Light a Ghee Lamp

Lighting a ghee lamp in front of one’s alter is a very spiritual practice. A ghee lamp is simply made of pure cotton rolled into a wick, and immersed in lots of ghee, creating a candle when lit. The ghee lamp can be placed in a little earthen bowl made of clay or in an elaborately decorated brass holder

Hindus will light a “Diya” or ghee lamp daily to purify their homes and their hearts. Prayers are offered at their alter twice a day. Dawn and at dusk are the two “sandhyas” or joints of the day between light and dark. Daily worship is always commenced with the lighting of a lamp. The light or flame itself is worshiped as the Lord. 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.

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 front of a picture or statue of a deity. This aarti ritual literally purifies the atmospheric air.

A very beneficial daily practice is to meditate upon a ghee lamp flame without blinking. The ghee made out of cow’s milk actually draws in sattvic frequencies to calm our mind. This type of meditation allows us to reflect on our inner radiance. It clears our vision. In fact, in Ayurveda one is advised to gaze at this flame for 2 or 3 minutes to physically strengthen and clean the eyes.

This October 17th is the Hindu holiday of “Diwali” or “Deepavali”. It is translated as the “festival of lights”. We clean our homes from top to bottom, making everything shiny and new. Then in the evening, the entire house and surroundings are decorated with tiny diyas or ghee lamps. Diwali always falls on the new moon day, where there is very little natural light, and so the diyas illuminate the entire home. It is considered the start of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar. Goddess Lakshmi is traditionally worshiped on the New Year with a ghee lamp aarti sung in her praise, to ring in peace and prosperity.

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