Monday, December 10, 2007

Why a lamp is lit in Hindu Homes

In almost every Indian 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, 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 remove 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 a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.

1 comment:

rani said...

Hi Neelum,
Thanks for visiting my blog.

I would urge you to attend the playgroup that is conducted by a group of mothers in PJ. Visit the blog Demoments, one of the links on my blog, and contact the lady who is behind the blog.

I do know of a few Montessori school in Selangor and KL, but I don't know their addresses or locations. I think it would be a good idea that I make this topic as my post in the future.

I have added you in Blogroll on my site. Hope you could do the same with my blog?!

Hope to hear from u again.
cheers, rani.