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Lighting the Lamp

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Why to Light Lamp Before God
Taken from

By lighting the lamp, you are getting rid of your sins. Let me narrate an incident from Shiradee Sai Baabaa's life:

When Shiradee Sai Baabaa first came to Shiradee, he used to go from home to home and from shop to shop begging for oil in a tin cup. With that oil, he would light numerous lamps in the nearby mosque. Later some mischief-mongers created a problem concerning his religion, after which no one offered to give him oil anymore. Then he filled his mouth with some water and went to the mosque and emptied the water into his tin cup. With the water, he lit all the lamps. By then, everyone had gathered to watch this miracle. Baabaa told them, "You people don't realize why I light these lamps getting oil from you. I do it only for your sake. I am burning your sins by lighting these lamps in the oil that you give!" So don't miss lighting the lamps. Continue your practice.
[Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji]

Pooja Lamp with Cow's Ghee-Its significance
We worship a deity with faith and sincerity. We build a temple room in our house to increase Saattwikataa (purity). We also designate the images or idols of the deities we worship in our home, and perform daily Poojaa according to our means. We are familiar with the Kalash (a water vessel generally of metal), Shankh (conch), copper plate, copper vessel, small spoon, lamp and other Poojaa items. Every article of Poojaa has its own significance. Let us understand the significance of an important article of Poojaa that is the lamp (Deepak or Diyaa).

The lamp has its own special place in Sanaatan Vaidik Hindu Dharm. It is a form and symbol of Tej (Absolute fire principle). The lamp leads us from darkness towards light (Tamaso Maa Jyotirgamaya). It burns only to give the message of peace and light to man. Amongst the articles of Poojaa, the lamp is an important article. Naturally something is to be burnt in the lamp, normally it is Ghee or the oil. Agni Puraan clearly states that only Ghee (Clarified butter) or oil be used in the lamp meant for Poojaa and no other combustible substance should be used in it. According to the science of spirituality the ghee lamp is more Saattwik (spiritually pure) and has more capacity to attract the Saattwik vibrations present in the surrounding atmosphere as compared to an oil lamp. The oil lamp can attract Saattwik vibrations spread over a maximum distance of 1 meter while the ghee lamp can attract the Saattwik vibrations spread till Swarg Lok (Heaven). When the oil lamp stops burning the predominance of Raajas particles in the atmosphere are enhanced and last for half an hour whereas when the Ghee lamp stops burning the impact of Saattwikataa in the atmosphere is experienced even after four hours.

Effect on the worshipper -
--The oil lamp generates a subtle armor of inferior quality around the worshipper while ghee lamp generates a subtle armor of superior quality.
--The subtle vibrations emitted from the oil lamp activate the Mind-energy (Man Shakti) of the worshipper whereas those emanating from the Ghee lamp activates the soul energy (Aatmaa Shakti) of the worshipper. According to Kundalinee Yog there are seven principle Chakra or energy centers in the human being which influence practically every aspect including his physical body, mind and intellect. The oil lamp is effective in purification of Moolaadhaar and Swaadhishthaan Chakra only to a certain extent, but the Ghee lamp purifies Manipur and Anaahat Chakra to a significant extent.

Just as there are seven Chakra in the human body, there are paths for the flow of vital energy (Chetanaa). These are called as Naadee or channels. The three principle Naadee are Chandra Naadee (Moon channel), Soorya Naadee (Sun channel) and Sushumnaa Naade. When Chandra Naadee is active the person perceives coolness. The activation of Soorya Naadee imparts energy to the person. The Sushumnaa Naadee is activated when the person starts progressing spiritually. The oil lamp activates the Soorya Naadee of the person while Ghee lamp activates only that Naadee which is essential to the worshipper in a particular action.

Effect on the subtle sheaths of the worshipper
According to the science of spirituality the body which is visible to our eyes is called Anna-maya Kosh or food sheath. Besides, there are four other Kosh, namely Praan-maya Kosh or vital air sheath, Mano-maya Kosh or the mental sheath, Vigyaan-maya Kosh or sheath of intellect and Aanand-maya Kosh or bliss sheath. The Praan-maya Kosh is a seat for the Panch Praan (five vital air elements) which provide energy to the gross body. Mano-maya Kosh is the seat of emotions. Vigyaan-maya Kosh is the seat of intellect and the Aanand-maya Kosh is the seat of the Soul which is of the nature of existence, consciousness and bliss (Sachchidaanand). Even these subtle sheaths or Kosh are affected by the oil or ghee lamps. The oil lamp imparts power to the Raajas particles in the Praan-maya Kosh which make the individual restless. The Ghee lamp strengthens the Sattwa particles of Praan-maya Kosh and Mano-maya Kosh and as a result of this the Jeev (individual, embodied soul) becomes peaceful, stable and happy.

Why only Ghee prepared from cow's milk should be used?
Generally any oil lamp emits vibrations consisting of Raajas particles but the sesame oil emits some Sattwa vibrations also. Therefore the lamp with sesame oil is comparatively more Saattwik than any other oil lamp. The Ghee lamp however, emits maximum Saattwik vibrations compared to any oil lamp. Only Ghee prepared from cow's milk should be lit in front of Deity. This is because the Deities' principles are already existent in this Ghee. It is dominant in Sattwa component and emits luminous figures in the atmosphere which are forms of Tej Tattwa or absolute fire element. Even though Ghee is recommended because of its capacity to emit maximum Sattwa vibrations, sesame oil lamp can be used alternatively. Points to be considered while using a lamp --
--Do not kindle an oil lamp with a ghee lamp and vice versa
--Do not kindle one lamp with another similar lamp. For example if there are two Niranjan (a type of lamp) in an Aaratee platter then do not light one Niranjan with another Niranjan.
--Similarly do not light one pillar of lamps with another.
--Sometimes while performing Poojaa we unknowingly touch the lamp. We should immediately wash our hands then. This is because when we worship a deity the Sattwa component of the lamp increases. When we touch the lamp the Raajas-Taamas particles from our body enter the lamp by way of touch. This reduces the purity of the lamp.
--Water has the property of encompassing everything. Anything which is offered to a deity through the medium of water reaches Him/Her faster. When we wash our hands, we are in a way dissolving our sins in the water. Electric bulbs should not be used instead of Ghee lamps. Now a days, electric bulbs are used during the Poojaa ritual instead of Ghee lamp. Our ancestors gave priority to the worship of lamp after profound experience and through the attitude of gratitude. The light emitted from the electrical bulb blinds our eyes while the gentle flame of ghee lamp reminds us of Aatm-Jyoti or flame of soul. The electrical bulb makes us extroverted and then the mind runs towards external objects. The Ghee lamp makes us introverted.

Why should a straight wick be used instead of a puffed up wick (fulwat)?
Nowadays a puffed wick (Fulwat) is used in a ghee lamp or Niranjan and used as lamp of worship. The wick is puffed up from below to offer it stability to stand in the center of Niranjan. This type of wick is relatively of recent origin. The second type of wick is the straight wick wherein two straight wicks are joined together like a thread and used in a lamp. There is a difference between the straight and puffed wick on a gross and spiritual level.
--The lower portion of the Fulwat is puffed up while the straight wick is whole like a thread. The puffed up wick represents Rajo-Gun thoughts in the mind while straight wick is symbolic of detachment and represents the thread which joins Panch Praan with Aatm-jyoti.
--When a Fulwat is kindled, the inferior deities are attracted while the straight wick when kindled attracts principles of higher deities.
--The vibrations emitted by the Fulwat are of circular form while those emitted by straight wick are in the form of waves. The color of Chaitanya (divine consciousness) emitted by the Fulwat is reddish yellow while that emitted by straight wick is of yellow color.
--Saattwik earth vibrations get attracted towards Fulwat while more Saattwik vibrations moving in the upward direction are attracted towards straight wick. The atmospheric vibrations get momentum due to Fulwat while their momentum is slowed down by the use of straight wick.

An armor of Prithvi (Absolute Earth element) and Aap Tattwa (Absolute Water element) are generated around the worshipper by use of Fulwat while straight wick generates an armor of Tej Tattwa (Absolute Fire element) around the worshipper. According to the science of spirituality Tej Tattwa is more powerful than either Prithvi Tattwa or Aap (Jal or Water) Tattwa. As a result the use of Fulwat imparts heaviness to the physical body while the straight wick imparts cheerfulness to the mind.

Why Not Oil Lamp?
The Ghee lamp is more Saattwik (spiritually pure) and has more capacity to attract the Saattwik vibrations present in the surrounding atmosphere as compared to oil lamp. The oil lamp can attract Saattwik vibrations spread over a maximum distance of 1 meter or so, while the Ghee lamp can attract Saattwik vibrations spread till Swarg Lok (Heaven). When the oil lamp stops burning the predominance of Raj particles in the atmosphere is enhanced and lasts for half an hour or so, whereas when the Ghee lamp stops burning the impact of Saattwikataa on the atmosphere is experienced even after four hours.

Offering milk with a copper vessel?
If the milk is kept in a copper vessel, the milk goes bad, because free radicals Ions are there in Copper vessel, so that Milk Will get broken (De-emulsification)
That is why one should use either stainless steel, glass vessel
In very old days neither copper nor stainless steel was available the only containers used were made from clay (Maatee), the best container is to be used made from clay.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/04
Updated on 04/12/12