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Why do we light a lamp?

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Life is a dream
Staff member
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 a day – 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.

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. 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.

Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. 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. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.
Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp;
whose light is the Knowledge
Principle (the Supreme Lord),
which removes the darkness of ignorance
and by which all can be achieved in life.

Original Author: Kapil Dev
Source:- Knol
Yes. It is wonderful. Our vedas talk much about the lamp and light. Asathoma sadgamaya thamasor ma jyothirgamaya is a universal prayer irrespective of religion cast or creed or nation. The zorstrians have developed zendevestha based on the principle of light and darkness indicating all that is good and all that is bad.
The vasanas explanation is splendid indeed.
Ramalinga vallalar was avocating oli vazipaadu throughout his life arutperunjothi thanipperm karnai is his slogan
to Praveen, very good. The lamp burns and give us light,also burns upwards only, this is to know on should burn his Karmas and get rid of from the attachments to detachments. s.r.k
I once read of Shridi Sai Baba that he used to lighten the place with lamps,for that a grocer offered him some oil from his shop, one day the man refused to give oil, Baba simply smiled ,took the oil dubba,collected water in it and lit his entire place with lamps.then the grocer realised Baba.
lighting of lamp

Although it is custom to light lamps at pooja room and at the entrance of the house it significe the end of the day. with darkness outside and ligting inside we can think of what we performed during the day and try to plan for the next day for peacefulness in life.
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