[Advaita-l] Lighting a Lamp during inauguration

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 23 08:16:21 CDT 2007

Shree Subramanya - PraNAms

Let me answer your concerns by a story.

There was one drunkard who went to a priest and asked
- " Father, Can I drink while praying" - The father
said - "No. You should not drink while praying. That
is a blasphemy - You should cleanse yourself and with
proper dress and attitude you should pray". 

The drunkard thought over and asked again “father can
I pray, while I drink" - Father responded - "Sure my
son, you can always pray, Lord is everywhere and you
can invoke him all the time and in all circumstances".

When I am going to sit for puja and meditation on
gayatri or any mantra, it is helpful to have proper
environment and attire etc for the mind, including a
clean puja room, the dhuupam and deepam etc.  The
external environment should be conducive for
meditation on gayatri.

But if the main purpose is inaugurating an activity or
function, or opening a bridge or construction where
the external environment is not necessarily conducive
for meditation, it is at least important to invoke the
grace of God before the start of the function. It is
glory of Hindu tradition to start the function with a
prayer or lighting the lamp - a symbolic of the
recognition of the presence of the illuminating
consciousness because of whose grace we are able to
function.  I am happy that there are recognizing the
need to start with lighting the lamp or chanting a
sloka or in one form or the other invoking His
blessings.  Waring shoes or pants or some other things
that we normally do not do in the puja room is of not
much concern to me.  I am happy that they are doing
something to invoke the Lord. 

My hats of to all of them. There is no insult to
Hinduism but they are glorying  it by invoking the
presence of the Lord in starting an activity which is
not really a realigious function.  

Hari Om!

--- UH SUBRAMANYA <subramanya.uh at in.yokogawa.com>

> Dear learned Members,
> Can any one of the List Member  clarify the
> following?
> Often most of the Functions whether Government or
> Corporate are inaugurated by lighting of Oil Lamps
> with wicks. The guests light the lamp with their
> shoes on ( They will be in Suit). I think  it is not
> right  and feel embarrassed to watch such events but
> cannot point out to those doing it to remove their
> foot wear before doing it. The Guests may be
> Ministers or Bureaucrats or some Senior Pundits
> also.
> I would like to remind one scene where Mr. Amitab
> Bachan chanted "Gayathri Mantra" with shoes on  and
> this became a big issue, as it was treated as insult
> to our Hinduism. I have also read somewhere that it
> is not right to chant any Vedic Mantra with shoes
> on, let alone shirts on.
> I have seen some Yoga Teachers also making the
> participants chant Gayathri Mantra or other Vedic
> Mantras during some sessions with their shoes on. I
> feel it should be forbidden.
> Hence the Learned can  clarify whether the ritual is
> right or to be curbed though this is beyond Advaita
> practice.
> Regards,
> Subramanya UH
> Bangalore
> # 9341323940
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