I offer all the light that there is,
Corresponding to the Lord of Infinite Light's
Immeasurable wisdom light qualities,
As an offering of vividly illuminating light.
May I and all other beings go from the light of the higher realms
To the ultimate light of the supreme definitively excellent state
Effortlessly and automatically
And may the illuminating light of wisdom forever blaze brightly for us all.
-- Thinley Norbu
The mantra om vajra aloké ah hum is part of the light offering prayer by the great master Atisha.
On a profound level, the offering of light represents awareness which illuminates itself as well as the surrounding environment. Aloke, or light, lustre, or splendour, also means vision, looking, seeing, and beholding.
Thus the Buddha talked about the importance of lighting the lamp, and his last advice to his shishya Ananda was ‘Appa Deepo Bhava,’ – ”Be a lamp unto yourself.” Since the Buddha’s time, the gift of light has symbolized not only outer offering but also the most profound dawning of inner wisdom, and the beacon that will awaken all beings from the darkness of ignorance.
We trust that contributors to Lighting the Mahabodhi will share this deeper meaning and significance. To further inspire this understanding, we have included links to light offering prayers composed by some of the world’s greatest and most accomplished masters.