Lighting the lamp in our homes during puja is to remove the darkness from the mind and heart. Light is the symbol of glittering the mind. We have to be purified. We should spread happiness everywhere.
It is believed by lighting lamp we destroy our sins and helps in keeping our home and mind pure. The light or flame itself is worshiped as the Lord. The light symbolizes knowledge, illuminating and “en-lighten-ing” us. The light of a ghee lamp is believed to bring in prosperity, as knowledge or wisdom is the greatest form of wealth.
The lamp is called a Diya or Deepak usually made of clay or metal (Gold, Silver or Bronze) with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oils. The wick in the traditional oil lamp symbolizes ego and the oil or ghee used symbolizes our negative tendencies. When we are lit by self-knowledge, the negative tendencies (oil) melt away and finally, the ego (wick) perishes. When the ego perishes, we realize that we are all the Supreme Truth.
Majority of the Hindus insist on lighting a traditional wick lamp in the puja room. This is because it is believed that the traditional lamp that is lit radiates heat and light energy. The regular movement of the flame in the traditional wick lamp is highly effective in passing out the positive energy. The wave movement that the traditional wick lamp has got is believed to help in distributing the positive energy on all sides.
Sesame oil, also known as gingelly oil or til oil, is generally used to light the lamp and this is again associated with positive energy that it gives out.
Guidelines for lighting lamp
- Ghee/ Sesame Oil or a mixture of oil and ghee can be used to light the lamp.
- A lamp is always a good omen – if someone gifts you a lamp, accept it whole-heartedly. If the lamp flickers, it is an auspicious sign.
- Always smear the lamp with vermillion and sandal powder.
- Offer flowers to the lamp.
- Always use minimum 2 and maximum 3 wicks for lighting the Lamp. Symbolises the Trinity- Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
- After a head bath, one should remove the head towel before even lighting the lamp.
Don’ts for lighting lamp
- Never place and light a lamp in the south direction. It will bring inauspicious events…
- After lighting the lamp don’t rub the excess oil on your hair; (it will make you loose your wealth) general belief. Also rubbing in your own dress is also not good. So keep a piece of cloth in your pooja room and rub the excess oil in it.
- Never keep any lamp directly on the kolam. Always keep it on a plate ( can be brass, silver not steel).
- Do not use Groundnut Oil.
What Direction mean
- North: The most preferable direction to place and light a lamp. One is blessed with 8 kinds of wealth or Ashtaishwaryas of Goddess Lakshmi who empowers her devotees, giving them luxuries in the form of wealth, which can be good progeny, money, plenty of food etc.
- East: It will ensure good health and peace of mind.
- West: It will free you from debts and ensure victory over foes. (Saturn Remedy)
- South: Never place and light a lamp in the south direction. It will bring all the bad tidings.