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Prayer Wheel

Prayer Wheel, Tibet religious obejct
Prayer Wheel is a common means of rogation for Tibetan Buddhists, especially popular with the poor-sighted, hard of hearing, and the illiterate. In the streets, squares and monasteries of Tibet, you can always encounter some Tibetans turning Prayer Wheels by the right hand and beads by the left, while still murmuring the Mantra 'Om Mani Padme Hum'. The Prayer Wheel is shaped like a bucket, with an axle in the middle and a handle at the bottom so that the wheel can be rotated with the hand conveniently. It is generally made of bronze, gold and silver. The outer surface is usually inscribed with delicate patterns and mantras, while rolled sutras are put inside. Rotating a Prayer Wheel can accumulate many merits for the Tibetan. It is said that rotating Prayer Wheel for a full-circle equals reciting sutras once. Buddhists follow clockwise while followers of Bon counterclockwise.

Prayer Wheels around Potala Palace, Lhasa

The Hand-held Prayer Wheel is of limited size. The larger ones can be measured in meters, and are usually made of bronze and wood. They often line the passages of monasteries and shrines for worshippers to push when passing by. A Prayer Wheel can also be driven by an outside force, such as wind, water and fire, which will then be sanctified by touching the wheel and send the good to every being it touch later.

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