【Light Offering during Lantern Festival】 Illuminating a Blessed Life
In Buddhism, there is documentation on the origins of the Lantern Festival. During the Yong Ping years of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Han Emperor sent his men to Tian Zhu to seek Dharma, marking the formal introduction of Buddhism to China. This is known as the famous “Yong Ping Seeking Dharma”. Han Ming Emperor learnt that, on the fifteenth of the first month of the lunar calendar, there were traditions of monks paying homage to the Buddha relics and offering light to the Buddha. Hence, on this day too, light offerings took place in the palace and in temples to worship the Buddha. The ordinary folks followed suit and gradually formed the custom of admiring lanterns during the Lantern Festival.
Dharma is like a beacon of light eradicating the darkness of the world. We visualize the light of Buddha to be as great as Mount Meru, shining in all directions. Where there is light, all darkness dissipates. All the pains and sufferings of sentient beings are eliminated. Sentient beings are able to discern good from evil; they possess great wisdom and have an illuminated body and mind. Gratitude to the great virtues of the Buddhist patriarchs! Their compassion and wisdom are like lights, passing from generation to generation, giving us the hope of liberation and bringing the world unlimited brilliance, warmth, tranquility and auspiciousness.
The Buddhist scriptures detail that by offering light before the Buddha, one can gain health and longevity, great wisdom, eliminate disaster, obtain rapid enlightenment and gain other immeasurable merits and benefits. In Bodhi Meditation, there are many testimonies that illustrate the benefits of making light offerings before the Buddha. Whether it is praying for good grades for one’s study, having a child, career, health, or for the deceased, there are a large number of cases where the prayers are answered.
The fifteenth of the first lunar month is the first full moon of the year. It is the perfect day to offer lights before the Buddha for our most beloved and cared for persons in our life. Let the light we offer, together with Buddha’s light, shine and illuminate the paths ahead for them. May it give them inspiration and the power and blessings of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Whenever they encounter troubles, they will be able to eliminate them quickly, gain health, happiness, perfection and auspiciousness.
Be blessed with eternal brilliance and blissfulness.
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