The Sutra of Arya Maitreya says, “Those who offer a thousand lights or a thousand blue utpali flowers or make the pinnacle of a stupa or a holy form will be reborn when Maitreya Buddha shows the deed of gaining enlightenment and will receive his first Dharma teaching.”
Offering light, in particular, is a special door of dependent arising for quickly completing the accumulation of merit and receiving great blessings. It is said in the second chapter of the Root Tantra of Chakrasamvara, who is a manifestation of Shakyamuni Buddha, “If you want sublime realizations, offer hundreds of lights.”
It is said in The Ten Wheel Sutra of the Essence of Earth (Kshitigarbha), “All comfort, happiness and peace in this world come from making offerings to the Rare Sublime Ones (the Triple Gem). Therefore, those who want comfort, happiness and peace should always try to make offerings to the Rare Sublime Ones.”
In general, all goodness in samsara and nirvana comes from making offerings to the Triple Gem, but specifically, different kinds of offerings bring you different benefits. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the fourth of the thousand buddhas of this fortunate eon, whose holy mind was enriched with the ten powers, announced in the Tune of Brahma Sutra Clarifying Karma that making light offerings brings you ten benefits:
- You become like a light in the world.
- You achieve (when born human) the clairvoyance of the pure flesh eye.
- You achieve the devas’ eye.
- You receive the wisdom of knowing what is virtue and what is nonvirtue.
- You are able to eliminate the darkness of ignorance, the concept of inherent existence.
- You receive the illumination of wisdom; even in samsara you never experience darkness.
- You receive much wealth and enjoyment.
- You are reborn in the deva or human realm.
- You quickly become liberated.
- You quickly attain enlightenment.
Devas or human beings who accumulate the merit of making one light offering – or even a handful of flowers – will see the fully enlightened buddha, Maitreya.
Source: Rinpoche, Lama Zopa. Extensive Offering Practice. Oregon: FPMT, 2003.