Behind Hola Mahalla

Holi is definitely feminine and Hola sounds Macho! More on Holi AT THE END. For Now Hola....

The festival of Hola Mahalla was founded by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru was in the midst of fighting, both Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire and Rajput Kings of the Hills. On March 7, 1701, Guru Gobind Singh started a new tradition by overseeing a day of mock battles and poetry contests at Lohgarh Fort. He had newly established the Khalsa Panth. The tradition has since spread from the town of Anandpur Sahib to nearby Kiratpur Sahib and the foothills of the Shivaliks.

In my opinion this festival is unique and should be celebrated in the Gurdwaras around the world with current sports activities over the weekend. Some display of Gatka, Sword ship and Marshal arts DISPLAY BY KIDS (Local) in the court yard of Gurdwara and appreciated by parents. Exercise in any form is essential for the human body, with time tools of exercise only change. Body and mind both have to be strong, body on the outside and on the inside is having a strong mind. 

Appropriate way to celebrate is to have physical activities on this day (Physical Activity Day-beginnng of 1 st day of new Year). Like it is done in Anandpur Sahib, Horse riding, Gatka and Kabadi appropriate activities should be done in Western Countries.

Bhai Kahan Singh, who compiled the Mahan Kosh (the first Sikh encyclopedia) at the turn of the 20th century, explained, ‘Hola’ is derived from the word halla (a military charge) and the term mohalla stands for an organized procession or an army column. The words 'Hola Mohalla' would thus stand for 'the charge of an army.'

Hola is a Sanskrit word meant to be distinguished from Holi; the Hindu spring festival of colors (Holi) which takes place the day before Hola Mahalla.

Holi is definitely feminine and Hola sounds Macho! More on Holi AT THE END. For Now Hola.

All sikh activities are meant to make once thinking positive, physically heathy, make living proactive, life positive and of good attitude, to finally - lead a Happy Life.

“Ramrang kade uttar na jai, Gur pura de Bhujai…” Imbued with long lasting color... Lords love never 

ਬਸੰਤੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੧ ਦੁਤੁਕੇ 

Basant, Fifth Mehl, First House, Du-Tukay: 

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ 

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru: 

ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਉ ਕਰਿ ਨਮਸਕਾਰ ॥ ਆਜੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਮੰਗਲਚਾਰ ॥ 

I serve the Guru, and humbly bow to Him. Today is a day of celebration for me. 

ਆਜੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦ ॥ ਚਿੰਤ ਲਥੀ ਭੇਟੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥੧॥ 

Today I am in supreme bliss. My anxiety is dispelled, and I have met the Lord of the Universe. 1

ਆਜੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਬਸੰਤ ॥ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਏ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਬੇਅੰਤ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ 

Today, it is springtime in my household. I sing Your Glorious Praises, O Infinite Lord God. Pause

ਆਜੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਬਨੇ ਫਾਗ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੰਗੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਖੇਲਨ ਲਾਗ ॥ 

Today, I am celebrating the festival of Phalgun. Joining with God's companions, I have begun to play. 

ਹੋਲੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਸੰਤ ਸੇਵ ॥ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗਾ ਅਤਿ ਲਾਲ ਦੇਵ ॥੨॥ 

I celebrate the festival of Holi by serving the Saint. 

I am imbued with the deep crimson color of the Lord's Divine Love. ||2|| 

ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਉਲਿਓ ਅਤਿ ਅਨੂਪ ॥ ਸੂਕੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਛਾਵ ਧੂਪ ॥ 

My mind and body have blossomed forth, in utter, incomparable beauty. They do not dry out in either sunshine or shade; 

ਸਗਲੀ ਰੂਤੀ ਹਰਿਆ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਦ ਬਸੰਤ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲੇ ਦੇਵ ॥੩॥ 

they flourish in all seasons. It is always springtime, when I meet with the Divine Guru. ||3|| 

ਬਿਰਖੁ ਜਮਿਓ ਹੈ ਪਾਰਜਾਤ ॥ ਫੂਲ ਲਗੇ ਫਲ ਰਤਨ ਭਾਂਤਿ ॥ 

The wish-fulfilling Elysian Tree has sprouted and grown. It bears flowers and fruits, jewels of all sorts. 

ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਅਘਾਨੇ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣਹ ਗਾਇ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਇ ॥੪॥੧॥

I am satisfied and fulfilled, singing the Glorious Praises of the Lord. 

Servant Nanak meditates on the Lord, Har, Har, Har.

Now about Holi. The festival of Holi is associated with the devotion of Bhagat Prahlad, a very young bhagat. One can derive tons of inspiration from Prahlad.

ਹਰਿ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਭਗਤ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਪੈਜ ਰਖਦਾ ਆਇਆ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥ ਹਰਣਾਖਸੁ ਦੁਸਟੁ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਹਲਾਦੁ ਤਰਾਇਆ ॥ 

In each and every age, He creates His devotees and preserves their honor, O Lord King. 

The Lord killed the wicked Harnaakhash, and saved Prahlaad. 

PRAHALAD - A young saintly child

In the story the child and GOD are the protagonists, Harnaakash & Holika are the villains, 'Holi' is celebrated on the occasion. Holi starts on the full moon night of Phagan or Phalgan, the festival of Holi is referred to as the festival of Phalgun even though the actual day of Holi falls on the first day of the lunar month of Chett.

This day is celebrated with play of colors by most. On the day of Holika Dahan people burn logs of wood to symbolize victory of good over evil for name sake and symbolic Agni Pooja. However in modern times the celebration of good over evil has taken a turn... 

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Celebration goes against the original spirit 

Now I feel it is important to point out what is currently being done and how it is not in keeping with the celebration of purity which the history alludes to. Below will feature more on the history of the story, for now we will explore the implications of substances during celebrations for your comparing.  

Bhang (marijuana) has now become synonymous with Holi, to the point where consuming bhang at this time is standard practice.

Bhang Ki Thandai (Hindi) is a drink, popular in many parts of India, which is made by mixing Bhang with thandai, a cold beverage prepared with almonds, spices, milk and sugar. Consumption of Bhang and psychotropic substances has been forbidden by certain Hindu religious sects such as the Shikshapatri, and is also forbidden in Islam, though not in all sects.

The Guru Granth Sahib forbids us from drinking alcohol: The Guru says: Even if it is made from pure sacred water...

In this line the Guru tells us that even if wine is made from the most sacred or pure ingredients, you should NOT DRINK IT. The water of Ganges is considered by the Hindus as the most sacred in the world; however Guru says that even wine made from such sacred water should not be consumed. If you wish to attain spiritual elevation and tread on such a path, then say NO to wine or alcohol.

ਸੁਰਸਰੀ ਸਲਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਰੁਨੀ ਰੇ ਸੰਤ ਜਨ ਕਰਤ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਨੰ ॥

Even if wine is made from the water of the Ganges, O Saints, do not drink it.

ਸੁਰਾ ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਨਤ ਅਵਰ ਜਲ ਰੇ ਸੁਰਸਰੀ ਮਿਲਤ ਨਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਆਨੰ ॥੧॥

This wine, and any other polluted water which mixes with the Ganges, is not separate from it. P 1293

Also,

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ Siree Raag, First Mehl:

ਅਮਲੁ ਗਲੋਲਾ ਕੂੜ ਕਾ ਦਿਤਾ ਦੇਵਣਹਾਰਿ ॥

The Great Giver has given the intoxicating drug of falsehood.

ਮਤੀ ਮਰਣੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਖੁਸੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ॥

The people are intoxicated; they have forgotten death, and they have fun for a few days.

ਸਚੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਸੋਫੀਆ ਰਾਖਣ ਕਉ ਦਰਵਾਰੁ ॥੧॥

Those who do not use intoxicants are true; they dwell in the Court of the Lord. P15

The following is a summary of what the global message presented by the Guru regarding alcohol. The Guru tells us:

The Guru tells us:

"Drinking wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind;"

"He cannot distinguish between his own and others,"

"He is struck down by his Lord and Master"; SGGS p554

"Those who are deluded by sensual pleasures, are tempted by sexual delights and enjoy wine are corrupt."; SGGS p335

The temptation of wine: 

ਸੁਆਦ ਲੁਭਤ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿਓ ਮਦ ਰਸ ਲੈਤ ਬਿਕਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਭਾਗ ਸੰਤਨ ਸੰਗਾਨੇ ਕਾਸਟ ਲੋਹ ਉਧਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥੩॥

Those who are deluded by sensual pleasures, who are tempted by sexual delights and enjoy wine are corrupt. But those who, through destiny and good karma, join the Society of the Saints, float over the ocean, like iron attached to wood. P335

By drinking wine, madness enters once mind:

ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੩ ॥ 

Shalok, Third Mehl:

ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਣਿਆ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਇ ॥

One person brings a full bottle, and another fills his cup.

ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਮਤਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਰਲੁ ਪਵੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਇ ॥

Drinking the wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind;

ਆਪਣਾ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਧਕੇ ਖਾਇ ॥

he cannot distinguish between his own and others, and he is struck down by his Lord and Master.

ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥

Drinking it, he forgets his Lord and Master, and he is punished in the Court of the Lord.

ਝੂਠਾ ਮਦੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਪੀਚਈ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ ॥

Do not drink the false wine at all, if it is in your power.

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਸਚੁ ਮਦੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਇ ॥

O Nanak, the True Guru comes and meets the mortal; by His Grace, one obtains the True Wine.

ਸਦਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਹੈ ਮਹਲੀ ਪਾਵੈ ਥਾਉ ॥੧॥

He shall dwell forever in the Love of the Lord Master, and obtain a seat in the Mansion of His Presence.

Shabad connected with marijuana, hash/nicotine and wine

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥ ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥

Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine - no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. P 1377

For more bodily harms of Alcohol, please read

The Guru's message is: JUST DON'T DRINK

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Now let's return to the narrative, the story of the saint-child Prahlaad. Notice the spirit conveyed from this story: 

Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars, 10th Vaar, Pauri 2 

"Prahlad, the saint, was born in the house of (king) Haranakhas like a lotus is born in the muddy waters. 

When he was sent to seminary, the teacher became elated (because the king’s son was now his disciple). 

Prahlad would remember the name of Ram in his heart and outwardly also he would eulogise the Lord. 

All the disciples became devotees of Lord, which was an awful and embarrassing situation for the teacher. 

The teacher reported or complained to the that O king your son has become devotee of God. 

The malevolent demon picked up the quarrel. Prahlad was thrown into fire and water but with the grace of

Guru (the Lord) neither he was burnt nor drowned. 

Angered as he was, Hiranyaksyapu took out his double-edged sword and asked Prahlad who his Lord was. 

At the same moment Lord God in the form of man-lion came out of the pillar. His form was grand and majestic. 

That wicked king was killed and since then known for ever, the Lord is kind to devotees. 

Seeing this Brahma and other gods started eulogizing the Lord." 

The story is also narrated by Bhagat Kabir Ji in Siri Guru Granth Sahib on Ang 1194

"Prahlaad was sent to school. 

He took many of his friends along with him.

He asked his teacher, "Why do you teach me about worldly affairs?

Write the Name of the Dear Lord on my tablet."||1||

O Baba, I will not forsake the Name of the Lord.

I will not bother with any other lessons. ||1||Pause||

Sanda and Marka went to the king to complain.

He sent for Prahlaad to come at once.

He said to him, "Stop uttering the Lord's Name.

I shall release you at once, if you obey my words."||2||

Prahlaad answered, "Why do you annoy me, over and over again?

God created the water, land, hills and mountains.

I shall not forsake the One Lord; if I did, I would be going against my Guru.

You might as well throw me into the fire and kill me.";||3||

The king became angry and drew his sword.

Show me your protector now!.

So God emerged out of the pillar, and assumed a mighty form.

He killed Harnaakhash, tearing him apart with his nails. ||4||

The Supreme Lord God, the Divinity of the divine,

for the sake of His devotee, assumed the form of the man-lion.

Says Kabeer, no one can know the Lord's limits.

He saves His devotees like Prahlaad over and over again. ||5||4||"

Victory of good over evil. Much more than that for me - a testimony to presence of God in this World. God takes care of his believer’s and sincere disciples. By this instance in Guru Granth Sahib, we are reminded every day in ‘Rehras' (evening prayer) that FINALLY God Does Take Care ALWAYS or HE PREVAILS FINALLY & ALWAYS. 

Here are some resources for your enjoyment in the healthful, bold and joyous spirit of this Sikh celebration. 

Enjoy listening of the shabad audio and remember you and I can reinforce by saying, I will also experience/ see GOD as close as Druv & PRAHALAD. By Bhai Jasbir Singh Ponta Sahib 14.45 min.

For Children Audio Story:

Sikhi is a simplified-practical-perfect-way of life.

Guru Granth teaches delightful living.

(Good+Happy) Good for today better for tomorrow.

Follow it.

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