eNarada, Bengaluru, Sunday, October 28, 2018
CEREMONIAL LAMP LIGHTING
Lamp lighting is considered to be an auspicious ritual by the Hindus all across the world. Light and brightness dispel all evil. By kindling fire to the wick of a lamp signifies invocation of the good to cast its spell and dispel the evil, the inauspicious. Light removes ignorance and settles in the knowledge. Light reveals the truth and ushers one from the darkness of ignorance to the realm of the truth.
V I D E O 1
V I D E O 2
V I D E O 3
Therefore, in all Hindu religious functions and during worshipping Hindu in temples and in Hindu homes it is a customary to light a lamp. Lamps come in various shapes and sizes. They are usually ornamented with designs on their surfaces. In functions and ceremonies, temples, and other religious institutions and even in homes during special functions tall pedestal lamp-holders with multiple lamp-heads are used. When these lamps are lighted they bring an engrossing fervour of divine feeling.
Light and brightness attract the positive, the good vibes and the good spirits. The darkness represents evil. It is a common experience that when one enters a dark room negative thoughts grip the person but when the light is put on a feeling of elation and confidence is imbued. When the wicks of the lamp assume fire and bear out a pointing flame, it seems to send a message of auspiciousness across to the discerning minds and assurance of success for which the ceremony is held.
Lighting a lamp before a ceremony spreads divine grace. The lamp also beckons everyone present to piously contribute towards dispelling darkness from the surface of the Earth and from their own hearts. Light is the universal symbol of truth, knowledge, and understanding. It acts as a guide, keeping us from stumbling in the dark. So lighting a candle or lamp as part of a ceremony or function is usually done with this in mind.
In this regard, Hindus celebrate the importance of lamp lighting on the auspicious occasion of the festival of Deepawali (commonly referred to as Diwali), the festival of lights. All Hindu households and establishments are overwhelmingly decorated with lighted lamps. It’s time for both gratitude and gaiety too. Exchanging gifts, feasting on traditional sweets are also part of the celebration.
In the lead up to Diwali, which is celebrated in the darkest night of the month of autumn, the celebrants prepare their households by cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes. During the climax, that is the day of the celebration the revelers adorn themselves in their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with lamps, and worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
eNarada, which has committed to protect and propagate various cultural practices, has brought out a couple of videos on decorating the auspicious pedestal lamps at the temples, at the ceremonies, and on holy occasions at homes. Decorating the lamps is a predominant tradition in India; especially in the southern regions. These videos are being widely watched and profusely appreciated. The innovative ideas of the popular skills trainer, Mamatha of Karnataka are amazingly artistic and incredibly simple.
Here are the videos. The first video here describes how to decorate a pedestal lamp by draping a ceremonial saree. Ceremonial sarees are made of fine silk yarn and are usually gaudily coloured. When such sarees are draped on a lamp or a deity, they evoke an overpowering feeling of spirituality and festivity. But saree draping of a pedestal lamp requires certain skills which the video attempts to present. The second video is all about taking protection while lighting the lamp heads and brings up an alternate process to protect the decorations from being damaged by the oil spill from the lamp heads.