire. Empty it, make it empty, and fill it with the color of your love. Then throw it on Me. That’s real holi!
So, O soul! You know…for uncountable lifetimes you are in the world. Taking life and death, life and death, life and death, suffering in the world, being attached in the world, you spent uncountable lifetimes. You never got up from there. You collected lots of worldly mire—mud—the mud of karmas. Karm is like mud. All karmas are binding. So now try to empty it! And fill it with your own love, pure love, colorful love. Fill it with love, and throw it on Me.
Then what will I do? I’ll throw color on you. Simple. You throw on Me, I’ll throw on you. You can throw your own love, whatever you have, according to your capacity.
And what is the capacity of a soul? Soul is very little—infinitesimal, but whatever you have, throw on Me. Then I’ll give you My love. My love is unlimited, limitlessly Blissful, ever-new, ever-charming, ever-exciting…you will be drenched with that color, inside and outside. Then your whole personality, inside and outside, will become the form of love—you will become the form of love. You will see love, you will eat love, you will play love, you will sleep in love, you will walk in love, you will talk in love, you will live in love. You will be in love, all the time, experiencing various phases of love.
O Gopi! Come out. Cut the veil of your maya, fill your heart with your love, and play holi with Me. Bahut dinan te kahati rahi tu. O Gopi! You were saying for a long, long time.”
People say, “Yes, Swamiji, when I’ll retire I’ll just do devotion all the time—twenty-four hours.” When you retire? [Swamiji laughs.] You will look for a new job when you retire. I have seen people after retirement, looking for a new job. They can’t sit quiet.
You have to do right now, right away, if you want to start something! If you postpone for tomorrow…it’s postponed. Tomorrow never comes—never! Because tomorrow you will say again, “Tomorrow.” Again you will say, “Tomorrow.” What tomorrow? Today! Why not today! It’s a good idea. But not the best idea. Why not now, right now? When? Today!
You say, “I’ll do after two hours. There is some important work that has come. I’ll do after some time. In the evening.” Again, if you are postponing…it’s your habit. So, why not right now? This is the most important thing to do. What could be so important as finding the love of Radha and Krishn? Nothing could be so important. It all could be brushed out and thrown away. But no, you pay importance to worldly things. You think, “No, I can do this thing first, then I’ll do devotion. Satsang? It goes on for six hours in Barsana Dham, I’ll go sometime. Oh, somebody has come, some relative or relatives have come, something has to be done… I’ll do that first.”
What I mean to say is that we pay attention to worldly things, worldly appointments, worldly commitments. We don’t pay much importance to our Divine commitment. Before birth, soul has committed itself to Krishn. It is in Garbhopnishad: “O Krishn! When I am in the world again, I’ll remember You all the time throughout my life.” So our commitment is for Krishn. You have forgotten that commitment. So, you have to understand, there are two things: God or Krishn love, and worldly, material pleasure or contentment. Choose between the two. What do you want first? The world is first? Then next goes the second, God realization—it may not come. You have to pay importance to God realization first, other things next. First, devotion to God. Second, other things of the world. Only then you start devotion to Radha and Krishn. Because now you have understood the importance of Krishn love. And when you understand the importance of Krishn love, really understand, then nobody can cause you to deviate from it with any kind of allurement of the world. “No, no, no, I don’t want that thing. Oh, he can wait, she can wait, that work can wait, that appointment can wait. I am going to Barsana Dham, to do satsang.”
So in this way, you have to understand the importance of Krishn love and the importance of hori. So Krishn is saying, “O souls! Remove the veil of maya, come to Me.”
He gave same message in different words in Gita: “Manmanabhav madbhakto madyajee mam namaskuru (Gita 18 / 65). Sarvadharman parityajya mamekam sharanam vraj (Gita 18 / 66). Sarvadharman parityajya, Leave everything and come to Me.” Then what to do? “Remember Me, think of Me, love Me, be with Me.”
The same thing Krishn is saying to the Gopi in a very loving style, “O Gori! Open your veil of maya, come to Me, play holi. You are saying for a long time, ‘I want God, I want God, I want God.’ Really you never wanted God, from the bottom of your heart. You just say, ‘Yes yes, it is OK if it comes.’ You were saying for a long time, now time has come…play holi with Me and have My love forever.”
“Man bhaee ‘Kripalu’ kari le tu, yah tero piya Giridhari. This is your Krishn. God is Maha Vishnu. I am not Maha Vishnu, I am your piya.” Piya means your Beloved. The Beloved of your body, mind and soul is Krishn. “Your loving Krishn, your own Krishn. Love with Me, anyway you like.” So, “O souls! Come and play hori.”
Thus with His leelas, Krishn revealed this message to every soul, that any soul could enjoy that hori leela of Braj which Krishn did 5,000 years ago. That is the message behind this holi occasion.
Bolo Shyama Shyam ki, Jai!
Barsana Dham ki, Jai!
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj ki, Jai!
Jai Shree Radhey!