Light Offering Prayers
Image courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
A series of 'lamp aspiration prayers' (mar me'i smon lam) to accompany the offering of butter lamps, lights or candles:
- The Torch of Wisdom: A Method of Offering Butter Lamps Based on Ārya Mañjuśrī by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This method of offering butter lamps on a large scale in connection with the Highest Yoga tantra practices of Mañjuśrī is for use on major anniversaries related to the Buddha’s life and other special occasions.
This aspiration prayer to accompany the offering of butter-lamps is said to have been recited by Atiśa and his disciples in the shrines they visited throughout the central and southern provinces of Tibet.
This brief prayer of aspiration to accompany the offering of a butter lamp (mar me'i smon lam) is part of the feast offering (tshogs mchod) for the Accomplishing the Land of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing sgrub) cycle of practices based on the original Namchö (gnam chos) revelation of Tertön Mingyur Dorje (1645–1667).
This short light offering prayer (mar me'i smon lam) by Gatön Ngawang Lekpa, which is commonly recited in the Sakya tradition, encourages the practitioner to visualize a lamp that is as vast as the universe and that shines with the light of a billion suns, as the basis for infinite 'offering-clouds'.
In these two verses of aspiration, the celebrated throneholder of Labrang Tashikhyil extols the virtues of electric lamps (glog sgron), which unlike traditional butter lamps (mar me) do not emit smoke or unpleasant burning smells.
This light offering prayer is commonly recited in conjunction with Narak Kongshak within the Nyingma tradition. It is extracted from Casket of Siddhis: A Framework for Attainment (sgrub pa'i khog dbub dngos grub sgrom bu), which is part of Tertön Nyima Drakpa's revelation known as Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance (Marig Munsel), a collection of Avalokiteśvara practices.