Waving a lit lamp symbolizes puja of Deity with Atmajyoti

Performing the puja of a Deity with Atmajyoti (Flame-like appearance of the soul) means performing puja in the true sense. Since this is not possible for us, we use a lit lamp (to symbolise the Atmajyoti) and perform the puja. A lit lamp should be waved clockwise in front of the Deity thrice, while simultaneously ringing the bell with the left hand. Points to be remembered when lighting a lamp :

  • Do not use a lit lamp to light another lamp.
  • An oil lamp should not be used to light a ghee lamp.
  • Change the wick of the lamp placed in the temple at home daily.


1. Benefits obtained by waving a lit lamp

A. Waves of the Deity associated with Tejtattva (Absolute Fire Principle) get attracted towards the flame of an oil lamp lit for waving around the Deity. Waving this lamp creates a dynamic sheath of waves of the Deity around the jiva. As a result, the jiva gets the benefit of waves emitted by this sheath even after the puja.

B. The lit lamp activates waves of Tejtattva associated with the Deity. Waving it around the jiva helps awaken the Atma-shakti (Energy of the soul) of the jiva. Hence, while waving a lit lamp, a jiva sometimes gets the spiritual experience of self-realisation, or perceives that the flame of the lamp is merging with the flame-like appearance of the soul.


2. Why is a dhoop waved first, followed
by a lit incense-stick and then a lit lamp ?

A. Dhoop (Frankincense)

Smouldering dhoop emits waves that are Raja-predominant as well as those associated with Pruthvitattva (Absolute Earth Principle) and Apatattva (Absolute Water Principle). These waves help activate the waves of subordinate Deities in the premises. Appeasing subordinate Deities thus helps in controlling movements of negative energies in the premises.

B. Incense-stick

Fragrance of incense-stick emits fragrant-particles. Waving a lit incense-stick after the dhoop helps in attracting sagun (Materialised) waves of the respective Deities from the universe towards the fragrant particles.

C. Lamp

A lit lamp emits waves that are Sattva-predominant and associated with the Tejtattva. Waving a lit lamp after waving a lit incense-stick activates the Deity’s subtle-Principle present in the universe. It helps the jiva get the benefit of saguntattva and nirguntattva (Non-materialised Principle) of the Deity as per the need.


3. Why should a lit incense-stick or niranjan be waved thrice ?

There are three types of Shakti waves of God – ichha (Desire), kriya (Action) and dnyan (Knowledge). As per the need, Deities function in the universe on the strength of these three waves of Shakti. Waving an incense-stick thrice in front of a Deity means performing puja of these three waves of Shakti, thereby, worshiping the actual source of Shakti functional through the Deity. Waving thrice helps in activation of ichha, kriya and dnyan waves present in the universe, which in turn helps in activation of manaha-shakti (Energy of the mind), Atma-shakti and chit-shakti (Energy of the sub-conscious mind) respectively of the jiva. On the strength of these 3 Shakti, purification of the physical and subtle-bodies of the jiva occurs simultaneously. Its effect on the body also lasts longer. If all the acts are performed with bhav (Spiritual emotion) and an understanding of the spiritual science underlying every ritual in upasanakanḍa (Mental worship), greater benefit of the sattvikta is obtained.


4. Why should the lamp be waved clockwise only ?

When waving a lit lamp in front of the Deity, begin from the right foot of the Deity, take it up to the face of the Deity and then towards its left foot, meaning, wave the lit lamp clockwise. This activates the Suryanaḍi (Sun channel) of the individual waving the lamp, and improves the ability of his subtle-bodies to imbibe Sattva-predominant waves and subtle most waves emitted by the Deity.


5. Why should a bell be sounded while
waving a lit incense-stick or a lit lamp ?

A. The bell performs the function of marak (Destroyer) nature. Therefore, when sounded, it awakens the marak-bhav in the one who hears it and the individual experiences a thrilling sensation in his body.

B. Through its sound, the bell emits marak-shakti (Destroyer energy). This reduces Raja-Tama components in the environment and reduces the influence of negative energies. Thus, the obstacles created by negative energies are eliminated.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘Science underlying worship with five and sixteen substances’

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