The Significance of Lighting Oil Lamps

Oil lamps were a part of various traditions and cultures around the world, until electric lights became popular. The earliest known oil lamp can be dated back to the Chalcolithic Age, about 4500 to 3300 BC. Today, their use is limited to only a few homes, more often only for visual appeal.

But there is a lot more to the humble oil lamp, as Sadhguru tells us, than its obvious use of providing light and aesthetics. Find out more about how you can create an ambience of energy and positivity in your home.

Sadhguru: Light is significant because of the way our instruments of vision are made. If our instruments of vision were made like, let’s say that of an owl, light wouldn’t be very valuable to us.

Today you have electric lights so you may wonder why a lamp. But imagine just a few hundred years ago, there was no possibility of doing anything indoors without a lamp. Historically, the lamp was an essential part of our homes because of two reasons. One, there were no electric lights. Two, homes were built from organic materials so people couldn’t afford to open up huge windows. Generally, the houses in ancient times were dark inside. Even today, have you seen that old homes in villages and slums are generally dark? So a lamp was kept even during the day, and a place of worship was created around it.

It is a part of tradition that to create the right kind of atmosphere, the first thing that you do is light a lamp. Of course, because of all our problems today, because our nails are long and polished, we can’t do this, so we use electric lights. But those of you who light a lamp, if you simply be there around it, you will notice it makes a difference. You don’t need to believe in any God. It need not even be dark, the lamp need not be a visual aid, but do you notice it makes some kind of a difference? This is because the moment you light a lamp, not the flame itself but around the flame a certain etheric sphere will naturally happen.

Where there is an etheric sphere, communication will be better. Did you ever sit around a campfire in your life? If you did, you would have seen that stories told around the campfire always have the maximum impact on people. Have you noticed this? The storytellers of yore understood this – stories told around the campfire are always the most effective stories. Receptivity will be at its best.

Stories told around the campfire are always the most effective…

So if you want to start anything, or you want to create a certain atmosphere, a lamp is lit. This comes from the understanding that when you light a lamp, apart from the visual aspect, it fills the whole place with a different kind of energy. Lighting an oil lamp has certain implications. The use of certain vegetable oils, especially if you use sesame oil, castor oil or ghee (clarified butter) to light a lamp, it exudes positivity. It has its own field of energy.

Fire itself is a source of light and a source of life in many ways. Symbolically, we have always seen fire as the very source of life. In fact, your life itself is referred to as fire in many languages. ‘The fires of life’ within you keep you going. The Sun, the very source of life on this planet, is just a fireball, isn’t it? Whether you light an electric lamp or you cook at home with whatever kind of stove, or the internal combustion engine in your car, it’s all still fire, isn’t it?  Everything that is driving life in this world is fire. So fire is seen as the very source of life. It also creates a field of energy around itself, and above all it creates the necessary atmosphere. So when you light a lamp before you start your day, it is because you want to bring the same quality into yourself.  It is symbolism; it’s a way of invoking your own inner nature.

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POSTED IN:Lifestyle, Sadhguru, Master's words
TAGS: Energy
  • Anjali Yogini

    So good that Sadhguru is at Isha and sharing so much knowledge with us via the internet!!! Soon it will be one year ago I was first at Isha and will not be there for all the wonderful growth and programs soon to happen at Isha…but I am not saddened when I find these mini-darshans from Sadhguru….Thank you for keeping the vibrations glowing…Shanti OM

  • Sonia Sant

    Two days ago I was wondering why light a lamp, what is the significance in today’s electricity lit world? As uncanny it may be -as usual – here is my answer from Sadhguru. For so it seems You can hear me across the ocean and seas You can show me the way in You own way You can show me the way in the way I understand and feel. For only You and You can manage and free me. Only You can take me there for I know nothing!

    • Mary

      Dear Sonya, your words ring so true for me too! Iam so thankful and grateful everyday that I have come to know him!

  • ram ya

    My mother has always insisted me to light a lamp every evening at home .I guess that’s where my spiritual journey started.I light lamps whenever anyone comes home ,so the meeting becomes pleasant and positive and It has always had its effect on the guests.They leave with so much joy.I always believed lighting the lamp would take away negative feelings with visitors and Sadhguru has rightly said it.Sathguru thanks a million for giving some spot light on the source of life .My question is can young boys light lamps……… its tradition for only girls to light lamps.

  • Karthikeyan

    I am in Mauritius now.

    1. Other than this castor oil, sesame oil and ghee, can i use soya oil, cocunut oil or any other sunflower oil???

    2. And also here I am lighting for 24 hrs. even sometimes if its off, i will light it again. Can I do like that?

    3. Can I use the same thread for oil lamp to next day also? Please give me answer. Because daily I am doing this.

    • aditya

      1. Other than these three, avoid other oils,



      • Karthikeyan

        Okay Anna, Thanks…

  • Rodger

    Lighting live fire can be dangerous. Most of the fires in the world are caused by careless use of live lights. If you want to light a live light make sure you do not leave the room with the candle of other live lights being lit.

    • N. Sankara Menon

      That’s for houses made of combustible material

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  • Jai

    Great Message Sadhguru

  • Also Starring

    You might be interessted in the oil lamps of jobsprops. They are made out of parts of waste. and available in different colours.

  • ok

    What you mentioned?
    “…EXUDES positivity” Did you check what does “exudes” mean?

    Lighting an oil lamp has certain implications. The use of certain vegetable oils, especially if you use sesame oil, castor oil or ghee (clarified butter) to light a lamp, it EXUDES positivity

  • Praveena

    I wish to buy “macha deepa” or “meena deepa”(fish with lamp hanging from it’s tail.
    Is is auspicious to light these lamps at home and at office

  • Jaya

    Asatoma sadhga maya thamasoma jyothirgamaya mruthoryma amruthanga maya aum shanthi shanthi shanthi hi

  • Pique

    I use neem oil. Because it I keeps mosquitoes away too.

    Can I use neem oil, sadhguru?

  • Abhishek Luv

    Wow..Sadhguru..going to light a lamp..