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How to Light a Lamp/Deepam with Water and Oil


The Significance of Lighting a Lamp in Hinduism

Light symbolizes the absence of darkness, grief, and sorrows. It indicates inside knowledge being illuminated, along with enlightenment. Knowledge is an endless wealth that is able to remove ignorance, much like how the light removes darkness. Bowing down to a lit oil lamp is bowing down to knowledge in the greatest form.

  • The oil or ghee in the lamp signifies our vices. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vices are slowly and gradually exhausted, while the ego perishes as well.
  • The wick, the main object used to light an oil lamp, signifies the ego. When a lamp emits lighting, it also is a symbol of power and brightness.
  • The flames of a lamp continually burn upwards. Similarly, it also represents knowledge being attained to take us towards higher values. It's a custom to light a lamp initially before starting any auspicious events or ceremonies. As a result of lighting it, darkness will be removed, alongside any ignorance, evil, worries, troubles, stress, and also disappointment.

Light symbolizes awareness. By lighting the lamps, the almighty’s delightful grace will spread all over the house. The first and foremost appearance of the God will be the Light, which is also known as Divine Light.


Slokas to Chant

While lighting the lamp, chant:

Subham Karoti Kalyanam,

Arogyam Dhana Sampadah,

Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya

Deepa Jyotir Namostute.

Translation: I salute the One who is the lamplight that brings auspiciousness; prosperity, good health, abundance of wealth, and the destruction of the intellect’s enemy (six enemies: Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya).

After lighting the lamp, chant the prayer:

Deepajyothi Parabrahma,

Deepajyothi Janardhana,

Deepo me hara tu paapam,

Deepa Jyothir Namostute

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

Wick Varieties


The wick is main object used to light an oil lamp. When a lamp emits lighting, the wick is a symbol of power and brightness.

Below, find a list of the varieties they can come in.

  • Cotton wicks. These are made from the Indian cotton plant. They are the most popular and commonly used wick in India to light an oil lamp. It's meant to attain every good fortune.
  • Lotus wicks. Lotus wicks are prepared from the fiber of lotus stems. Lighting a lamp using these will bring you fortune (money), with Goddess Mahalakshmi blessings, as well as Goddess Saraswathi blessings. It will also take away any prior birth fates, and create a new and happy successful life.
  • White Madar wicks. Lighting a lamp with white Madar wicks will bring good health and blessings from Lord Maha Ganapathi. It will bring positive results in court matters and competitive exams, as well as increasing wealth. It also dispels evil, and will give you positive energy, peace, and a return of your debts.
  • Banana stem wicks. Banana stem wicks are lit to pardon one for mistakes committed by yourself and your family. Lighting one will serve up Lord Hanuman blessings, healthy children, and positive results in ongoing projects and such. However, t is not advisable to light these wick in marriage discussions.
  • Red and yellow cotton cloth wicks. These are prepared with new yellow cotton cloth and red cotton cloth. With the yellow, we can attain the grace of Goddess Parvathi Devi. By lighting the red one, you can help with any difficulties in a marriage and child bearing problems, alongside that it will help to increase mutual understanding and love between couples.

Oil Varieties

We use ghee or different types of oils to light an oil lamp for various reasons.

  • Ghee. Cow’s ghee helps destroy poverty, and will give health, peace and bliss.
  • Ginger or sesame oil. These types of oil will help make difficulties in your life more easy, and eliminate the effects from bad sins committed that may disturb you. Lighting with these types of oils will also please Lord Shani during Sade-sati periods of Saturn at Mahadasha and Antardasha.
  • Castor oil. Castor oil is mainly used to acquire fame, name, happiness in family life, and to increase a devotional faith.
  • Panchadeepa oil. This oil is a combination of coconut or ginger oil, castor oil, neem oil, mahua oil and cow’s ghee. Use it to light a lamp if you want to nullify all evil effects in a home and keep the peace. Lighting with Panchadeepa oil will help in eliminating the evil eye, bad thoughts, illnesses, and poverty. It will also bring wealth, happiness, health, and luck.

Note: Using sunflower or ground nut oil is not recommended. It is said that these oils will bring financial struggles and debt in the home.

Number of Wicks and Their Meaning

  1. A single wick gives general benefits and success.
  2. Two wicks blesses harmony and peace in the family and home.
  3. Three wicks bless us with progeny.
  4. Four wicks will bring all-round success and extravagant victuals.
  5. Five wicks will give us wealth in all aspects.
  6. Six wicks blesses us with knowledge and renunciation.

Wick Directions and Their Impact

Lighting the lamp in individual directions will gives us different results.

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  • East: Beneficial for health and a peaceful mind.
  • West: To be free of financial obligations or debts, and success over enemies.
  • North: To achieve success in undertaken ventures.
  • South: This direction is regarded as inauspicious. Never light a lamp in this direction.

Types of Oil Lamps

An oil lamp uses oil as a main fuel source to light a lamp. The tradition of using these started thousands of years ago, and is still done today. They are generally used among Hindus and as well as in temples.

  • Clay lamp: These are widely used for spiritual rituals. They are very significant when it comes to any kind of prayers and devotional religious customs.
  • Silver lamp: Silver lamps are inflamed to impress the moon. This step is supposed to get rid of poverty.
  • Gold lamp: Gold lamps are lit for health, wealth, and business expansions or developments.
  • Brass lamp: These are easily available with affordable prices. Their durability is very high.

Notes: Clay and brass lamps are very popular because they are widely available and very affordable. Iron and steel oil lamps aren't used for Hindu spiritual rituals in houses. Lastly, silver and gold lamps are expensive, so they aren't as commonly used.

Lemon Lamps

Lemon Diya with cotton wick

Lemon Diya with cotton wick

We can also light an oil lamp with lemon and rice flour for some specific religious ceremonies.

  1. First, take a fresh lemon and then cut it down the middle. Squeeze away the juice and seeds from the cut lemon, and then invert it.
  2. Place wicks inside the lemon and fill with Ghee, then light it.

Lemon lamps are primarily used to please goddess Dura. In South India, lighting lemon lamps were popularly used during Rahu kalam, which helps to cancel out the negative effects of the Rahu planet and to attain blessings of Goddess Dura to acquire peace and prosperity in one’s life.

Rice Flour Lamp

Rice flour diya

Rice flour diya

  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain it, and then grind it to a fine powder. Use a siever or strainer to separate the fine flour from any remaining granules.
  3. After that, add grated jaggery to the rice flour and mix it well with hand or with a mixer.
  4. Now, take the dough and place it into a container and make it round. With your thumb, press into the middle of the dough to get a dent.
  5. Pour enough ghee to fill the dent and place a wick in that dent to light.

Jaladeepam Preparation

Jaladeepam refers to lighting the lamp with a combination of water and oil. Yes, this is possible Here's the step-by-step procedure:

First step: Take two empty bowls, one large and one small.

empty bowls

empty bowls

Second step: Fill both bowls with water. Fill the large bowl to the top and the small bowl about 3/4 or 75% of the way.

bowls with water

bowls with water

Third step: Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of oil to the small bowl.

Adding oil

Adding oil

3 spoons of oil added to the bowl

3 spoons of oil added to the bowl

Fourth step: We will use something that floats as a base to place the wick onto. Here, I am using a plastic floating flower with a hole. See below.

Floating flower for the wick to stand on

Floating flower for the wick to stand on



Floating flower with wick on top

Floating flower with wick on top

Bowl with floating flower

Bowl with floating flower

Fifth step. Light the lamp. I used a match stick, but a lighter will work too obviously.

Lighting wick with a matchstick

Lighting wick with a matchstick

Glow of the lamp

Glow of the lamp

Final step. The last step is completely optional. Tou can decorate your lamp if you want, too! I used Chrysanthemum petals and added a little reddish food coloring to bring color to the plain water, and used decorative flowers.

Chrysanthemum petals.

Chrysanthemum petals.

Red colored water.

Red colored water.

Decorative flowers.

Decorative flowers.


This lamp will provide up to 7-8 hours of lighting. Nowadays, people are lighting these floating lamps in homes as Vastu remedies to get rid of evil powers and negative influences. Many also use floating candles to decorate their houses. Enjoy!



Ayati on September 04, 2020:

Can you suggest on which direction should wateroil lamp to lit..

Jayalakshmi loganathan on May 25, 2018:

How many times I can change the wick

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on December 15, 2017:

I love the beauty of candle light. Always be careful.

Reshma on July 02, 2017:

According to Hindu

how to blow off the lighted lamp ?

Sunitha Madhu on June 28, 2016:


I need to know .. Can I light up 24hrs deepam in Pooja room. If it's good means ok. Otherwise pls. Let me know the reason . Thank you.

Reply to this email id.

Archana on September 04, 2015:

By mistake i have lighted the lamp using sunflower oil.plz tell me some remedies for that

raja kumari on July 10, 2015:

namasate can we use badam tail for deeparadhana please tell me

s.ashwini on June 15, 2015:

hii please can any one tel me why suddenly vattulu stop burning even thought oil is their in side

uma krishna on May 23, 2015:

can we mix both ghee and castor oil for lighting deepam...?or should we use only ghee...which is the best ?


R.Sampath on May 05, 2015:

really superb to know the details regarding lightning oflamp at puja room. What I want to know is what is the procedure to put off lights when we go out or during night

sunand on April 19, 2015:

For peace at home prosperity and good knowledge for children which lamp is good madam

Jayapriya on March 07, 2015:

Thank you for sharing your know ledge with us.

Vani on February 12, 2015:

Hi .... Can I put deepam in steel lamp plz suggest me

dhivya halvi on January 25, 2015:

I heard we shouldn't lit one single normal deepa in pooja room and we should use only kamakshi deepa..could u please clear it out.

dhivya halvi on January 25, 2015:

Hi, can we lit red wick using cotton during vara mahalakshmi puja. Is there any special occasions whr we shouldn't use this.

laximi on January 20, 2015:

This is very nice article, I have a enwuiry, im married n lots of problems between us, as said in article will red cloth lamp will help n which gods temple should I lit it or can I lit it in house?

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 04, 2014:

Sorry for all of you. Actually my second baby has born and busy with her and with my son. Totally forgot about the hub. Simply searching my old mails I remember it. When I opened I seen all your comments. So I am replying now.

geetha on October 10, 2014:

its very helpful our prayer....

Sima on October 05, 2014:

Hi, I have read the Q & A written here. I am curious to know ,does Neem oil brings negativity.Cos I am using the five type of oil in my home, buy so far i don't see anything like that. Can you explain ,please. Thank you.

Secondly, As for DIYAS ,you say you light up 5 DIYAS.Can you specifically,say where to place the 5 DIYAS. Facing which side?

Thirdly,you also said three combined wicks into one, can you name the three types of wicks. it can help me in lighting those wicks in my home.

One more question, when my daughters are having their periods, can I light deepam in my pooja room. Normally I will close my prayer room and do not light up deep am. To me I feel very sad. but people say must close as the house is not clean at that time of period. But isn't this what god has given to us as we are born. its only the person who is clean is lighting up the deepam and taking care of the poona room. so can I light up the deepam when my children are having their periods.

also would like to know , can I light up my prayer room deepam for 24 hrs, I mean the whole day I am grateful and thankful for taking your valuable time to read my questions and answering it. Thank you so much.


Thanks & Regards

Sima Singapore.

suneeta on September 29, 2014:

Hi i try to light lamp for navratri for 9 days , but it blows off even before 9 days , i heard that it is inauspicious , is there a way that i can maintain it for 9 days

pooja on September 25, 2014:

is it bad luck if ghee diya turned off by itself after 2-3 mins but there was enough ghee in dya?? Please reply m worried

Usha on September 23, 2014:

Can you please let me know whether we can use the same batti in morning and evening prayers? If no, why?

Please reply!

Aryan on September 22, 2014:

Question :

When lighting 4 wick lamp , what should be the directions .

email id : on September 11, 2014:

Very much helpful

Srividya on September 03, 2014:

Can anyone tell white madar wick,lotus stem wick and banana stem wick lighted daily at home

a on September 02, 2014:

red cotton cloth can be used in temple

Bhavana on August 18, 2014:

What are the correct timings to do daily pooja?

Ganesh Kumar on August 15, 2014:

@Kamala, Generally north signifies wealth, money, job, business etc. Try turning your lamp facing north. Make sure your idols face east/west. Definitely *not* south.

Also use yellow flowers everywhere. Try lighting with Lotus stem wick and *pure* ghee. Don't mix 2-3 oils. Use only ghee. This will surely bring positive results immediately. If possible, chant Kanakadhara mantra after lighting the lamp. If you don't know to recite, at least play mp3 from your computer/mobile phone near lamp.

Good luck ! Thanks.

Ganesh Kumar

kamala on August 12, 2014:

I light ghee light 24 hrs in the alter now saw the power of ghee light.There was bad disturbance in my home the ghee light was going off.Seeker a spiritual teacher he gave a free prayers the light is glowing beautifully.I have lighted the light for 40 over years.but recently I am HV a bit of financial light now faces easy.Anyway I can improve.

jaslin on August 08, 2014:

Hi..I would like to knw is it possible if light up two lamp in one house..i mean my pojai room one and one at my living room for the perumal pic I hang on the wall..

Rox on July 30, 2014:

My Diya won't light. I did everything as I always do, but, tonight it is not lighting. I prayed for someone when I tried to light it, for, their new relationship. Idles this have any significance?

bashok on June 14, 2014:

can i light separately seven lamps at puja room. please send your reply to

ie. seven deepams separately. in the puja room,.

pallavi on May 20, 2014:

Hi, i saw ghee deepam on jaggery, why they do so?

asha on May 13, 2014:

hi i am married since 13 years have two childrens but my doesnot respect me , he suspects me all the time and always fight with me and harras me and my childrens and he is also alcoholic which is worst condition , please tell me what diya should i light at home to get peace in my house, from all the aspects and my husband should love me and my childrens

krishna kumari on April 19, 2014:

Wicks 2 or 5 should be made into a single lite or is it 2 lites or5 lites..Add Your Comment... benefit of rice flour deepa


sirisha on April 19, 2014:

Plz tell how to prepare wicks from madar plants

Vaisali on April 17, 2014:

The wick in the jala deepam, turns off frequetly. It gets wet always, is it that i have to add more oil? Please help

pradee on March 06, 2014:


Please tell me how many lamp should we lighting in the pooja room. We lighting the 10 brass lamps in pooja room.

sham on February 19, 2014:


Is it good to light lemon lamp at home? Or is it allowed only in temples.

Saranya on February 08, 2014:

Could you please tell me about the preferred timings to light the lamp

Megha on February 07, 2014:

Hi...ur article is vry helpful...thanks for sharing.

ganesh on January 27, 2014:

great article.........

the basic duty for a devotee for the path to god... deepam...

thank you :)

Ravi on January 22, 2014:

I have seen in Bangalore only ladies light lemon lamp. Ladies (and daughters not even son) only prepare lamp also. I tried asking priest whether I can also light lemon lamp. He ignored me and indicated not to do so. Is there any rule or something that gents are not supposed to light lemon lamp.

Binoj B on January 13, 2014:

This article gives me a wonderful picture of how to worship.

Like to know which metal is more selectable, bronze or silver if prize is not a factor & why?

& is it OK to face deity to east & light the vik of Lamp to north .

shanti on January 08, 2014:


I am having financial problems in my home and not getting a job what should i do please help

devallakalpanaa (author) on December 08, 2013:

if u r facing any issue you can light lamp by using pure cow's ghee and pray for ganesha with SANKATA HARA GANESHA STOTRA.

devallakalpanaa (author) on December 08, 2013:

yes you can.

devallakalpanaa (author) on December 08, 2013:


just not to place deepam at south facing

devallakalpanaa (author) on December 08, 2013:


if u r facing any issue you can light lamp by using pure cow's ghee and pray for ganesha with SANKATA HARA GANESHA STOTRA.

diya23 on December 01, 2013:

hi can we light oil lamp in same clay deepam?

karthigayan on November 30, 2013:

You mean to say that we should not light deepam facing south or should not light lamp at south fave area?

venkatesh Ethirajan on November 15, 2013:

dear all, i am facing an issue i can't buy Neem oil, Mahua oil in my place in gulf, kindly guide me venkatesh

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:


How does the 3 tsps oil burn for 7 hours when poured on water?

water and oil won't mix together. when you pour oil on the water, oil will form like a layer. if you light a lamp , oil won't get boil with the heat produced by lamp because of water. so oil won't get lighted and it will give lighting for many hours.

What wick is used for jaladeepam?

it is a special wick made with cotton thread and wax. i think we can made it by using candle thread and wax. i don't know surely because i purchased wicks like that only. i never tried to prepare those wicks.

those plastic flowers also i purchased like that only.

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:

@ suppi

actually lighting lemon lamp is called rahu cala deepam. mostly pepole will do this for 9,11,21 weeks. it's your wish. if you want to do it every week with your bhakthi you can do.

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:

@ diya

it's better to light 2 lamps by combining 2 wicks as single wick. actually our elders said that one lamp is for our house and another one is for temple. because we will not go for temple everyday to light a lamp. so by lighting 2 lamps in our house will give the effect .

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:


it's better to use gingelly oil.

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:

you can light 3 wicks in a brass lamp by facing wicks in east,west and north directions. leave south direction.

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:

it is not cotton wick. it is some kind of special wick containing thread with wax.

devallakalpanaa (author) on November 07, 2013:

sorry for everyone for late replying.

Anon on November 04, 2013:

How does the 3 tsps oil burn for 7 hours when poured on water? What wick is used for jaladeepam? the plastic I used melted as soon as the flame heated it up.

suppi on October 24, 2013:

How many weeks should v lite lemon lamp aftr21 weeks

suppi on October 24, 2013: