In India there is a custom of lighting Deepak (lamp) twice a day, both in morning and evening. This is done while offering prayer to deity God. All auspicious functions, either they are religious or social start with lighting the lamp.
The flame is fed on the oil of clear dedication and enlivened by the breeze of intense love of thought of the divine. The flame is the intellect supported by impressions of strivings to cultivate the right values.
Significance of Akhand Jyoti:
Akhand Jyoti or Akhand deep brings happiness to the worshipper. The light through the Akhand Jyoti inflame the body system and improves the concentration. The greater is the concentration the more is the power of worship. Japa and prayers which are performed in front of Akhand Deep are multiple times more powerful as compared to usual prayer. It brings happiness and prosperity for the worshiper.
In Sukand Puran it is written that among all the lights of fire, Akhand Jyoti is the best among all. The light from the Akhand Jyoti cultivates the human body and increases the concentration. Due to more concentration worship becomes more powerful
Akhand Deepak represents your constant faith in your Isht Devta. If Akhand Deepak gets disturbed in between then this is a sign that there are upcoming problems. If this happens, puja and diya lightening needs to be done again and more japa should be done to face upcoming problems with more strength.
Rules of Akhand Jyoti:
The light of Akhand Jyoti cannot be diminished. The akhand jyoti should be kept flaming for all the nine days of navratri. In case you need to add oil in akhand jyoti or change the wicker then burn a small diya with the akhand jyoti and keep it in vicinity of akhand diya.Extinguishing of akhand deepak is considered inauspicious, so be careful in maintaining it. Keep the diya in puja area in such a place where it does not get much air, if more air is there then you can cover the diya with glass lamp but it is always advised to keep it open for best results. This Deepak light is called as akhand jyoti. This akhand jyoti will destroy all the negative thoughts in your home.
'Deepam ghrut yutam dakshe, tel yutah ch vamatah' means If you use Ghee, then deepak should be placed on the right hand side of Devi and if Til oil is used then it is placed on the left hand side of goddess Durga.
According to the holy book of mantras any chanting performed in front of fire gives better results.
How to lit Akhand Jyoti (Deep Prajvalan):
The bigger size diya will be very easy to retain. Gold and copper are good for dev upasana. Silver diyas should be avoided in devi pujan as it is mainly for Pitra puja. One can also use earthen diya but this is not much safe and can cause oil leakage.
Akhand Jyoti should be lighted on the first day of Navratri in morning and copper vessel (Kalash) should be kept which is full of water. After Akhand Jyoti is lighted, it is placed on ashtadal kamal (a diagram of 8 petalled lotus) or a triangle made with sindoor and ganga jal paste. This can also be made on a copper plate or a piece of new cloth or bhojpatra.
After the Deepak has been placed, worship it with raw rice, sindoor, kumkum, paan leaves and beetle nut and some dakshina and pray that, diya keep enlightened during all nine days.
How to Maintain the Akhand Jyoti:
We need to check the oil and the taperonce or twice daily. Before this, small diya is lightened with the main Diya to adjust the taper and oil in the main deepak. After adjustment, put out the small diya by dripping into oil. Do not blow air to extinguish it.
If the akhand diya blows out then use the small lamp to light it again. And then blow out the small lamp by sinking it in ghee.