If you have been subscribing to Monday Morning Mojo for a year or more, you know I love Holi! I never would have found this amazing celebration and holiday had we not adopted our wonderful daughter, Ruchi, from India 7 1/2 years ago. That’s her dancing with my wife, Laura, in the bottom of the picture.
Ruchi turned 16 yesterday, and we celebrated by taking her and several of her closest friends to one of the Holi festivals here in Washington, DC. It has been a very special honor to be her adopted father and watch her grow from a little girl to a young woman.
Holi is the celebration of spring, and Krishna, one of the most widely revered avatars in many Hindu religions. Krishna has wonderful stories of his youth, stretching all the way back to being a baby. One of my favorite stories takes place when his mother believes he has eaten something naughty, and peers into his mouth to find out what he has been up to. There she sees the whole universe, including the endless skies, the winds and mountains, seas and plains and even the Earth orbiting the sun, star clusters, and the entire Milky Way galaxy. This is her revelation that her son is beyond mortal.
This story speaks to me of the sacred that is in each of us. I too often get caught up in my day-to-day life, worries, and responsibilities. This story reminds me that each person I meet holds a universe inside, unfathomable treasures and truly awesome worlds. I believe that. For me, it is one of the most sustaining and precious aspects of being alive.
I joke with my friends that I am a HinJew, which is really to say that I am both and neither. I am both because of my Jewish roots and the values I hold, and at the same time, I love much of the Hindu religion including all of the deities with their personalities and adventures. I am neither because, well, for starters Judaism is a monotheistic religion (wouldn’t have Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Parvati, Radha and the other 1,000s of deities!), and I am not dogmatic in my Hindu beliefs. But, each has gifts that I value and so I persist!
Holi, Ruchi, Sweet 16, the mundane and the sacred… it’s all there for me! Happy Holi!
“Holi is a time to reach out with the colors of joy.”