Prayer wheels are as much used as meditation tools as well as a means of generating and spreading positive energy. Used for centuries in the Tibetan culture, the hand held versions are used as personal devotional items while the larger ones are used around Buddhist stupas and in monasteries. Filled with the rolled up scrolls with the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” written hundreds upon thousands of time on the scroll, it is believed that a single spin of the prayer will activate the manta as many times as it is inscribed upon the scroll. The activated mantras benefit all living beings from the smallest organism and insects to the larger animals and human beings. Happiness is believed to be the relief of suffering; the release from desire, pain, hunger and thirst. In the short mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, the wish for the suffering of all living beings is evoked, a compassion and empathy for all beings.
The prayer wheels are spun in homes and by pilgrims who all wish for the release of suffering. In homes hours are spent spinning the wheel and in the case of pilgrims, days and months are dedicated to the altruistic repetition of the mantra and the spinning of the wheel.
Antique prayer wheels are very difficult to distinguish from modern conventional ones because the construction is the same.Prayer wheels are made the same way that they have been made for centuries, being completely hand hammered and hand forged. In days gone by, the scrolls were all hand written but with the advent of printing and copy machines, the wheels can be filled with even more mantras, printed in small and even script. Larger and multiple prayer wheels are desired over smaller ones as they contain more mantras, thus multiplying the effects of a single spin of the wheel.
In our modern world, prayer wheels are good to hang in an areas where people walk by frequently such as your front door, or near your kitchen. Wall mounted styles with wood carved by traditional Newari artisans of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal hold the metal or bone prayer wheels that are made in Patan, Nepal. Alternatively, table top versions can grace your alter or coffee table. Prayer wheels are another of the arts have been made for centuries as family traditions, thus perfecting the craftsmanship through lifetimes of experience. Hang a prayer wheel at the entrance to your home or meditation space and begin to generate compassion on a regular basis.
Table Top Prayer Wheel
Copper Sheet being hammered for a wheel.
Wall mounted prayer wheel in a wood frame.