For a yogi, lighting a Lamp is a daily discipline, spiritual tool and a key to meditation. Fire has been a core principle in nearly all traditions, cultures and religions across the globe.
Lighting a Lamp as a daily ritual is a key step taken on the path of light, fire and grace.
About two decades ago, when as a wandering yogi seeker, I was meditating in the caves of Arunachala. There was this young monk, Muthu aged 14 who had started his first week of meditation in the same cave where I was. The next morning he and I went up to see Guru Ayya who had been meditating for years drinking just a cup of milk a day (Guru Ayya had done his ‘tapas’ penance for 18 years in the cave on the peak of Arunachala mountain).
Muthu asked Ayya, whom he held as his Guru, “What do I need to do to really be able to meditate and go within?” Guru Ayya mentioned- “Have 3 fistful of nuts each day, drink plenty of water and keep your Lamp lit beside you. With grace find your stillness”. Muthu then asked, “Why the lit Lamp?” Ayya answered, “When you light your Lamp you are connected to all Gurus & Source God. The Lamp serves and guides you. The Lamp, the Sacred Fire, as sole Soul Companion sustains us in our meditation”.
Ever since, I light my Lamp each day- as a heart ritual that enhances potency of prayers, Source connectivity and my innermost Light.
I share these teachings of my experience with each of you.
In Mother Amritandeswari, Hugging Saint’s words “Fire is the presiding deity of the spoken word. The qualities of fire are heat and light. However, in recent times, we have been emitting only heat and smoke instead of light. This very heat and smoke now are choking us. May we all be able to come together as one and light the lamp of knowledge, both internally and externally, thereby removing this heat and smoke.”
So why do yogis direct us to light our daily lamp?
1. Connect to Source: Establish our own direct rapport and connectivity with Source/ God/ Infinite. Source connect to any Name, all Names or the Nameless. What matters is our own interaction of our mind with the subconscious mind and beyond. The nature of connecting to Source is bliss, joy, happiness and all positive feelings that encourages us to set a discipline to have more of it each day by way of creating our own heart rituals. The process of allowing the higher powers to take care of our worries, anxieties and actual realities does enable us to carry less baggage of thoughts- as effective prayers.
2. Step out of the rat race of mind & realities. Step into timelessness: Step out of the rat race of human realities that is based on the cycle of time, mind and realities. Each day’s 24 hours holds the natural ups and downs of our mind, our daily patterns of sleep, being awake and moods; and the realities that trigger us to be happy, sad, inspired and or depressed. By lighting our own lamp we are stepping into timelessness, and attuning into our Soul and our connectivity to the higher powers. When we step out into timelessness, we experience meditation that has the nature of harmony, tranquility and peace. When we step back into human realities, we are able to think from the meditative mind that has reduced limits in the ability to think and perceive and make optimal decisions.
3. Liberate ourself: The time we spend with our Lamp enables us to set ourselves free from our own mind, our karmic patterns that are drawn from our thinking patterns and the religious or personal beliefs and dogma we grew up with. By lighting our lamp, we are reminding ourselves to be the Temple/ Church/ Mosque/ Shrine and beginning to experience the most mentioned word in history by all masters, gurus, poets, philosophers and mystics- Freedom. When we are free, we are gifted with the experience of true love.
4. Awaken our Inner Fire: Awakening our Inner Fire really means awakening the perpetual orgasmic states of joy within that kindles our discipline to have more of these joy states each day. A yogi builds greater awareness through every breath and thought with disciplined focus and passionate effort each day. When we light the Lamp outside ourselves we are manifesting our own inner fire. By lighting our own inner fire, we are invoking the Presence of Source and the Masters who guide us. With our Inner Fire awake, we awaken our Inner Guru- the self realization all yogis mention about.
5. Mystical Element: In the Siddha traditions and in most spiritual traditions of yoga, the ultimate union with Source God is through the five elements, ie, Earth/ Water/ Fire/ Air/ Ether. Fire is the element that is between the physical elements of Earth & Water and the non-physical elements of air & space. Fire is the representative & doorway to the spiritual world. A Yogi utilizes & works with the 5 Elements through the Sacred Fire.
6. Attain the super conscious mind state of Turiya- Utilize the grace of the inner realities to twirl and modify external realities by the singular focus of an empowered mind.
All masters who furthered the frontiers of humanity by way of genius, invention, discovery, teachings and a betterment of the society have been able to think outside the box, ahead of times and are able to hold a sustained and dedicated focus with passion until they reach the goal. The mind that sustained this supernormal mind is called by the yogis, “Turiya”, the 4th state of consciousness described as the ‘sleepless sleep”. By lighting our daily Lamp to step into timelessness, we are stepping beyond the limits of our mind into the superconscious mind. A meditative mind is empowered due to the essence of “Turiya” where the nature of the ‘mind’ is eagle-like as in being effortless in gliding to see the big picture; ability to bring intense sustained focus and think from a higher perception that flows in genius.
7. Be a Yogi, Inner Guru Awake- Awakening our own Source connectivity is yoga. Upon awakening our inner fire, we are constantly expanding consciousness to tap into our own crisp wisdom, harmony and a stress free environment. Each day, through our heart rituals of lighting our Lamp and stepping into mindfulness and awareness through the day, we are guided to make perfect decisions for ourselves. We bring quality to our lives with choices we make in our eating habits, in our work and recreation, in relationships and we align ourselves to evolve and grow. A yogi is the master who is perpetually connecting the cosmic with the mundane realities and constantly expanding consciousness to attain more consciousness. By being the Yogi, we uplift ourselves and humanity by our vibrant thinking, doings and simply Being.
8. Gazing into the Sacred Lamp is enlightening. Our power of focus is enhanced. Trataka- singular focus on the Lamp is much like a magnifying glass converging the sun rays into fire when we bring our focus on the fire.
Video of Siddhapurush Baba Nataraj on Trataka:
Rituals to get the Fire PUJA started!
A puja is different from meditation. A puja is the mother of meditation.
In Puja, Source God in form is worshiped with our mind in offerings, focus, mantra, breath as prayers. Our mind is set to meditative harmony with an awake core through Puja. Fire as epicenter of focus enhances the Puja.
1. Set the Lamp on an altar preferable at the North East corner and if not possible to get this direction, any direction will do.
Better still, allocate a room for your daily meditation, yoga and puja with the Lamp in the center.
2. Utilize a candle or traditionally, cotton wicks with the recommended oil- sesame or ghee. The type of oil we utilize also holds a nature of reality we are invoking. Sesame oil is for well-being and clarity of thoughts; ghee for abundance in spiritual and physical realities etc. A simple candle is also perfect. The goal- to have a live fire that connects us to Source God.
3. Start the lighting of our Lamp with mantras and prayers – ignite the root chakra and each chakra above (SivaSivaa Inner Journey is recommended) or any prayers or meditation methods to connect with the sacred fire.
4. Walk around the Lamp clockwise as we recite the mantra- ideally three times or as many times reflecting the invoking of the Divine within ourselves.
5. Walk around ourself clockwise to imbibe and receive all the blessings and eternal vibrations we have invoked.
6. Offer flower petals, one at a time, for each mantra recited- to the Lamp and/or image of Deity.
7. Climb from the root chakra above through each chakra knowing that we are aligning each of our external realities accordingly and our breath entwined with the mantras as in invoking the Divine is a supreme potent prayer.
8. End our inner journey, the pilgrimage to Self by way of reciting “Shanti”, the call for Peace three times. The first shanti is with the intent of being the blessings of the infinity we are in the sacredness of the finite and our human realities. The second call for peace is for Consciousness to prevail for all of humanity. The third shanti is to invoke peace as in abundance, well-being, love and harmony as blessings to ourselves that overflows for all of humanity, Planet Earth and the universes.
9. Touch the flame of the Lamp gently with our two hands and place the warmth over our eyelids to receive the grace blessings of our worship.
10. Meditate for a while in the silence and void space of harmony with the mantra and intent “I am”.
11. “Cool” the fire (never say “put off the fire” or do not blow off the fire as this fire we have invoked is Divine Presence) by placing a petal of flowers over it or placing a fire extinguisher over it.
12. In this process we have created our own Shrine in your home and inside ourself as a vortex of Light that evolves us, creates the life we desire from our heart, awakens us to our highest purpose in life, guides us each day and allows ourselves to be in the heaven of realities.
Nandhiji www.nandhiji.com is a Siddha yogi, humanitarian and visionary awakening humanity through mystic wisdom, community and service. He is an artist, ecstatic chant musician, author and teacher, representing the path of the Liberated. He lives in Los Angeles, where he shares the life-enhancing wisdom and teachings of the Siddhar sages, the liberated mystics of South India. Nandhiji was gifted with a childhood experience of the Divine when he was four years old. Later as a young adult, while leading an active family life, he was initiated through a death experience by his first Guru, and his journey into the mystical realm of the Siddhas as a yogi began. After years of seeking ‘wholeness’ through connection with the inner world, Nandhiji woke up to understand his highest purpose: to uplift humanity in consciousness. One of the fruits of his journey are offered in Mastery of Consciousness. Nandhiji says, “When we awaken the inner lamp, we liberate ourselves to the grace of our own wisdom, our Inner Guru, Consciousness!” Nandhiji envisions a humanity awake through yogic wisdom, enterprise and community.