#EXPLAINED: Why Hindu’s light a God lamp at home

Light symbolizes the absence of darkness, grief, and sorrows. It indicates inside knowledge being illuminated, along with enlightenment.

Knowledge is an endless wealth that is able to remove ignorance, much like how the light removes darkness.

Bowing down to a lit oil lamp is bowing down to knowledge in the greatest form.

  • The oil or ghee in the lamp signifies our vices. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vices are slowly and gradually exhausted, while the ego perishes as well.
  • The wick, the main object used to light an oil lamp, signifies the ego. When a lamp emits lighting, it also is a symbol of power and brightness.
  • The flames of a lamp continually burn upwards. Similarly, it also represents knowledge being attained to take us towards higher values. It’s a custom to light a lamp initially before starting any auspicious events or ceremonies. As a result of lighting it, darkness will be removed, alongside any ignorance, evil, worries, troubles, stress, and also disappointment.

Light symbolizes awareness. By lighting the lamps, the almighty’s delightful grace will spread all over the house. The first and foremost appearance of the God will be the Light, which is also known as Divine Light.

Slokas to Chant

While lighting the lamp, chant:

Subham Karoti Kalyanam,

Arogyam Dhana Sampadah,

Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya

Deepa Jyotir Namostute.

Translation: I salute the One who is the lamplight that brings auspiciousness; prosperity, good health, abundance of wealth, and the destruction of the intellect’s enemy (six enemies: Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya).

After lighting the lamp, chant the prayer:

Deepajyothi Parabrahma,

Deepajyothi Janardhana,

Deepo me hara tu paapam,

Deepa Jyothir Namostute

Translation: I salute the Brahman, the sustainer of the creation, in the form of this light. I salute the Lord, may He destroy afflictions resulting from my omissions and commissions.

Wick Varieties

The wick is main object used to light an oil lamp. When a lamp emits lighting, the wick is a symbol of power and brightness.

Below, find a list of the varieties they can come in.

  • Cotton wicks. These are made from the Indian cotton plant. They are the most popular and commonly used wick in India to light an oil lamp. It’s meant to attain every good fortune.
  • Lotus wicks. Lotus wicks are prepared from the fiber of lotus stems. Lighting a lamp using these will bring you fortune (money), with Goddess Mahalakshmi blessings, as well as Goddess Saraswathi blessings. It will also take away any prior birth fates, and create a new and happy successful life.
  • White Madar wicks. Lighting a lamp with white Madar wicks will bring good health and blessings from Lord Maha Ganapathi. It will bring positive results in court matters and competitive exams, as well as increasing wealth. It also dispels evil, and will give you positive energy, peace, and a return of your debts.
  • Banana stem wicks. Banana stem wicks are lit to pardon one for mistakes committed by yourself and your family. Lighting one will serve up Lord Hanuman blessings, healthy children, and positive results in ongoing projects and such. However, t is not advisable to light these wick in marriage discussions.
  • Red and yellow cotton cloth wicks. These are prepared with new yellow cotton cloth and red cotton cloth. With the yellow, we can attain the grace of Goddess Parvathi Devi. By lighting the red one, you can help with any difficulties in a marriage and child bearing problems, alongside that it will help to increase mutual understanding and love between couples.

Oil Varieties

We use ghee or different types of oils to light an oil lamp for various reasons.

  • Ghee. Cow’s ghee helps destroy poverty, and will give health, peace and bliss.
  • Ginger or sesame oil. These types of oil will help make difficulties in your life more easy, and eliminate the effects from bad sins committed that may disturb you. Lighting with these types of oils will also please Lord Shani during Sade-sati periods of Saturn at Mahadasha and Antardasha.
  • Castor oil. Castor oil is mainly used to acquire fame, name, happiness in family life, and to increase a devotional faith.
  • Panchadeepa oil. This oil is a combination of coconut or ginger oil, castor oil, neem oil, mahua oil and cow’s ghee. Use it to light a lamp if you want to nullify all evil effects in a home and keep the peace. Lighting with Panchadeepa oil will help in eliminating the evil eye, bad thoughts, illnesses, and poverty. It will also bring wealth, happiness, health, and luck.

Note: Using sunflower or ground nut oil is not recommended. It is said that these oils will bring financial struggles and debt in the home.

Number of Wicks and Their Meaning

  1. A single wick gives general benefits and success.
  2. Two wicks blesses harmony and peace in the family and home.
  3. Three wicks bless us with progeny.
  4. Four wicks will bring all-round success and extravagant victuals.
  5. Five wicks will give us wealth in all aspects.
  6. Six wicks blesses us with knowledge and renunciation.

Wick Directions and Their Impact

Lighting the lamp in individual directions will gives us different results.

  • East: Beneficial for health and a peaceful mind.
  • West: To be free of financial obligations or debts, and success over enemies.
  • North: To achieve success in undertaken ventures.
  • South: This direction is regarded as inauspicious. Never light a lamp in this direction.

Types of Oil Lamps

An oil lamp uses oil as a main fuel source to light a lamp. The tradition of using these started thousands of years ago, and is still done today. They are generally used among Hindus and as well as in temples.

  • Clay lamp: These are widely used for spiritual rituals. They are very significant when it comes to any kind of prayers and devotional religious customs.
  • Silver lamp: Silver lamps are inflamed to impress the moon. This step is supposed to get rid of poverty.
  • Gold lamp: Gold lamps are lit for health, wealth, and business expansions or developments.
  • Brass lamp: These are easily available with affordable prices. Their durability is very high.

Notes: Clay and brass lamps are very popular because they are widely available and very affordable. Iron and steel oil lamps aren’t used for Hindu spiritual rituals in houses. Lastly, silver and gold lamps are expensive, so they aren’t as commonly used.

Lemon Lamps

Lemon Diya with cotton wick
Lemon Diya with cotton wick

We can also light an oil lamp with lemon and rice flour for some specific religious ceremonies.

  1. First, take a fresh lemon and then cut it down the middle. Squeeze away the juice and seeds from the cut lemon, and then invert it.
  2. Place wicks inside the lemon and fill with Ghee, then light it.

Lemon lamps are primarily used to please goddess Dura. In South India, lighting lemon lamps were popularly used during Rahu kalam, which helps to cancel out the negative effects of the Rahu planet and to attain blessings of Goddess Dura to acquire peace and prosperity in one’s life.

Rice Flour Lamp

Rice flour diya
Rice flour diya
  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain it, and then grind it to a fine powder. Use a siever or strainer to separate the fine flour from any remaining granules.
  3. After that, add grated jaggery to the rice flour and mix it well with hand or with a mixer.
  4. Now, take the dough and place it into a container and make it round. With your thumb, press into the middle of the dough to get a dent.
  5. Pour enough ghee to fill the dent and place a wick in that dent to light.

Jaladeepam Preparation

Jaladeepam refers to lighting the lamp with a combination of water and oil. Yes, this is possible Here’s the step-by-step procedure:

First step: Take two empty bowls, one large and one small.

empty bowls
empty bowls

Second step: Fill both bowls with water. Fill the large bowl to the top and the small bowl about 3/4 or 75% of the way.

bowls with water
bowls with water

Third step: Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of oil to the small bowl.

Adding oil
Adding oil
3 spoons of oil added to the bowl
3 spoons of oil added to the bowl

Fourth step: We will use something that floats as a base to place the wick onto. Here, I am using a plastic floating flower with a hole. See below.

Floating flower for the wick to stand on
Floating flower for the wick to stand on
Wicks
Wicks
Floating flower with wick on top
Floating flower with wick on top
Bowl with floating flower
Bowl with floating flower

Fifth step. Light the lamp. I used a match stick, but a lighter will work too obviously.

Lighting wick with a matchstick
Lighting wick with a matchstick
Glow of the lamp
Glow of the lamp

Final step. The last step is completely optional. Tou can decorate your lamp if you want, too! I used Chrysanthemum petals and added a little reddish food coloring to bring color to the plain water, and used decorative flowers.

Chrysanthemum petals.
Chrysanthemum petals.
Red colored water.
Red colored water.
Decorative flowers.
Decorative flowers.

Conclusion

This lamp will provide up to 7-8 hours of lighting. Nowadays, people are lighting these floating lamps in homes as Vastu remedies to get rid of evil powers and negative influences. Many also use floating candles to decorate their houses. Enjoy!


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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