Friday, May 25, 2012

Why do we light a lamp?

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the alter of the lord. In some house it Is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk- and in few it is maintained
continuously- AKHANDA DEEPA. Auspicious function commence with lighting of the
lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness – ignorance. The lord is the “knowledge
principle “ ( chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and 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 removes darkness. But the traditional
Oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of the lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us toward higher ideals. Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute

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

Morgan Major.

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