You are here > Home > Quick Navigation > Religions & Beliefs > Tibetan-buddhism

Tibetan People and the Prayer Wheel

Prayer wheels are the most common religious utensil in the regions of Tibetan Buddhism, and they can be seen almost everywhere.

In fact, this religious instrument was invented by the hinterland Buddhists, and was initially used by Chinese Buddhists around the 6th century.

There are two types of prayer wheels in Tibet, the bigger one is called Manitong (bucket-shaped prayer wheel), and the smaller one is called Manilun (wheel-shaped prayer utensil). Manitongs are made of wood (painted red usually) or copper, and are often placed in rows with a height of 1-2 meter under the eaves or along the corridors of monasteries. The Six Syllable Truth is engraved or written on the surface of the cylinder of Manitongs. There is a wooden frame over the bucket and bearings are installed on the top and bottom sides, so the bucket can start rotation just by a slight push. The bucket is hollow, with sutras inside. The times of rotation of the bucket symbolize the times of reciting the Buddhism Incantation by the believers. However, the bucket should be turned clockwise.

Silver or copper is forged to produce Maniluns on which the Six Syllable Truth and some other patterns were carved, and a handle is installed on the bottom of the wheel. With the wheel in the right hand and prayer beads in the left hand, the believers, especially the elderly, turn the wheel while murmuring the Six Syllable Truth. This has become a representative phenomenon in the areas of Tibetan Buddhism.

Quick Navigation

New Article