Butter Candles, candles that illuminate wisdom

Butter candles are used in nearly every Nepalese temple, household and altar for religious purposes. The light from the flame of a butter candle symbolizes the wisdom of the awakened mind, dispelling the darkness of delusion and mental obscuration.


Butter candles are usually lamps filled with ghee butter. Offering butter candles to God is considered to be the most powerful offering. It means one has chosen to drive away the darkness within and attain clear wisdom.

According to the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, in order to gain health, wealth or longevity, one has to accumulate merit through generous giving. Of all the methods for accumulating merit through generosity, offering butter candles is one of the best, second only to the practice of offering feast to the needy.

In the Buddhist Tradition, the candles symbolize the clarity of wisdom. Offering them creates harmony, and promotes success, prosperity, longevity, and world peace. Traditionally, butter lamps were also offered as a dedication to the dead. It was believed that the wisdom light from these candles guides them through their path to heaven.

Butter candles are an integral part of Nepalese lives.  Nepalese festivals and pujas are incomplete without butter candles. When you are in Nepal, you will not pass by any house that does not use butter candles-bet?

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