The small temple at the Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple) in Kathmandu contained hundreds of candles. This person was one of the people who tended the candles – removing the spent candles from the tray and replacing with a new candle. The big bowl in front of the tender contained a liquid and a wick which was constantly burning.
The heat from the candle rose and caused the object near his head to spin. This object is a prayer wheel and each spin counts as a prayer. The heat from the burning candle ensure the prayers never cease.