Lighting the lamp is an ancient Hindu ritual practices in both household as well as temples. This is done even in modern day when we have electric lights. The essence is not just in lighting the place and lighting the lamp has a much more deeper meaning to it than this. Let us look into it.
Light in this sense symbolises Knowledge and darkness symbolises ignorance.One of the great saints had said
“Where there is light, darkness cannot be
Where knowledge has come, ignorance must quit.”
Knowledge is the only true and everlasting wealth and is symbolically represented in the lighting of the lamp. Traditionally we burn the oil or ghee lamp and this has an important meaning. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolises our negative tendencies and the wick is our ego. This gets slowly burnt with the spiritual fire of knowledge. The flame of the lamp which always burns upwards shows us that knowledge would take us to higher levels in life.
Also unlike electric lights, we use oil or ghee lamps to light up other lamps. In this process the original source does not get extinguished and continues to glow in the same way even after lighting up other lamps. This signifies that our knowledge will not get perished by sharing it with others and we should spread more knowledge in order to drive away ignorance from this world.