Photographer's Note

Buddha´s birthday
The Story of the Lotus Lantern
At the time of the Buddha, a poor woman named Nanda wished to make a lantern offering in honor of the highest and noblest person in the world. Thus all day she begged for money and took the two coins she earned to a street corner where the Buddha was to pass. There she lit a lantern and prayed with her whole heart;
"Lord Buddha, I am so poor that I am not able to make any offering. Although this is not very much, I have lit a lantern and if this may bring even a little merit upon myself, I will be able to attain Budhahood in a future life."
As the night grew deeper and a strong wind started blowing, the embellished lanterns of the king and the aristocrats died out while only Nanda's lantern shone brightly. Buddha's assistant and one of the 10 disciples, Ananda, attempted to extinguish the lantern with the end of his robe but met with no success. The Buddha a spoke to Ananda thus:
" Ananda, do not waste your energy. The lantern was lit by a poor woman with great devotion and sincerity and therefore it will not die out. Due to her pious act lighting the lantern, this lady will most surely attain enlightenment after 30 cons(i.e. a very long time). Her name at that time will be "sumidungwang Yorae"(the Lantern Light Tathagata of Mt. Meru).

A lantern offering is that lighting a lantern before the Buddha and praising his benevolence with a bright, clear and untainted heart, and pledging to take refuge in his great mercy and compassion on the road to one's own enlightenment.

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