By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Nirajana, NIrAjana, Niraajana
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 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, ten or sixteen. In all these, waving of a lighted lamp called ‘nīrājana,’ is a must. It may be of burning karpura 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’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore