Do you know why Hindu's light a lamp?

Almost in every Hindu home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day - at dawn and dusk - and in a few it is maintained continuously - Akhanda Deepa. All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion. Light symbolizes knowledge, wisdom and elimination of darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (Chaitanya) who is the source, the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.

Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.

Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has further spiritual significance. The lamp is lit with sesame oil, or coconut oil or castor oil, or ghee or a mix of oils while each having a significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, they get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals. Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:

Deepajyothi parabrahma

Deepa sarva tamopahaha

Deepena saadhyate saram

Sandhyaa deepo namostute

Meaning: I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

3 comments:

  1. I'm really happy to see a website which is focused on our Hindu culture.

    www.freehindu.com

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  2. its showing your lack of wisdom about science and nature, the true is when we lightened with oil, the smell with air will purify your breathing organs, it will differ for each oils. Do you know how man found fire? why shoulnt God give directly the knowledge of ligting concepts to people?. for getting clarify the pure science read some of tamil literature page.

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  3. Thanks for your valuble comment. The answer is already in About Us page of Hindu Spirit @ http://hinduspirit.blogspot.com/2011/02/about-us.html. Hinduism winds up science in all its activities. Due to ignorance of some people our ancestors have applied science in the name of religious belief so that atleast for the sake of God the discipline will be carried out.

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