You would find a lit lamp in almost every Indian home.
In some houses, it is lit at dawn. Some houses light a lamp both at dawn and at dusk. And in a few houses, it is maintained continuously.
Many of our important, significant, and auspicious functions begin with lighting a lamp. Almost every Indian ritual, every Indian inauguration, and function begins with lamp lighting.
But What Does Lighting a Lamp Before Lord Signify?
It is said that knowledge is wealth, and light symbolizes knowledge. Since the Almighty is the One and Only who imparts knowledge, light is itself considered as the presence of the God.
What is Knowledge? It is facts, information, awareness, and understanding.
If one owns this, what’s left to achieve?
Darkness signifies ignorance and imparts a feeling of evil. We feel afraid and scared in the dark.
Knowledge removes ignorance, just as light removes darkness.
Hence, we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge backs all our actions, good or bad. Hence, we keep a lamp lit during all auspicious occasions as a witness to our thoughts, actions and deeds to The Almighty, and to ourselves.
But here’s a catch. If the main aim is to remove darkness, why not light a bulb, or a tube-light or the new age LED lights?
Why Has It Been a Tradition For Everyone to Lit a Diya (Lamp)?
The reason behind this is our mythological & spiritual belief.
It is believed that the oil/ghee which is used as a source of Diya (fuel, we can say), symbolizes our negativities & negative tendencies, and the wick (waati) of the Diya symbolizes our conscious & sub-conscious ego.
When lit by spiritual knowledge, these negative tendencies slowly exhaust and the ego fades off.
Take for example the flame of a Diya. It always burns upwards, indicating us to use our knowledge to attain higher ideals and position always.
It said that “Gyan baatne se badta hai” i.e. knowledge doubles when you share it. When a Diya is used to lit other diyas, its intensity and flame do not diminish. Similarly, knowledge, when shared, does not lessen. Instead, it increases your clarity and esteem. It is beneficial for the giver as well as the receiver.
So, now that you know what lighting a lamp actually signify, go ahead and light a lamp today! Spread light. Spread knowledge.