Lighting lamps has become a method of making offerings since the Buddha’s time. Among the Ten Offerings (incense, flowers, lamps, ointments, fruit, tea, food, treasures, beads, and clothing), lamps are essential as they symbolize radiance and wisdom. Because the minds of sentient beings are hindered by the afflictions of ignorance, one therefore lights lamps before the Buddhas so that any darkness within can be illuminated by both this light and the wisdom-radiance of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, giving birth to a wise solution and the perfection of our own wisdom.
Various scriptures such as the Avatamsaka Sutra, Great Assembly Sutra, and Bodhisattva Treasury Sutra, note the merits of offerings lights. In the Merits of Bestowing Lamps Sutra, if one sincerely makes offerings of lights to the Buddha within pagodas or temples, one may be blessed in various ways including: