Worshipping God is a symbol of our undying faith in him. We all indulge in ritualistic worship on a daily basis with various puja articles like Mangal kalash (water vessel made of metal), shankh (conch), copper plate, a lamp and so on. However, every article of worship holds some significance which needs to be understood.
Let us see what is the importance of lighting a lamp in Hindu Dharma
According to Sanatan Vaidik Hindu Dharma, the lamp is a form and symbol of Tej (absolute fire principle). It leads us towards light from darkness. It gives us the message of peace and sanctity. It is also a portrayal of Brahman (the absolute truth) where the worshipper beg and requests the deity to bestow him with good health, good progeny and even fulfill his wishes.
Characteristics of oil and ghee lamps and why the former is considered to be superior to the latter
It has been clearly mentioned in the Agni Purana that only oil or ghee (clarified butter) should be used for lighting the lamps for puja purpose. No other combustible substance is recommended for the same. However, as compared to oil lamps, the lamp with clarified butter is considered t be more sattvik (spiritually pure) according to the science of spirituality, even though the oil lamp tends to burn over a longer period of time. From the spiritual point of view, we see the following differences in lighting a ghee lamp over an oil lamp:
front of the deities because in this ghee the principles of the deities are already existent. This ghee is even dominant in sattva component and it emits luminous figures in the atmosphere which are forms of Tejtattva or absolute fire element. However, due to financial restraints, or otherwise, even though ghee is recommended for use due to its capacity to emit the maximum amount of sattva frequencies, one can substitute it with sesame oil to light the lamps.
Some important points to be kept in mind while lighting a lamp in front of the deities:
• An oil lamp should never be kindled with a ghee lamp and vice versa
• One should never kindle one lamp with another similar lamp. Similarly, one pillar of lamps should never be lit with another pillar of lamps
• We should never touch the lamp while performing puja because while worshipping a deity, the sattva component of the lamp increases and when we touch the lamp, the raja-tama particle from our body enters the lamp by way of touch. This tends to reduce the purity of the lamp.
Can we use electric bulbs instead of ghee lamps or puja?
Many people have started using electric lamps in place of ghee lamps for puja purposes. But is this the right and the most effective way of doing it? It is said that the light emitted from the electrical bulb blinds our eyes but the gentle flame coming out of the ghee lamp reminds us of Atma-jyoti or the flame of soul. The use of electrical bulb makes us extrovert and forces the mind to run