Top 15 Buddhist Ritual Items

Buddhist Ritual Items

Buddhism was founded by Lord Gautam Buddha. It’s the fourth biggest religion in the world is Buddhism. This religion is mostly followed in Asia. Buddhism is an insight into the actual essence of the truth and spiritual creation. In Buddhism, the “Buddha” stands for “enlightened”. Buddhist rituals such as meditation are ways of transforming yourself to develop the virtues of consciousness, compassion, and knowledge.

The teaching of Buddha is to be kind, generous, patience, love, etc.  The five precepts that every Buddhist must follow are.

  • Don’t lie
  • Don’t kill
  • Don’t Steal
  • Don’t drink alcohol and take drugs
  • Don’t misconduct sex

Buddhist Ritual Items represent their cultural lives and it’s the symbols of their religion. Some items are the symbol of luck, good fortune, peace, life cycle, etc. Each Buddhist ritual item has its significant role and objective. The ritual items carry social norms and values. These ritual items are emotionally attached to Buddhist followers. They even used these items for ceremonies or some sort of Buddhist puja.

All the Buddhist ritual items are designed uniquely and well crafted. The ritual items are decorated with stone, jewelers, ornaments, metal crafted, silk, and many other valuable objects. These items are very attractive. There are many Buddhist ritual items. The top 15 Lists of Buddhist ritual items are as follows. 

Prayer Wheel

It’s an important ritual item of Buddhists. The prayer wheel is shaped in a cylinder and made from metal, stones, and wood. You can find different sizes of prayer wheels from hand-held wheels to big wheels. The hand-held prayer wheel is made of wooden or metal handles with cylinder shapes crafted from metal bodies. The big or medium prayer wheel is made of moving pillars on a building wall.

The Prayer Wheel is also known as the “Mani Wheel”. All the prayer wheels are well crafted and engraved by Buddhist (Sanskrit) mantras. The mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Buddhist language outside of the prayer wheel. This prayer wheel is used for meditation. The prayer wheel is spun clockwise. It helps to bring positive energy and purify negative energy or unintentional bad deeds.

It’s believed that spinning or turning the prayer wheel raises the possibilities to achieve reincarnation or nirvana. It’s a very powerful religious practice that is compared with the monks praying for their whole lives.

Mala Beads

The Sanskrit term for garland is “Mala”. “Threngwa” is the Tibetan word for mala. The mala beads are made of stone, wood, and seeds. The mala beads are connected by a thread, which contains an exact number of beads. The Buddhist mala consists of 108 beads. Each bead reflects a breath or mantra that you concentrate on before leaving and going on.

mala beads

You are considering 100 mantra recitations to have been completed every time you work around this mala and say a mantra for each bead. The extra 8 beads are “spare” to compensate for any errors or mistakes that you have made.

These mala beads are specially used for meditation and used for the chanting mantra. Mala is a technique used to keep mantra repetitions counted. Mantras are sacred syllables or prayers that are often frequently repeated. Monks used these mala beads to practice spiritual rituals. You can see malas beads in the hand of a Buddhist pilgrim.

Prayer Bell

It’s made of metal bodies and designed in a curved shape. There are many significant meanings of Buddhism bells. It may come in small hand-held size and a big curved size. The Sanskrit word for the bell is “Ghanta”. This prayer bell is used in ritual, prayer calls in Buddhist ceremony so that it can be heard even from a distance. By ringing the bell it creates an auspicious sound.

prayer bell

The bell ring may signify the Buddha’s spiritual voice teaching Dharma, as well as the call to safety and as a means of preventing evil spirits. The prayer bells are rung to worship. The bell is a musical instrument. Their tone is played as a musical offering to the Buddha.

Prayer Flags

It’s a colorful flag where many deities are placed with a Buddhist mantra. You can see everywhere in the Buddhist temples, Himalayas, river bridges. There are 5 different colors in the Prayer Flag. Each color is the symbol or represents the element. The first color is blue which represents the sky, white represents air, red represents fire, green represents water, and yellow represents earth.

prayer flag

These five elements are very important aspects of life. There are two prayer flags. One horizontal is known as “Lungta” and another one is vertical which is also known as “Dharchog” in the Tibetan language. The reason they are placed high above the roof is to float in the breeze. They are known to emit positive divine energies and to carry prayers like silent prayers through the wind.

It’s also believed that prayers and mantras in prayer flags will be blown away by the winds and bring goodwill, peace & harmony and give positive energy to the living beings. 

Dorje

The Sanskrit word for Dorje is “Vajra”. It’s also known as “Thunderbolt”. This is the important ritual item of Buddhism. Dorje is made of metal and engraved in a unique shape. It’s also believed that the vajra is the main and powerful weapon of Hindu rain-deity Indra. It helps to destroy the evil spirit and energy. The Dorje is often used during prayer and Buddhist ceremonies.

dorje

The vajra and bell are often seen in the hands of the deities in painting. In rituals, the monks hold the Dorje in the right and the bell in the left hand. It’s believed that the Dorje is the kindness, compassion, and love of the Buddha which is the masculine principle. The bell is knowledge, wisdom which is the feminine principle. These two principles should be merged to achieve enlightenment.

Tibetan Damaru

It’s a wooden drum made from the two sides and can be played by the motion of the hand from both sides. Tibetan Damaru is an instrument used in tantric rituals of Buddhism, that symbolizes the unity of the two facets of enlightenment in two pieces. There is also one side drum which is also known as Linga. The sound vibration produced from the damage will help to give positive energy.

 

Sankha

It’s a conch shell decorated with ornaments and jewelry. It’s light in color and similar to a snail shell. Sankha is also known as “dung kar”. It’s one of the eight religious Buddhist symbols. The Sanskrit term of the eight symbols is called “Ashtamangal”. Each auspicious symbol has its values and represents religious elements.

damaru

The Buddhists regard conch shells as religious items and use them to make prayer beads and ceremonial water vessels, and wind instruments such as this trumpet. The sound of a conch shell horn is regarded as a present and symbolizes the voice or teaching of the Buddha (dharma).

Buddhist Butter Lamp

This butter lamp is made with brass or wood. Its shape is similar to a cup with a long tail and on the top placed with butter, oil, and clothes to make it burn. You can see it in every Buddhist temple. It’s used as an offering practice in Buddhism. The most effective offering is Butter Lamps, as their illumination symbolizes wisdom. Just like light removes the darkness.

butter lamp

The butter lamp removes the darkness of delusion to achieve the bright light of Buddha. Butter lamps symbolize the clarity of knowledge in Buddhism. It’s believed that the butter lamps offering builds harmony and gives merit thus fostering success, stability, longevity, and global peace. Butter lamps are referred to as the “light of the Dharma”.

Singing Bowl

It’s designed in a round shape and made of metal. A thick wooden stick is made to produce a vibration. The sound is produced when the wooden stick hits the bowl and you have to move the stick in a clockwise direction. when played vibrates and creates a rich, strong sound. Many monks used this singing bowl for meditation. Singing Bowls are often considered to encourage relaxing and provide strong healing properties.

singing bowl

They are also known as Himalayan bowls. It’s used for many therapeutic purposes. The sound or vibration emits from singing bowls helps to reduce stress or depression, improve sleep and maintain blood pressure.

Incense

Incense burning is an old tradition in Buddhism. It takes place in Buddhist schools, temples, and homes. It’s a kind of offering to Buddha. The burning of the incense stick, which results in fragrant smoke, teaches the need to burn away undesirable attributes within oneself to expose the pure self within. Incense is used during chanting and meditation.

incense

The incense is made from herbs, flowers, and other natural sources. The fragrance of incense purifies the environment and encourages us to cultivate pure minds. This is also a vital ceremonial practice to remove evil spirits and energy.

Buddhist Door Protector

This is also a ritual item of Buddhists. Its handmade design is square wrapped in threads with a Buddhist mantra. You can place this amulet at the top of the doorstep and it helps to protect your family and home from bad fortune. It also helps to bring good luck at home. Most of the monks also place this amulet in temples and Buddhist schools to protect their environment and atmosphere from negative energy.

buddhist door protector

Buddhist Prayer Scarf

This Buddhist scarf is also known as “Khata”. The Buddhist scarf is made from silk and it’s written with many mantras. The Buddhist prayer scarf is a sign of good fortune. It’s a Buddhist ritual practice to give friends, family, or visitors a Buddhist scarf or greeting scarf as a means of making known your honored intentions and desires.

Buddhist ritual item brocade banner

It symbolizes a safe trip when offered as a farewell gesture. It symbolizes welcome as it is offered to visitors.

Brocade Banner

It’s a handmade banner that is decorated with bright panels on a golden yellow backdrop.  The brocade banner is a religious banner with 8 auspicious symbols which are also known as “Ashtamangal”. The symbols are Parasol, Conch Shell, Treasure Vase, Victory Banner, Dharma WhLord Golden Fish, Endless Knot, Lotus Flower. These icons have a particular divine meaning and It’s considered a good fortune in Buddhism.

Buddhist ritual item brocade banner

Protection Amulet

This protection amulet is a kind of necklace. It’s made with a small image of Buddha or other deities along with a Buddhist mantra and a paper dipped into saffron water, then dried and folded with silk thread. You can wear this amulet as a good fortune and can put it in your purse or pocket. 

protection amulet

Buddhist Door Curtain

This Door curtain is made from silk brocade. You can see many designs of door curtains in Buddhist temples, schools, homes, and monasteries. This door curtain is placed in the entrance door. It believes that symbolic door curtains bring good luck and protect from negative influence.

buddhist door curtain

Conclusion

Therefore, here you can see the top 15 lists of Buddhist ritual items. These items are used in every Buddhist ritual, occasion, and ceremony. You can find all these rituals items in monasteries, Buddhist temples, schools, homes, etc. All these religious items you can purchase from a handicraft shop. After going through each ritual item you will have a sound knowledge of the Buddhist culture and its religious practices. 

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