The Altar

The light of candles is an offering symbolizing the wisdom of the Buddha.   Candles also represent the property of wisdom or the Buddha’s enlightened spiritual property and the potential to become aware of our innate Buddha nature. 

Candles stand for the truth of non-substantiality or the latent potential of life.  Since it extinguishes darkness and makes all things visible, light expresses the Buddha’s virtue of wisdom so we also have expressions like “Light of the Law,” “Light of the Buddha, and “Light of Wisdom.”  Burning candles thus also signifies incinerating earthly desires and the flame of wisdom in the Buddha nature.  Electric or battery operated candles are also used, especially where young children are present.