The light symbolizes knowledge, illuminating and “en-lighten-ing” us. The light emanating from the ghee lamp removes darkness, ignorance and evil. The light or knowledge shows us the way out of our problems, fears, tensions, and unhappiness. The light of a ghee lamp is believed to bring in prosperity, as knowledge or wisdom is the greatest form of wealth. The wick is a symbol of energy and light where alight emits brightness.
What is a Lamp and How to do Aarti?
It is customary in India that all auspicious religious events and even important social functions will begin with the lighting of a lamp. This is like an invitation to the divine to come and bless us. In Hindu temples an elaborate “Aarti” prayer ceremony is performed with 5 diyas burning at once, and waved gently in a circular motion- in a clockwise manner, in front of a picture or statue of a deity. This aarti ritual literally purifies the atmospheric air.
This symbolizes our dedication and oneness with the Lord and gathering from Him a part of his piousness and immense power and strength.
Different types of Wicks in a Lamp
One can use any type of wicks in this pooja. Wick made of banana stem fiber helps to seek forgiveness for mistakes committed and ancestral curse, a cotton wick (which is the most popular)- obtains all good fortune, lotus stem fiber (wick) – removes previous birth karma and establishes a happy and prosperous life, white madder plant –pulp of the bark (popularly used in poojas- the majishta) – increases wealth and dispels bad luck, with a new yellow cotton cloth, one obtains the grace of Goddess Parvati and New red cotton cloth helps remove any marriage obstacles and child bearing obstacles.
The ghee and the flame signifies Goddess Laxmi who blessed us with her wealth, the brightness of the flame resemble Goddess Saraswathy who blessed us with education and knowledge and the heat from the flame signifies Mother Durga who burns away and destroys all evil and the nefarious.
Different types of Oil and Fat/Ghee used to light a Lamp
There are different types of oil and fat used to light different lamps for all different reasons. No two people may choose to light the same lamp. It is said that the different oil used have a certain meaning and helps us in a particular way. Read here.
- Cow’s ghee/ Pure ghee: Ensures prosperity health and happiness.
- Gingely oil or sesame oil: Ensures removal of obstacles and evil effects that haunt you. Very popular for praying to Lord Shani or to please Saneeswaran during the Mahadasha, Antardasha and Sade-sati periods of Saturn.
- Castor oil- Ensures fame, happy family life, and to gain a devotional mind set.
- Panchadeepa Oil: (highly recommended).: You can make this at home. Mix Coconut Oil/Gingelly Oil, Castor Oil, Neem Oil, Iluppai(mahua tree) Oil and Cow’s Ghee in the ratio of 3:2:1:2:2 respectively. You can also use the ready-made oil available in the markets under the same name. A Panchadeepa Oil lamp will mitigate all evil. keep the home and its inmates protected from evil, illnesses and bad thoughts and evil eye. It ensures prosperity and all forms of wealth. The granaries in the house are full and the home is brimming with joy and laughter. children will be healthy and obedient. There is only one company in India that is making this oil and marketing it, if you cannot make it at home, you can purchase it here.
- DO NOT USE GROUNDNUT OR SUNFLOWER OIL TO LIGHT LAMPS. Our elders always said that lighting groundnut oil lamps augurs money indebtedness in the home. The people living in the home are always bickering for money or the want of it.
Now let us see the effects of lighting lamps in different directions– North, East, West and the South.
- 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.
- South: Never place and light a lamp in the south direction. It will bring all the bad tidings. A strict NO NO.
Special Reasons to light Lamps
- Lack of Concentration and Mental Peace: If your mental peace is disturbed and if you lose concentration/focus on anything in life, go to any Durga temple on Friday and put a cow ghee in a earthen lamp in front of the Goddess. Do this for 03 Fridays atleast.
- Obstacles and Blocks at Work and Career: If you have constant obstacles in profession, work and daily affairs, then light a coconut oil deepak to Lord Ganesha.
- Getting rid of past life Sins and secure Moksha: Light a cow ghee deepam to Lord Shiva will relieve you from past sins.
- Rahu Kaalam Deepams: Inverting a freshly cut and squeezed lime cover, then invert it and remove all the hair and light a ghee lamp in its inverted cover(insides turned into a lamp) during rahu kalam time helps to nullify the negative effects of Rahu and get the blessings of Goddess Durga. Mother Durga is the power that guides and protects the devotee’s spiritual practice form its many danger and pitfalls. So, by performing this Rahu Kalam deepam, Mother Durga will bestow peace and prosperity in our life.
- Do not light the rahu and ketu kalam deepam at home.
- Ketu Kaalam Deepams: Those natives who are suffering with more difficulties due to the effect of evil effects of other plants, the only solution available is to light a lamp at the foot of Maha Ganapati on Sunday and Wednesday. The pratima/idol and deepam should be placed on dharba (grass) for more positive results. This deeepam is called as Ketu Kaalam Deepam.
- Diwali Diya:On the occasion of BaliPratipada, a wheat flour diya is especially made and placed at the altar outside our home. It is the only time that the wheat flour diya is made. Some people also make this diya and place them in Hanuman temples to please Lord Shani during malefic dasha and antardasha.