Demon Holika sat inside fire holding young Prahlad on her lap. But it was Holika who was burnt; Prahlad came out unharmed from fire. Is this just another story of good winning over evil? No! Look deep and we will find that demon Holika represents the unwanted desires, anger, jealousy, ego, pride, and greediness in us that multiplies daily. We are burning the ignorance that has enveloped us. When impurities are cleared we become child Prahlad – free from attachment or hatred – we regain childlike pure nature – we become truth – Satchidananda.
Holika is not a woman but symbolically represents ignorance – desires, ego, avarice, jealousy, anger which constantly multiplies in us. Why Holika is a woman and not a male demon? Only a woman can reproduce. And we regularly reproduce our desire, ego, anger, frustration, avarice and jealousy. This piles up and covers the pure self. Childlike pure nature is covered with everything unwanted.
On Holika Dahan we burn out all impurities. When the impurities are removed we rediscover the Prahlad in us.
The child Prahlad celebrates Holi the next day with color – celebration of innocence and purity.
Holika Dahan is the burning of unwanted materials or the bonfire that is created the day before Dhulandi Holi.