An offering of light at Chinese Manjushri Class

16 August 2010 - 11:39pm Comments Off

Each Friday at 8pm, the Chinese-speaking members of Kechara House gather for a Chinese Manjushri Class session at Kechara House 2. Led by their facilitator Liaison Kok Yek Yee, the group seek to strengthen their practice by deepening their knowledge and understanding of the Dharma. Here, Yek Yee writes about their last session where a discussion on light offerings took place.

When I was a small child, my mother liked to bring me to the temple to pray and offer candles to Kuan Yin (Chenrezig) and other deities whose names I don’t even remember now. My mother told me that by making candle offerings, I would pass my exams very easily and my wishes would come true. Since she said that, every time I visited any temples, I would offer one or two candles for my mother and myself. However, although I made offerings for so many years, I did not really understand the meaning of making candle offerings; I just did it because I wanted to follow what my mother had taught me. It was a part of my childhood.

After I joined Kechara, I began to understand the real meaning of making candle offerings. Then, last week, our lovely Dharma brother Dr Hank gave a talk about the benefit and meaning of candle offerings. Dr Hank explained that making candle offerings is one of the best ways to help us collect merit to clear obstacles in our daily life and in our spiritual journey. Candle offerings can also help us to destroy ignorance, build a clear mind and guide us to achieve Enlightenment.

Dr Hank also shared that it is very good if we can make candle offerings during the Hungry Ghost Month and dedicate all the merits to them. When we do this, we not only focus on ourselves but on other sentient beings all around us. This is another way to help us develop compassion.

After his sharing, Dr Hank screened about 25 minutes of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s teaching on the benefits of butter lamp offerings. This teaching was given in Tsem Ladrang, Kathmandu, Nepal, at a time when Rinpoche was doing a butter lamp retreat there. A small butter lamp house had even been specially built in this ladrang and 100,000 butter lamp offerings were made in dedication of the growth of Kechara and Buddhism in the world.

Even though this retreat has been completed, Tsem Ladrang still continue the butter lamp offerings. If you are interested in sponsoring these offerings to be dedicated to your practice or special projects, your family, loved ones or all sentient beings, please contact Bonita Khoo (Tsem Ladrang, Kuala Lumpur) on +6012 623 3437.

Pilgrims offer butter lamps (Source: Wikipedia)

This is one of the benefits you receive from attending Manjushri classes – you learn more about how you can benefit both your worldly and spiritual life. At the same time, you also learn about the various different activities organised by the Kechara organisation, such as the upcoming Seventh Month Setrap puja, where you will have the precious opportunity to collect merit for you and your loved ones. For me, this class by Dr Hank also made me recall my mother’s kindness in teaching me how to make candle offerings when I was a child, as it has had a very good impact on my whole life.

There is lots to talk about and share at the Chinese Manjushri Class, where everyone can come and learn together! So please join us and bring Dharma into your life! For more information about the classes, please contact Kok Yek Yee at +6012 388 3390 or Dr Hank at +6017 371 9988. And if you’re interested in more of Rinpoche’s teachings, check out his blog postings!

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