04 July 2018

Good Bye Candles - Hello, Ghee Lamps for Ritual

Candles can be toxic and the decent ones can be expensive.

A wonderful, natural, and inexpensive alternative is Ghee Lamp. Ghee lamps are traditionally used in Hindu aarti and puja, worship of deities. I became acquainted with them as a teenager back in the 1980s as many of my high school friends were East Indian decent.

Also, after my first year in college in the summer of 1989,  I became involved with the ISKCON and spent a lot of time at New Panhati Temple in Atlanta, Ga on my college breaks. There I was involved in aarti, which is the ceremony deity worship, offering of ghee lamp to deity is called puja. I really enjoy doing puja. Bhakti (devotional) yoga, has been a big part of my soul/heart/life ever since.

Recently, as I have begun to go even deeper into my own personal ritual I was reminded just how expensive natural and healthy candles are to burn. It is so easy to purchase small paraffin candles to burn but they are not good for air quality and health.

Then it dawned on me to look for my small metal ghee lamp, which in the past I have used in meditation. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate so I went to Amazon instead. Surprisingly, I was able to purchase a very nice ghee lamp with stand and handle for only $8.99. It is beautiful and made out of brass. I also purchased  set of very simple smaller ones that came two in a pack for only $4.99. Both ghee lamps are of good quality.

Traditionally cotton wool can be rolled into the small wicks to use in the ghee lamp. I spent a lot of devotional time in temple hand-rolling wicks. It is a devotion and a meditation.

Once the cotton is rolled you have a lovely little tear drop wick. Now, you do not need to purchase a ghee lamp. You can actually use a regular candle holder. It just deeps upon how deep the candle holder well is as to how much ghee you can fill it with and that determines how long that ghee lamp will burn.

In the following picture I have a candle holder and in the top of it is a wax catcher that you set that candle in. I used that to hold about a teaspoon of ghee. A teaspoon of ghee burns for an hour to an hour and a half.

Ghee is simply clarified butter. Ghee is a religious and food staple in India since ancient of ancient times.  There are so many good uses for ghee. You can purchase organic ghee and you can purchase conventional ghee. For candle burning conventional ghee is just fine. Below is a photo of ghee that I use for cooking.

Next are photos of candle wick roll purchased from Amazon. There is enough wick to last at least a year. Also included is the ghee lamp that I purchased for $8.99. It was very simply and easy to assemble.

And last but not least is a photo my portable altar. I use this altar for daily ritual, meditation and card reading. I have a larger altar but that is very private and I do not post photos of that one. And on my YouTube videos you will see another altar that I sent next to when recording shows or studying.

I hope you enjoyed this post. May you be inspired to find your Light and let it shine!

(c) Tamu Ngina, All Rights Reserved.

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