Festival of Lights and Merit 2013
"Those who offer one thousand lights will be reborn when Maitreya Buddha shows the deed of gaining enlightenment and receive his first Dharma teaching." Arya Maitreya Sutra
At the Great Stupa of Enlightenment in Bodhgaya
Celebrating the Four Great Buddhist Festivals with offerings of lights, pujas and prayer flags at the holiest site in the universe at the four most auspicious times of the year to fulfil the wishes of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
The Four Great Buddhist Festivals
Commemorating the most significant events of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha's life, the four sacred celebrations in 2013 are:
- 15 Days of Miracles ( 11 February - 25 february 2013 )
- Enlightenment and Paranirvana ( 24-26 May 2013 )
- First Teaching ( 11 - 13 July 2013 )
- Descent from the Tushita god realm ( 23- 25 November 2013 )
The merit from making any offering on these days is said by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche to be multiplied one hundred million times, and offerings made in Bodhgaya are said to be eight times more powerful!
You can make your donation to the Festival of Lights and Merit at any time of the year.
"All comfort, happiness and peace in this world are received by making offerings to the Triple Gem, therefore those who like to have happiness, comfort and peace, always attempt to make these offerings."
Tenth Wheel of the Sutra of the Essence of the Earth
You can join us.
You are most welcome to join the Festival of Lights and Merit by sponsoring:
- Any number of the thousands of coloured electric lights adorning the entire Mahabodhi Stupa grounds
- Pujas (Tara, Guru and Protector Pujas) performed by the monks of Namgyal Monastery at Namgyal Monastery in Bodhgaya
- Prayer flags strung round the lake near to the Mahabodhi Stupa
Many thousands of lights are offered nightly around the Bodhi Tree on behalf of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the FLAM sponsors and the entire FPMT Mandala, using Rinpoche's Extensive Offering Practice to multiply the offerings and merit. These offerings and dedication prayers are made on each of the 15 Days of Miracles and on 3 nights for each of the other Festivals--24 days in total. The sponsors' names and personal dedications will be read at least once at each Festival.
After making your donation, please send your personal dedications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your FLAM donation will be used to fulfil our teachers' wishes. The donations help support your own centre, Root Institute's various projects and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Merit Box Fund.
- FLAM began 15 years ago to fulfill Rinpoche's wish for extensive light offerings at the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya.
- By accumulating skies of merit through making extensive offerings at these four most auspicious times of the year and then dedicating that merit appropriately, we can each fulfill Rinpoche's wishes for our own success, our spiritual practice and our ability to serve others.
The merit of your offerings will be dedicated for:
- All the sponsors
- The long lives of our holy gurus: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Osel Rinpoche and all FPMT lamas and teachers
- The preservation and spread of the pure Dharma
- The temporal and ultimate happiness of the sponsors and their loved ones
- The happiness of all sentient beings
- World peace
- And for all obstacles to FPMT projects to be removed and the quick success of all the projects.
Your light offerings will be made with great effort and care
Prior to each auspicious occasion, Root Institute staff carefully checks that all the lights are working properly. They then spend days hanging 100,000 rainbow-coloured electric lights along the trees and walls of the entire Mahabodhi Stupa grounds.
All sorts of permissions have to be obtained from the Temple Management Committee and from the local electrical authorities, forms are filled out and various charges are paid. Then on each night of the auspicious days Root Institute volunteers, FPMT students and/or other Dharma friends meet at the Bodhi Tree to offer the lights using Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Extensive Offering Practice. If it should rain, as it does during Saka Dawa, then the offering is made inside the shrine room. If it's too crowded, e.g. at Losar, then the offering is made as close to the Bodhi Tree as physically possible.
Rinpoche has advised Root Institute that EACH single recitation of the Actual Light Offering Prayer is equivalent to offering each of the 100,000 lights once. Therefore, on one night during the 15 Days of Miracles 2006, when 80,000 electric lights were offered by 35 students reciting the Actual Light Offering Prayer 6 times each, according to Rinpoche's advice, 16.8 million lights were offered on that one night alone! The total offerings during FLAM 2006 was more than 123 million lights!