In January of 2020, the world’s attention turned to Australia, where the worst wildfires experienced in decades have destroyed homes, displaced people, killed animals, and left large swaths of the country devastated.
In light of this tragedy, one thousand butter lamps were offered by the Tibetan Nuns Project on behalf of all our nuns and staff, praying to give strength to the victims to overcome this disaster.
“We want to express our sadness, love, and support for all those affected by the devastating Australian bush fires, for the vast species of wildlife that have been destroyed, and for every soul that has been hit at varying degrees. May all heal with the love, support, and care of people around them. May one never lose hope to work towards a holistic space for everyone to live in.”
Those Tibetan Buddhist nuns in India who have sponsors living in Australia are very concerned about the safety and well-being of their sponsors.
Tibetan Butter Lamp Offering
Offering butter lamps is deeply ingrained in the Tibetan tradition. Butter lamps are part of traditional daily Tibetan puja and serve a variety of purposes, including aiding focus and meditation, providing a symbolic flame to light the path towards liberation, and facilitating the cultivation of merit for those who sponsor the lamps’ fuel which is usually butter or oil.
Tibetan butter lamps may be offered for many occasions, such as when you or someone you know is in trouble. They may also be offered when someone is starting a new venture, to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or graduation, or to say thank you.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Message to Australians
On January 8, 2020, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to the Australian Prime Minister to express his sympathy and deep sadness about the bushfires that have caused such devastating damage.
Writing to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison from the holy city of Bodh Gaya, His Holiness said:
“It is simply heart-wrenching to see reports of these ferocious infernos, while the personal bravery of so many volunteers who have come together as firefighters is an inspiration.
“I offer my condolences to the families of those who have died and to the many people who have lost their homes in these fires.
“It is also becoming increasingly clear that a great number of birds and animals have died in the fires — this is also very distressing.
“I would like to commend your government and the respective state governments for the measures they have taken to provide victims with necessary support and assistance.
“I am heartened by the generous solidarity being shown by the global community for those who have been affected. Disasters like this remind us that humanity is one community. Even on an individual level, each and every one of us must take steps to counter global warming.
“As you may know, I have been able to visit Australia quite regularly over the years and have been deeply touched by the friendship and affection Australians have shown me, as well as the interest they have taken in my efforts to promote human values and peace of mind.”