Monday, September 21, 2009

Why do we light a lamp?



Radhekrishna to our Readers!

We started a new topic in the last post which deals with a series of questions related to the customs and traditions that form a part and parcel of Hinduism and which are followed by the Hindus in their day to day life.

The first question was that what is the reason behind lighting a lamp. Let us look at the hidden meaning behind this act.

A bulb or tube light 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.

Wow! Isn’t that amazing!! In a seemingly unmeaningful act lies such a deep meaning! But that’s the beauty of Hinduism. The customs are so simple yet so complicated and logical.

We will deal with the next question in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

Let us look at the herb named Brahmi Booti (Herpestis Monniera) in this post.

1. It is a low spreading herb with small leaves
2. It resembles a horse’s hoof
3. It is generally found on the river banks
4. It is a specific medicine to deal with the problem of memory lapses
5. It tends to strengthen the faculties of the brain

We will describe another herb in our next post. Till then Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Why do we light a lamp?


Radhekrishna Dear Readers,

We begin a fresh topic on Hinduism in this post. The topic is in a question & answer format and the questions are based on certain customs and traditions that are followed everyday in every house amongst Hindus.

We hope this series will:

1. Clarify doubts in the minds of those who repeatedly question the customs and traditions in Hinduism &
2. Quench the thirst of those eager to know more about Hinduism

Let us look at the first question:

1. Why do we light a lamp?

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. Such occasions include starting of a new business or venture, first day of job, buying a new house, buying a new vehicle etc. But what exactly is the reason behind it? Let us see…

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.

Now, even a small child may have a very logical question in his/her mind. Why not light a tube light or a neon light? Why only a lamp?

To know the answer and the hidden deep meaning behind this wait for our next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post the herb we will tell you about is known as Chhuimui also known as Lajjalu and Lajwanti (Mimosa Pudica in Latin).

1. It is a plant akin to Touch-Me-Not or jewel Weed
2. Its leaves collapse on human touch but regain position after some moments
3. It has excellent properties of stopping bleeding whether from piles or the womb
4. The juice of its leaves is effective in dealing with delirium of fever
5. Powdered seeds of the plant are effective in leucorrhoea spermatorrhoea

That concludes the post for the forthnight. Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

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