So, even in this Kali Yuga these [ascetic] ideas are prevalent. Even in India, people have very severe types, especially in south I have seen, they do all kinds of nonsense for the atonement or maybe for something they are asking. All this nonsense was too much for Shri Krishna. He couldn't understand that they are going to destroy their lives with this kind of ritualistic gruelling, then what will remain out of them for Sahaja Yoga. So He's the one who started Sahaj culture. He said "let us enjoy, we must have enjoyment, Nirmala Anand - pure joy". How do we have pure joy by? - He had this rakhi bandhan by which, apart from your wife, everybody is your sister or mother. I must say it is quite true about Indians. Not in the north so much because of Islamic influence, but in the south it is so. In Maharastra it is so. And then He started also this Holi, in which you should play with colors, maybe to get rid of the color barriers we have, maybe. In America it is a very good idea to play with colors and put some black on the whites and some whites on the black and they can see for themselves how stupid it is to fight in the name of color.
H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, extract from Shri Krishna Puja 1996
This festival of Holi was made by Shri Krishna so that human beings would see the whole world as leela (play). By coming into Sahaja Yoga you have become leelamay (playful). You get completely absorbed in music and enjoy it. You have love and pure feelings for one another. You do each work with great beauty and morality. But to be leelamay is to stop at Vishudhi Chakra. After that, one has to move on Agnya. On the Agnya Chakra is tapas or penance. Then you should think about the burning of Holika which was due to Prahlad’s penance. We also have to ascend on that tapa because you have reached the Vishudhi level; that you live together with love for each other. At Vishudhi you have become collective, got love and universal brotherhood. When you become universal then your caste, creed, countries all drop away. ...
On Holi we should burn all those things which spoil our attention and damage the Agnya. Then this attention will clear out and we will celebrate Holi with joy and understanding. ...
When your attention goes to Vishudhi then you see the Shakti of Shri Krishna, Shri Radha, who is Allahad Dayini, the giver of joy. Just by seeing Her people feel joyous. She is the Allahad Dayini Shakti which is in flowers, in children; and it can awaken in you. Till the depth comes this Allahad Dayini Shakti will remain verbal. Think about the combination of these two. It is very important for us to get depth within and to give joy from that depth is equally important.
(extracts from talk given in Hindi during Holi Celebrations, Delhi, 1991)
Legend of Holika and Prahlad
History of Holi
Celebrate an eco-friendly Holi