Deeparadhanai (lighting a lamp before a deity) is an integral part of offering puja or prayer to the Almighty in Hindu homes and temples. This invokes pure and positive vibrations in that space.

In many temples, an elaborate Deeparadhanai is done daily to enhance the Sattvic vibrations.

The light rays produce magnetic forces that are good for the body and mind. It also brings in a strong sense of tranquillity and peace, dispenses with the disturbances and soothes the mind, paving the way for an interaction between the mind and the soul.

This shloka is chanted soon after the lamps are lit:

Deepajyothi Parabrahma, Deepajyothi Janardhana, Deepo me hara tu paapam, Deepa Jyothir Namostute

“I salute the Brahman, the sustainer of creation, in the form of this light. I salute the Lord, may He destroy afflictions resulting from my omissions and commissions.”

Lighting a Deepam signifies removal of darkness from the mind and heart. Traditionally, a Deepam is lit before starting an auspicious event. Light itself, in Hindu philosophy, signifies knowledge and purity.

There are preferred directions for lighting a Deepam

  • North—for achieving success and to receive the Ashtaishwaryams of Goddess Lakshmi
  • East—for good health and peace of mind
  • West—to be free of debts and victory over foes
  • It is considered inauspicious to light a Deepam in the South direction.

To achieve the pure and positive vibrations as mentioned, brass, clay, silver, and gold lamps are normally used during puja. Steel and iron lamps are avoided. Lamps are also not to be kept on the floor.

The use of ghee and various oils to light the Deepam also has its significance.

  • Ghee lamps are lit to invoke Goddess Mahalakshmi to bring prosperity, health and success
  • Sesame oil lamps for Lord Narayana to alleviate problems and remove obstacles
  • Castor oil lamps are lit to gain fame and a happy family life
  • Neem oil is used to get wealth
  • Panchadeepa oil a mix of five types of oils and is recommended as it gives the most benefit to the devotee

The significance of the number of wicks in the Deepam are:

1.     Eka Mukha—single wick gives average benefit

2.     Dwimuka—two wicks brings harmony and peace in the family

3.     Trimukha—three wicks for progeny and education

4.     Chathurmukha—four wicks brings all-round prosperity

5.     Panchamkukha—five wicks showers Akhanda Aishwaryam