The Butter Lamp Aspiration Prayer

To join in this practice, we encourage everyone to read the Butter Lamp Aspiration Prayer at least once during the day. May all beings benefit!

 The Butter Lamp Aspiration Prayer

As for each butter lamp vessel –
The rim equals the surrounding great thousand[1] worlds!
Make it so!
As for what is inside –
The wick becomes only as tall and wide as Mount Meru[2]!
The melted butter becomes merely the ocean around all of this!
Make it so!

As for the buddhas–
In each one of the billion worlds of this world system,
a 100 million buddhas arise!

Make it so!

As for the number of butter lamps –
Before each Buddha in each of the billion worlds,
a 100 million vessels appear!

Make it so!

This light clears away all the darkness of ignorance throughout cyclic existence, from the highest peak down to the very worst of the hells. Now, seeing directly, the pure realms of all the buddhas arise in all directions.


E ma ho! Amazing! Really Amazing! Appearing, vivid and clear – this lamp!

I offer to the thousand-fold buddhas of this fortunate eon –
I offer to the entire universe, the ten directions of the pure realms, omitting none –
I offer to the lamas, yidams, dakinis, dharmapalas[3], and the assembly of mandala deities –

Having directly seen the pure realms of the perfect buddhas, may all sentient beings, starting with my own mother and father[4], in this lifetime and all places of birth, become indivisible from Amitabha[5], the protector himself.

By the power of the truth of the assembly composed of the three jewels[6] and the three roots[7], having made this prayer of aspiration, grant your blessings so that it may be quickly accomplished.


Make it so!

Composed by Atisha, heard at Utsang, in the area of Upper Lhasa where 18 people gathered and prayed together. Translated by Gyurme Dorje Lama with a little help from his friends.


[1] The Tibetan idiomatic expression “great thousand” equals 1,000 cubed or a billion.

[2] The axis mundi joins heaven & earth.

[3] “teachers, deities of meditation, accomplished women or female deities who guide the meditator, guardians of the Buddhist teachings”

[4] The offering goes first to our mother and father with whom we have an inherent connection.  From that feeling, our compassion extends outward to all who suffer.

[5] Amitabha translates to Limitless Light

[6] buddha, dharma, sangha

[7] lama, yidam, and dakini or dharmapala

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