Re: prayer beads

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Posted by zenair on February 24, 19100 at 14:28:04:

In Reply to: prayer beads posted by rosie on February 16, 19100 at 19:26:54:

: does there have to be a certain number of beads? also what is the correct sanskrit name for them.
: thank you
: rosie.

Hello Rosie.
Yes, Tony gives you good news. Prayer beads are indeed called mala and the proper number for Tibetan Buddhism is 108. I have both a skull rosary and a regular jade rosary and each consists of 108 beads.

I also have some "walk around" smaller rosaries which consist of 18 beads and a "center" bead which totals 19. Now the way I use this set of beads is that I say the mantra on the 18 beads and when I reach the center bead, I use this bead to offer what I'm doing for all sentient beings and either say three extra mantras on this bead or alternate it by saying the Three Jewels (Refuge)three times. On this web site, there is an excellent article by a Lama about saying the rosary and that saying "om-mani-padme-hum" one-thousand times each day will ensure good karma for your children. I recommend you find it and read it.

One last item. I also see some rosaries with 22 beads on them. I have been told by the Chinese owner of the store that various Buddhist schools use various numbers (like Amida Buddha) in their worship. Interestingly enough, I see a new "fad"(?)in jewelery where many women are wearing these beads on their wrists (my spouse for example wears three or four of them, of different colors and different material on her writs). Admittedly, this wearing of the mala was not its original intent, but when I see it on a person's wrist, it allows me to refocus my mind on the Buddhist truths rather than let it ramble.

I send this information to you with much compassion and mindfully promote that eternal bliss be yours. Om-ma-ni-pad-me-hum to you.

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