Fascinating methods of using oil lamps in Hindu religion !! 02

Deepam  arunachaleshwarar.wordpress.com
Lighting oil lamps in temples and at home is a way of worship among the Hindus and this practice has been in vogue for several centuries. Particularly on festival days  and commonly on Tuesdays and Fridays women form a bee line at the near-by temple and light the oil lamps before the deities to pray for  a quiet, peaceful and prosperous life. The salient aspects of deepam or oil lamp  are it removes our ignorance, instills wisdom, eliminates darkness, brings in new ray of hope and lights up our lives. At Sri Krishna temple, Udipi,Karnataka  the oil lamp that was lit by the great Acharya - Madhva Charya has been continuously burning for centuries. Like wise at some churches in Kerala oil lamp has been continuously burning for Centuries

Rahu - Ketu's Kalam and Deepam:

According to Indian Astrology each day each planet has its maximum impact or dominating time that may last for an hour or two. It is believed that people have to submit themselves to such testing time or seek Parikaram - some sort of remedy from the bad effects.  

No Hindus have the courage to carry out good deeds like travel,  new business deal, marriage proposal, etc  during Raghu Kalam. For the Atheists, it is nothing short of superstition and there are no such things  as good times and bad times in daily life governed by the celestial bodies tens of thousands of miles away. Raghu and ketu are considered as  celestial  bodies by the Indian Astrologers.  Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes.  Because of the prevalence of negative elements during Raghu Kalam, any  adventures taken during that period, will normally end up in failures. No Hindu weddings shall be conducted during Raghu Kalam. Some auspicious events such as mass prayers, temple consecration - Maha kumbabisekam or starting of a temple festival, etc  are never conducted during this period.

 To ward off  or  to nullify the negative effects of Rahu's dominant period,  lighting a deepam at the time  of  Rahu Kalam in a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is commonly done by the people.
earthern oil lampwww.kamalascorner.com
When we light a deepam before the idol of  Lord Maha Ganapati  on Sundays  and Wednesdays, according to Pundits, all negative effects of Raghu will be eliminated and we will see positive results.. 

Oil and lamps:
 According to the Hindu religious scriptures only certain oils are used to propitiate the deity and some oils are never used either in temples or in houses  for pooja. Groundnut oil or corn oil is never used for oil lamps.

Cow's ghee is believed to give gentle  radiance and heavenly bliss; common ghee - wealth, health and happiness; gingerly oil/Sesame oil  is believed to remove  unforeseen dangers, inauspicious / unwanted events; castor oil is supposed to bring in fame, peaceful, happy  family life and  spiritual enlightenment.  

Oil lamps and directions: 

Oil lamps (actually the wicks), it is quite pertinent, should be placed in certain directions to achieve the positive effects. Mind you, never direct the oil lamp towards the South. It is not only in-auspicious, but also against the invocation of the almighty. Choose the following directions to face the wicks in the oil lamps: 

For success in all ventures undertaken most preferable direction is North;   for good health and peace of mind - East;  for freedom from debts / financial burden and victory over enemies -West. 

Wicks and  Deepam

Yet another aspect of deepam is the nature of wicks and the number. Cotton wicks are normally preferable for pooja  purposes. As for numbers, normally two wicks are used, representing the male and female aspects, symbolizing the family. 
Single wick (Eka Mukha deepam) is for  basic benefits;  two wicks (Dwi Mukha deepam) is for  harmony, peace in the family and cordial relationship with relatives; three wicks (Tri Mukha deepam) is for future generation; four wicks (Chathur Mukha deepam) brings in required  prosperity and enough  food for the family members. Five wicks (Pancha Mukha deepam) will bestow  all kinds  of  aishwaryam or wealth;  six wicks (Shan Mukha deepam) is meant for imparting knowledge, wisdom and vairagyam - commitments and also  renunciation.

 If you continue to pray or meditate before an oil lamp kept in your pooja room, over a period of time, it is strongly believed, that all the negative feelings that overwhelmed you, will go away, and their place will be taken over by the positive energy. Further, the atmosphere around the area will carry positive energy, which is essential for our progress in our lives. There will be cessation of tension in our mind and happiness will become a reality, that is what we aspire for in our mundane lives.