Light is a very important aspect for our senses. It is the instrument for our vision. If our visions were like that of the owl, the light wouldn’t have been that valuable to us.
We have electricity today, from which, we have been able to light our homes with electric bulbs and tubes. Yet, an oil lamp is still significant. Few hundred years ago, the value of this oil lamp was significant than ever because, without it, nothing was possible to do indoor. It was the essential part of our homes since there were no electric lamps back then, and also homes were built from organic materials, because of which people couldn’t afford to open up huge windows. In general words, the houses were dark inside, even during the daylight. There are still such old homes in villages and slums that are dark. As such, the lamp was lit during the day too, and a place of worship was created around it.
To create the right kind of atmosphere is to create a part of a tradition. And the place to start is by lighting a lamp. Of course, in the modern century, not everyone does it. But if you are one those who like to light a lamp, even if you have electric lights at home, then you will understand the difference that it makes. There is no need for belief in God to experience it. There isn’t even need for it to be dark to use a lamp as a visual aid. But when you light one lamp, you do notice any kind of a difference. This is due to the etheric sphere that naturally forms around the flame when you light a lamp.Etheric sphere aids communication even better.
Have you ever sat around with people on a campfire at any point in your life? Have you noticed how the stories that are told around that campfire has had maximum impact on people?
The storytellers of yore understood this: that the stories told around the campfire will always be the best stories ever told, and the best stories ever heard because the receptivity will be at its best around the etheric sphere of the campfire.
Thus, we light a lamp when we want to start anything or create a certain atmosphere. Apart from acting as a visual aid, it creates a different sort of atmosphere with a different kind of energy surrounding the place. Not just lamps, if you light oil lamps, then there are other implications associated with that too. If you use certain vegetable oils like sesame oil, or castor oil, or ghee to light a lamp, then it exudes positivity and creates its own positive field of energy.
The fire is a source of light in many ways. In Hindu dharma, we have always associated fire with life in some symbolic ways. Even in many languages and cultures, life itself is referred to as fire. Consider the phrase: “May the fire inside you keep burning forever.”
Also, the sun is a very important source of life on this planet, and sun is nothing but a giant fireball. Everything that is driving in this life is fire: that stove you use to cook food has fire, that car with its internal combustion engine is still fire. Fire is the source of life, and lighting a fire when you start a day is the same as creating a positive atmosphere for your day. This is how you can invoke your own inner nature too.
(Adapted from speech by Sadhguru)