Deepajothi parabrahma deepajyothi janardhana, deepo me hara to paapam deepaa jyothir namostute.
As per Hindu mythology and tradition, this is the shloka that has to chanted, before the lighting of a lamp for any important occasion. For most of us, lighting a Diya means a celebration or a festivity – so whether it’s a wedding or the christening of a new born child or a festival like Diwali. As soon as festivals like Diwali come near, we start looking to buy Diyas & Lanterns online and we plan how to place them, come festival day and so on. But how many people actually know why a lamp is lit or what the purpose of lighting a lamp before any auspicious moment is.
The symbolism of a lamp:There are five elements as per mythology and even as per science – wind, water, fire, land/earth, and ether/space, and it is said that of the five only fire is the purest, because it can purify, without getting sullied itself. When you use water to clean something, the water becomes dirty, air can become polluted as can land and even ether has not been spared of dirt and pollution. However, when you put something in fire, it not only becomes cleansed, it also remains pure. This is why fire is used for the purpose of purification and as witness to everything sacred including weddings and other auspicious ceremonies.
The light that a fire emits can remove the darkness, not just of a room, but symbolically also of the mind – this is why a Diya is lit before starting anything important. The notion is that when you light the lamp, you are allowing the light to not only brighten up the space but also help remove the darkness from your heart and mind.
Diyas are also lit at one of the three “sandhi kaals” – mainly dawn and dusk as it is considered to be the times of the day, when the negative energies are at the highest. By lighting a Diya at these times, the negative energies are removed and a sense of positivity is invited into the house or space. This is one of the reasons why our grandmothers would always start the day by lighting a Diya and lighting another one, when dusk arrived. In many cultures, a Diya is kept at the entrance of the house at dusk, not only removing negative energies, but also working as a guiding light to people on their way home.
The importance of lighting a Diya:When you are looking to buy home decor items online at eCraftIndia, we suggest that you browse through our truly extensive collection of modern lamps and traditional Diyas. Looking through our collection, we are certain that you will want to buy more than one and we can tell you that there is a whole list of advantages that you get to reap, when you light a Diya in your home or even your office or place of work:
- By lighting a Diya, you are removing the obvious darkness and bringing in light.
- When a Diya is lit, it is removing the negative energies that could be present in a space and bring in positivity. It is also said that the presence of fire and light can help cleanse the aura of a space of any negativity.
- Fire or Agni is one of the five elements and the only one that can remain pure, even after purifying.
- The light from a Diya is also meant to signify knowledge, the creation of which happens when the darkness of ignorance is removed.
- The lighting of a lamp also activates the position of the Sun in a person’s birth chart, making the timing more auspicious.
- The flame of a Diya is always facing upwards, which indicates that we too should always strive to take our souls upwards, towards the Almighty.
- In Hindu mythology, each part of the Diya is meant to signify a goddess – the ghee or the oil is Lakshmi, the brightness of the flame is Saraswati and the heat of the flame is meant to be Durga.
- Yet another belief is that the cotton wick inside the Diya represents the human soul and the ghee represents the five evils that tend to live within all humans namely, ego, greed, anger, attachment and desire. As the wick burns and the ghee gets consumed, all these evils are also burnt away.
Diyas on Diwali:Most people are aware of the fact that they have to light several Diyas for Diwali, but how many actually know about the importance of lighting plain or decorative Diyas for Diwali; probably only a few! Diwali is a more colloquial name for Deepavali, which consists of two words – deep and vali (deep means light and vali means a row). A row of lights would be kept outside the house and within the courtyard of the house to bring in light and dispel darkness.
It is believed that the very first time that Diwali was celebrated was when Lord Ram returned home to Ayodhya, after spending 14 years in exile. Since he had to travel through deep dark forests, the villagers paved the entire way, through the village and right up to the palace with Diyas, so that his entourage could find the way back home with ease. It is also believed that lighting of so many lamps was meant to show the triumph of good over evil!
It is also interesting to note that Diwali falls on an Amavasya or the day or a new moon, which means that it is completely dark. It is also believed that this is the night when the evil forces are at their strongest, because there is no moonlight. By lighting several Diyas, you are dispelling the dark as well as the negative forces.
When you come to eCraftIndia, you can take your pick from a range of Diyas, starting from the simples ones to the more elaborate options. You could look at the simple handcrafted brass Diyas or you could choose from our collection of brass wall hanging Diyas. At our online store, you will be able to find a wide range of metal Diyas, including those made using high quality brass or if you have a desire for something a lot more elegant, you could look at our German silver Diyas. Our modern customers tend to lean towards the mosaic or handcrafted glass tealight holders, which are actually perfect for an indoor Diwali – simply place tealights within and watch your world sparkle and shine!
So this Diwali, choose to buy a Diya from eCraftIndia, and light up not only your home, but also the home of the local Indian artisan who would have made the Diya!