Prayer wheel
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABR 025

 Code: ABR 025

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1700 - 1800

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 9.3 x 14.5 x 9.3

  Materials: Copper and silver

Prayer wheel

Prayer wheels are common ritual artefacts used in Tibetan Buddhism in order to accumulate merits. The cylinder is filled with a long strip of rolled-up paper bearing printed or inscribed mantras Accompanied by recitations in a state of concentration and devotion, the clockwise spinning of such wheels is believed to produce many merits by scattering and distributing the mantras they contain throughout the universe. They can be used by monks and nuns but are especially popular with Buddhist lay practitioners and devotees. Many types of prayer wheels exist of different size and shape. The perimeters of large stupa monuments and religious buildings are often lined with large prayer wheels made of copper. These are constantly kept in motion by countless worshipers while circumambulating around the monuments reciting mantras.

This model consists of an outer copper cylinder containing a second silver cylinder ornate with gilded auspicious symbols and offerings, and filled with mantras. Meant to stand on a table, the spinning movement is applied by turning the shaft. The most common type is the handheld prayer wheel spun by a slight rotation of the wrist.