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BUDDHIST RITUAL ITEMS

Buddhist ritual items speak to various aspects of the Buddhist religion and belief system. Different items have different roles in Buddhism. Ordinarily, Buddhists leave offerings and endowments to a Buddha in the expectation that it will bring them the best of luck and fortune. The ritual tools can help in guaranteeing that this cycle works consistently and that the Buddha hears the devotee’s desires.
Most Buddhists use ritual in the quest for their spiritual desires. Common devotional practices include making merit, making a goal, making offerings, reciting the traditional text, and receiving a blessing. Most Tibetan tools utilized by the monks are ornate and very much well crafted.

They will in general come in different shapes, textures, and colors of rare metals and stones. Gold is a common metal among the various ritual object. There are a lot of ritual items like Buddha statues, Meditation cushions, Buddha prayer flags, Tingsha cymbals, Incense burner, Wrist mala, Tibetan singing bowl, Thangka painting, and many more.
To help you with understanding the significance and uniqueness of these Tibetan treasures, here are some of the most important dharma supplies and their short description. 

Buddhist prayer Bell

Buddhist prayer bell is one of the most important traditional Tibetan ritual tools. It is small in size and is comprised of sparkling metal or gold. It is a luxurious handle that structures into a curved bell and the highest point of the handle appears to be like a crown. The patterns made in these ringers are solid and complex, which represents the entanglement of Buddhism.  The bell curve is simple and has repetitive simple patterns. The sound of the prayer bell is accepted to represent the voice of Lord Buddha, by amounting to the sound of “Dharma”. It also represents the time to begin the prayer and to answer a call for prayer.

Prayer Wheels

Tibetan prayer wheel is a hollow cylindrical wheel made from metal, stone, or wood. It is delightfully mounted on a rod handle made of wood or valuable metal. The prayer wheel is an indispensable piece of Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It is one important Tibetan tools that is mainly used in meditation.  It is believed that spinning prayer wheels brings wisdom, good karma, and induces positive energy. The inner portion of the prayer wheel has a scrolled paper with the handwritten or printed mantra. Similarly, the outer part of the wheel has Om Mani Padme Hum inscriptions. A prayer wheel contains the 8 auspicious symbols known as “Ashtamangala.” 

Prayer beads

The prayer bead is an important ritual item for Tibetan Buddhists. Prayer beads are made using different kinds of materials including rudraksha seeds, the wood of the tulsi plant, seeds from the Bodhi Tree, animal bone, or the lotus plant. They are also made from semi-precious stones like amethyst and carnelian. In Tibetan Buddhism, mala has 108 beads. One mala is considered as 100 mantras, and the eight additional mantras are then committed to all other beings of the world. Bigger mala utilize 111 beads, where one mala gets considered 100 mantras, and the remaining 11 extra mala beads get taken to compensate for mistakes.

Conch Shell

Conchs are tropical ocean snails that produce an enormous shell. They remove calcium salts from seawater and emit them as a shell in the normal Fibonacci arrangement. Conch produces strong material around the mouth of the shell. The conch shells speak to the wonderful sound of the dharma. This melodious sound produced from conch shells are said to awaken your wisdom and urge you to work for other’s welfare. The conch represents Buddha’s lessons and his reality of the dharma, and his call to work for the welfare of other beings. Additionally, it is one of eight promising symbols in Buddhism and is typically portrayed vertically, with a silk strip. The conch is additionally used to call religious assemblies in Buddhism. These ritual items serve both as a musical instrument and a container for holy water.

Vajra Dorje

Dorje is one of the most important Tibetan ritual items. It has a complex design and symbolizes the “thunderbolt” of enlightenment. During rituals, the Dorje is held in the right hand and the prayer bell on the other hand. Dorje represents male belief and the bell symbolizes wisdom. Buddhist ritual objects have been widely used by the monks and common people for quite a long time. They are regularly used in religious practices and other occasions. Moreover, these ceremonial things are a significant piece of Buddhism and Buddhist culture.

Singing bowl

Singing bowls or Tibetan singing bowls are metal bowls used in sound therapies and meditation. Its root dates back to Buddhist civilization based on the idea of sound vibration in the universe. It has roots during Buddhist progress and sound vibration in this infinite universe.  Both Rose quartz singing bowls and the traditional Singing bowls are used for meditation purposes as it produces deep penetrating vibration when rubbed with a wooden or metal hammer.

Prayer flag

Buddhist prayer flags date back thousands of years and are one of the oldest ritual items in Buddhism. Monks use these items with their symbols to balance the elements. Vertical prayer flags help to bring natural positive energy to everything. Prayer flags are of 5 colors including Red, White, Yellow, Green, and blue. Each tone color represents five elements i.e. fire, water, earth, air, and space respectively. Different symbols and mantras in these flags are believed to bring good health, fulfill wishes, overcome natural disasters, and prevent disease.

Tibetan butter lamp

The Tibetan Butter Lamp is found in all monasteries and Gumbas. It comprises of a gold plated cup that holds yak butter. The lamp symbolizes the illumination of wisdom. Every morning, monks take part in the morning ritual, which consists of an offering of the Tibetan butter lamp and seven other bowls containing other symbolic offerings. Pilgrims offer oil for butter lamp to gain favor.

Tibetan Incense

Incense has a spiritual significance in many different religions and cultures. Tibetan Incense represents the need to burn away negative energies and qualities to uncover the pure self within. The aroma of the cone incense decontaminates the atmosphere as the aroma spreads through our surroundings, similar to positive actions in our lives.

We hope this guide on Buddhist ritual items will help you in learning about these ancient objects and traditions.