During Chinese New Year, a lot of Chinese like to go monasteries to make their offerings, be it rice, cooking oil, flowers, incenses, lamps, money, etc.
What are the rewards of offering lamps ?
Lamps within the Buddha dharma symbolize brightness and wisdom. Lighting lamps also represent the giving of light, thus planting on the field of blessings. When the Buddha was in the world, He often exhorted people to light lamps as offerings to the Buddha and spoke the Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of Giving Light. There it’s said: If one constantly practises the offerings of light to the Buddha within Buddhist Stupas and Monasteries with utmost sincerity, one would then obtain the rewards as follows:
1. Both your eyes and four limbs would always be perfect and free of deformities.
2. Your body would be free of pain and sickness, your throat would be soft and supple, and your voice would be attractive.
3. Your mind would be calm, clear, and intelligent and posses wisdom therefore you will not be turned by stupidity and ignorance.
4. Your vision would be exceptional as a Mani pearl that can reveal even very small objects.
5. Your eyeball and cornea would always remain well and free from damage or decay.
6. Your livelihood would always be stable with abundant food and clothing with a mind that is free from anxiety.
7. You will obtain self mastery of body and mind, wholesome wealth and treasures would of its own accord accumulated for you.
8. You may obtain beautiful necklaces and majestic forests and orchards.
9. You will have a healthy body, strong and full of energies of life.
10. You will not encounter arguments or physical conflicts or be mired in other undesirable situations.
11. Traveling to the ends of the world where the heavens meet the sea whether in the directions of east, west, south or north, you will not suffer the afflictions of ignorance.
The Buddha dharma is not apart from our daily lives, the act of lighting lamps has the inherent meaning of the giving of light and it brings about boundless merit and virtue; for mankind need bright lights to shine a luminous path for it, bringing warmth, hope and a loving mind to all corners of the world. Those would make offering of light also benefit from its brightness; obtaining a blessed, peaceful and healthy life. Disciples of the Buddha who diligently plant blessings in these fields of blessings would naturally obtain a bright future and always achieve and attain their wishes.
(Source: Dharma Realm Guan Yin Monastery, Kuala Lumpur)