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A Sacred Lamp Continuously Burning for Five Centuries

August 27, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Social    Views: 713

A sacred lamp is burning for five centuries in a Vaishnavite temple in Assam, India. Burnt with oil in a mud lamp, it has been kept alive in a temple for all these five centuries by the faithful local people of a village. It has been included in the Asia Book of Records recently.


There have been lamps burning eternally in churches and temples in the sanctuaries. But the lamp burning in the Vaishnavite temple at Dhekiakhowa Bor in Assam has a different and interesting story. The lamp has been formally recognized and included in the Asia Book of Records. The Indian news media, including FrontierIndia and IBNLive, have given interesting details about the lamp continuously burnt by the local poor people for all these five centuries.

The lamp story of Dhekiakhowa Bor Namghar lamp

Vaishnavism is one of the major branches of Hinduism, having Lord Vishnu as the supreme God above all other gods. Lord Rama, Krishna, Narayana, etc. are called as the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is hailed in Hinduism as the protector of humanity. The cult of Vaishnavism is said to have begun in the 4th century B.C.E.

Guru Madhavdeva, a saint born in 1489 A.D., began to preach the Neo-Vaishnavite cult of fourfold faith in Assam. While he was on his mission of spreading the Ekasharan Nam Dharma(his theme of “Guru Bakthi” or devotion to the master), he happened to stay in a hut of an old woman in a small and very poor village, which was later called Dhekiakhowa Bor. Hospitality is a main character of the Indian people. When the Guru came to the hut, the old lady was so embarrassed that she had to serve the poorest meal she had. Dhekiakhowa means poor man’s food. But the Guru accepted it gladly and as a token of gratitude towards her hospitality, the Guru started a temple(namghar) there itself, which commemorates the old woman’s hospitality even today. He established a lamp there and gave the responsibility of kindling the earthen lamp to the old woman. Later on local people built a temple there with their poor might. From that day in August 1528 till today, people of the village gather there every day to pray and worship. Though they are poor they maintain the temple and look after the lamp continuously burning.

Recognition of the Asia Book of Records

Recognizing the fiat of the poor people in the village, maintaining the Vaishnavite lamp in Dhekiakhowa Bor Namghar and keeping burning it continuously for all these 484 years, The Asia Book of Records has awarded a formal certificate of recognition to the historical temple. The certificate was handed over to Jorhat Lok Sabha MP and former Union Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique on 19, August, last Sunday.

The award is a recognition of the faith of the local villagers and their service to the temple in spite of their acute poverty. It is a recognition to the hospitality of the people of that region. It is an incentive to the whole humanity to bring together all people under the fold of love. Love and hospitality promote human solidarity.



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