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Why light a lamp? ENERGIZE your home

You want to take your partner on a romantic date. What do you do? Set up a candle light dinner. Right? Have you ever wondered why a candle light dinner is exciting? It is not about the low light ambience alone. And not the food that is served or what happens over it. Somewhere, candlelight dinners creates an openness between people.

Even in these modern times, if we are inaugurating an event, lighting a lamp is the first thing that is done. There may be hundreds of big lights flooding the stage, but still a lamp is lit. That is how ingrained lighting a lamp is in this culture.

Although we are not really a “religious” family, one thing that happened every morning and evening in our house was lighting a lamp. In the morning, my parents did it. In the evening after school and games, we were expected to do it. We would take a bath or at least wash our hands, feet and face, then light the lamp. We were not told to pray or meditate. So lighting the lamp was a something I grew up with. People largely still follow it and for those who don’t, this is a reminder ☺

There are different kinds of oil lamps – ones that are made with clay, terracotta lamps, and other brass metal lamps. In the metal lamps, there are lots of varieties based on geography and culture. Kuthu vilakku, nila vilakku, thookku vilakku that which can be hung from the ceiling are some of them.

In many traditional houses in the south there is a structure called Thulsi Maadam peedam or Thulsi thara. Every morning and evening, lamps are lit in the niche and women go around it.

In Kerala where I am from, the evening ritual is called Sandhya deepam. Sandhya is the time when there is transition from night to day - dusk and day to night - twilight.

Usually, the ladies of the house do it. Before electric lights are switched on, first the oil lamp at the shrine or pooja room is lit. Then, a nila vilakku is lit and carried to the entrance of the house by uttering “deepam, deepam”. They place the lamp in the center of the entrance and sit around it, chanting or singing a small bhajan. Others also stop what they are doing, and sit around the lamp for a few minutes. This has been followed for generations.

In the South, vilakku pooja happens every pournami. It is done on the full moon in Devi temples. Women come together and light a lamp in numbers of 54, 108, or 1008 numbers. It is an interesting process where each woman or girl has her own lamp and does the offering herself. It is a process of invoking divinity into them.

The kind of oil used in the lamp also has an influence on the impact it creates. Sesame oil is for health and wellbeing. Ghee is for wealth and prosperity. Castor oil is for overall protection. Kerosene lamps and candles made of petrochemical products should be avoided. The previous video on yagnas explains what volatile substances get released when they are burnt. This gets inhaled into our system very quickly.

In Vadalur during the early 19th century, there was a Siddha name Sri Ramalinga Adigal. He is also known as Vallalar. He has written many books, and was well known during his time. He described how to make this body disease-free. He himself mastered his body to such an extent that he literally disappeared into thin air. He advocated the use a lamp flame as a means to relate to the divine. He taught the method of ultimate compassion to all living beings.

In yoga there are 6 actions performed to purify the body called as Shatkarmas. One of those actions is Tratak. Jothi tratak is gazing at a lamp for long periods of time. There is much preparaion required, and it should not be attempted without proper guidance. But it is a very powerful practice. It relaxes and strenghtens the eye muscles and relieves nervous tension. Many clinical experiments have proven its benefits. Studies have found that tratak results in increased selection attention, cognitive flexibility and response-inhibition in people.

A powerful process called Bhuta shuddhi can be practiced daily to cleanse the 5 elements within our body. These are earth, water, fire, air and space.

There are a few methods in which you can use lamps to energise the room or space you live in. In four corners of the room, draw triangles using rice flour on the floor. Place a plate of water and a lamp on the triangle. Some flowers can also be placed in the water plate. In the center of the room, two intersecting triangles can be drawn. A lamp can be placed in a similar manner in a plate of water. If this is not possible, make only one intersecting triangle using pulses or seeds. Then, place the lamp in a plate filled with water. If this is done every evening, you will notice a phenomenal change in the way the room feels.

Are you interested to know more ways to enhance your house or place you live in? Let me know in the comments and I will make more videos on those things.

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