Rig Veda, the most sacred of Hindu texts, opens with an invocation to Agni (fire), chanted during a sacred and joyous celebratory service called the yajna. Agni transforms our offerings of material gifts into a spiritual form that the invited Gods can partake of. Thus we show our gratitude for divine munificence during devotional services.
At home, we start our daily prayers by lighting a small oil lamp. We thus invite God’s presence into our abode, assuring a divine hearing of our appreciation and appeals. The accompanying verse adores the lamp as the bringer of peace, and for its light of knowledge dispelling the darkness clouding our minds in ignorance.
Dusk is an especially auspicious time, when Lakshmi, Goddess of Good Fortune and Prosperity comes visiting. An oil lamp is lit at the home shrine for our evening prayers. Other lights are turned on in the home and the front door is left ajar, inviting Lakshmi in. For we believe, where Lakshmi is, there is always kindness, forgiveness and peace!
Bringer of good tidings
Health and prosperity
And my ignorance
I pray to thee!