An antique Tibetan handheld prayer wheel
An antique Tibetan handheld prayer wheel
An antique hand-held prayer wheel. This prayer wheel is made with silver and is very intricately carved with repousse work throughout. Prayer wheels in Tibetan culture is generally associated with older folks and used as an instrument to help focus and concentrate on praying and visualization. It is a staple accessory when circumambulating. Prayer wheels - mani khorlo in Tibetan, consists of a cylindrical wheel on a spindle made from metal or wood. Traditionally, a mantra- commonly Om mani padme hum -is inscribed in Newari language of Nepal, on the outside of the wheel. The prayer wheel, has a cylindrical, generally sheet-metal body (often beautifully embossed) mounted on a metal shaft or pin set into a wooden or metal handle that turns on a circular bearing commonly made of shell. The cylinder itself is affixed with a cord or chain terminating in a metal weight allowing it to be spun by a slight rotation of the wrist.
The cylinder holds scrolls that have thousands of mantras written on them and are wrapped around the spindle. The practitioner most often spins the wheel clockwise, as the direction in which the mantras are written is that of the movement of the sun across the sky. The idea of spinning mantras relates to numerous Tantric practices whereby the Tantric practitioner visualizes mantras revolving around the nadis and especially around the meridian chakras such as the heart and crown.
This antique prayer wheel is made of silver, gilded at certain locations, and is highly carved with detailed repousse work and topped by a carved finial. This prayer wheel is a total of 11-/2" in height.
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