of the important form of worship is prayer to a lamp, to the flame
or Jyothi, instead of a Vigraha or a picture, worshipping it as
a form of the Deity of their choice [Ishta Devatha]. As we believe,
God as Nirguna Brahman, comes to take the forms of various Avatharas
as Saguna Brahman and also manifests Himself in the phenomenal
Universe as its five elements -"Pancha Bootham."
say that God exists in the five elements. Aagama Sasthra and Bhootha
Suddhi Manthra say that God manifests in Sky [Space] as Sound,
in Air as Sound and Sense of Touch, in Fire as Sound, Sense and
Shape of things, in Water as Sound, Sense, Shape and Taste of
objects, in Earth as Sound, Sense, Shape, Taste and Smell. "Thvam,
Bhoomi, Aapo, Anilo, Analo Napaha" a verse from Ganapathy
Adharva Sheerisha Upanishad, which means that God is in Earth,
Water, Air, Fire and Sky. Hence, people worship the Lord as the
various elements and receive the Divine blessings. As light or
fire, the Deepa Jyothi represent one of the five elements as a
manifestation of God.
people perform prayer rituals to the lamp, "Deepa Jyothi"
as an alternative to the traditional Vigraha worship of the devotional
path. There is a practice of offering prayers to Sri Ganesha,
Durga, Devi, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ayyappan and many other forms
of Deities in the form of Jyothi in a Deepa pooja. Most often
Deepa Pooja is performed by Devotees not initiated in proper Vigraha
Pooja, either alone or in groups at home or in a temple.
women do not take up or get initiated into the pooja for Siva
Linga or Sakthi Yanthra and Deepa Pooja is the most important
alternative for them. Most men also have not had proper training
in prayer methods or received the proper initiation of offering
the necessary prayers to their Ishta Devatha according to the
rules of Agama. Many of them are very religious and want to get
the benefits for prayers.
is widely believed that God accepts the prayers through this Deepa
Pooja very easily and very soon. There are no major restrictions
or rules of the doctrine of Adhikara for this deepa pooja. The
Deepa Pooja can be performed every evening. Those women, who are
unable to perform pooja with lamps every evening, may try to do
it once a week, preferably on Friday evenings.