A beautiful antique brass Sukunda oil lamp dating from the early 1900s. These lamps originated from Nepal where they play an important role in the rituals of the Newar communities. It has been finely crafted from brass and is a heavy and sturdy piece. The oil burning lamp has a baluster shape and features a large reservoir for storing oil and has a shallow dish on the front for burning the oil with a wick. The Sukunda is decorated with traditional imagery including the figure of Ganesh and the handle has the figure of a 5 headed Naga dragon.
The philosophy pertaining to this ritual vessel is connected to the origin of the Kathmandu Valley in Himalayas Nepal, which was initially a lake millions of years ago. This lake was the abode of various serpent gods. According to mythology, the valley was drained by the gods to make it habitable to mankind. The pot is considered to be the lake and the snake hood the protector deity, and thus the lamp denotes the beginning of civilization and the presence of Lord Ganesha, who brings prosperity and well-being to all. Every Newar household owns a Sukunda.
The oil lamp is lit at the beginning of any cultural or religious festivals. The lamp is supposed to light up the physical space as well as impart positive energy to all present.The Sukunda is one amongst a plethora of highly decorated ritual vessels, which are used by both Hindus and Buddhists in the Newar community. It is basically an oil lamp lit at the commencement of any religious or cultural festival.