The power of lighting a lamp
Invoke the fire of truth…
‘Fire’ is considered to be one of the most holy elements of the universe across all religions and cultures. If you look at Hinduism, Fire aka ‘Agni Dev’ is known to be the marker of life and death. Our birth commences with fire, since the very union of man and woman is the amalgamation of the inner fire, which creates the offspring. Once we come forth into this transitory world, whether it is naming a child (Namkaran) or it is performing the sacred thread ceremony (Upanayana), where a child is initiated by his father into the spiritual path, fire is deemed essential. No sacred ritual (Yagya/Havan/Homam), marriage or death ceremony can take place without the altar blazing and oozing with fire. Without fire, we will never get those cooked delicious meals on our plates to keep us physically functioning. Without fire, there would be no clouds and hence no rains. Without rain, we will have no water to quench our thirst and to keep the blood running through our veins. Without fire, we would have no protection from beasts.
Man needs a place where he can dump off of all his pending karma, which collectively form his destiny. Only upon exhausting all his karma, can he remove all the blocks on his path to liberation (Moksh). Without the grace of the sacred fire (God) that burns within us as our ceaseless soul, one can never exhaust the pending karmas. Only our inner fire can burn the karmic garbage into fine dust. Only the heat (fire) beneath the earth’s surface can convert coal into diamond.
Man seeks eternal happiness by visiting temples, pilgrimages, sacred rivers and wanders restlessly to meet astrologers and pandits (Hindu priests) to seek their advice on how to attain peace of mind. But, he has forgotten that the ultimate place where he can dissolve all his karma and find abundant joy is within his own heart. What we see in this external world is all transitory and is a mere reflection of our internal karmic world. Once our Karma ceases, our external illusions tend to cease leaving our mind empty, which is how it is meant to be naturally. The raging fire in our heart engulfs everything that is fed into it. Our ego, worries, pain and sorrow are no exception, they all will be engulfed by the fire of truth, light and wisdom burning permanently within each one of us.
Neither can this divine fire be blown away by the wind, nor can it be extinguished by sprinkling water. It is the eternal fire that transcends life and death but supports these functions. The fire within us slowly and steadily removes the darkness of ignorance surrounding us, that we have created by ourselves as a result of our own deeds committed during our journey of relentless births and deaths spanning millenniums.
If you are used to lighting a lamp in your house at every sunrise and sunset, then you are one of those lucky few who invoke Agni Dev, the fire within you, every single day. This may seem like an external deed but in fact you are lighting the lamp within yourself.
If you are one of those who’d rather light a candle on the dinner table than in your prayer room, then you are surely missing out on a basic yet most powerful spiritual ritual! When the candle burns on your dinner table, that is purely materialistic, it is as temporary as the meal on your plate, but when the same candle burns in your prayer or meditation room, it is a divine act that will set you free.
It does not matter if you can’t burn a lamp physically for whatever reason, just close your eyes, visualize your heart and let your empty mind become the oil and your senses turn into the wick. The fire of blissful truth will automatically be lit by itself!