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Rāmāyaṇa where ideology and arts meet narrative and historical context by Prof. Nalini Rao

Rāmāyaṇa tradition in northeast Bhārat by Virag Pachpore


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Nīrājana literally means ‘waving of water or light’.

Ritualistic worship of God in and through an icon either at home or in a temple is a common feature in the religion. The various upacāras[1] are a part of this. They remind one of the way one has to receive an important guest visiting one’s house. Such upacāras may be five,[2] ten[3] or sixteen.[4] In all these, waving of a lighted lamp called ‘nīrājana,’ is a must. It may be of burning karpura[5] or cotton wicks dipped in ghee or oil, their number being 3 or 5 or 7. Some āgamas declare that by such waving of light, one’s life and happiness increase and all evil beings are driven out. Sometimes colored water kept in a shallow plate is waved before sick person to ward off the evil forces that might have caused the disease. This is also called ‘nīrājana’.[6]


  1. Upacāras means the items of honor.
  2. Five means pañcopacāras.
  3. Ten means daśopacāras.
  4. Sixteen means ṣoḍa-śopacāras.
  5. Karpura means camphor.
  6. Nīra means water.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore