Light and brightness has always been equated with positivity, motivation harbringer of good and associated with spiritual beings. Darkness, on the other hand, has always been associated with evil and the devil.
Light is a form and a symbol of Tej (Absolute fire principle). The lamp is invoked as, ‘तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।’ meaning the lamp leads us from darkness towards light. It burns only to give message of peace and light to the man. The presence of “Agni” fire ensures success. Fire is one of the five elements that form the human body and is a transformed form of Soorya. This is its greatness.
It is a tradition to light a lamp first before starting any auspicious events or rituals. Light symbolizes the absence of darkness, grief and unhappiness. Almighty’s Divine Grace is spread all over the house by lighting the lamps. God’s first and foremost appearance is in the form of Light which we call as ‘Divya Jyotir’ or ‘Divine Light’.
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 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.
Flame symbolizes wisdom and knowledge. The Lord is the ‘Knowledge Principle’ (Chaitanya) who is the source, and the illuminator of all knowledge. A lamp teaches you to be upright, rise upwards and dispel darkness. 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.
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. Ghee lamp has more capacity to attract the Sattvik vibrations present in the surrounding atmosphere as compared to oil lamp.
The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals. A single lamp can light hundreds more just as a man of knowledge can give it to many more. The brilliance of the light does not diminish despite its repeated use to light many more lamps. So true knowledge does not lessen when shared with or imparted to others.
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