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Encyclopedia > Prayer beads

Prayer beads are traditionally used to keep count of the repetitions of prayers, chants or devotions by adherents of religion. Since the beads can be fingered in an automatic manner, they allow one to keep track of how many prayers have been said with a minimal amount of conscious effort, which in turn allows greater attention to be paid to the prayers themselves. For other uses, see Prayer (disambiguation). ...


There are three widely accepted uses for prayer beads:

  1. Repetition of the same devotion a set (usually large) number of times. This is the earliest form of prayer beads (the Japa Mala) and the earliest Christian form (the prayer rope). This is also the type in use by the Bahá'í Faith
  2. Repetition of several different prayers in some pattern, possibly interspersed with or accompanied by meditations.
  3. Meditation on a series of spiritual themes, e.g. Islam.

Contents

A japa mala or mala is a set of prayer beads popular in India and Tibet, often with 108 beads in number. ... -1... This article is about the generally recognized global religious community. ... For other senses of this word, see Meditation (disambiguation). ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ...

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'ís recite the phrase "Alláhu Abhá", a form of the Greatest Name, 95 times per day, sometimes using prayer beads. Baha'i prayer beads often are made from wood, stone , glass beads or pearls. This article is about the generally recognized global religious community. ... The official symbol of the Baháí Faith is the five-pointed star, as mentioned by Shoghi Effendi: Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him. ...


There are two main types of Baha'i prayer beads. One consists of 95 beads, often with the first 19 distinguished by size, color or some other means, and will often have five additional beads that are strung below. The other main type has 19 beads strung with the addition of five beads below. This counts Alláhu Abhá 95 times (19*5).



Buddhism

Main article: Buddhist prayer beads

Prayer beads, or Japa Malas, are also used in many forms of Mahayana Buddhism, often with a lesser number of beads (usually a divisor of 108). In Pure Land Buddhism, for instance, 27 bead rosaries are common. In China such rosaries are named "Shu-Zhu" ("Counting Beads"); in Japan, "Juzu". These shorter rosaries are sometimes called 'prostration rosaries', because they are easier to hold when enumerating repeated prostrations. In Tibetan Buddhism, often larger malas are used of for example 111 beads: when counting, they calculate one mala as 100 mantras, and the 11 additional beads are taken as extra to compensate for errors. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Juzu prayer beads. ... Japa, or Japam, is a spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of the God. ... The Malas are a large geographically dispersed caste found in Andhra Pradesh and several other states of India. ...


Christianity

The Desert Fathers (third to fifth century) used knotted ropes to count prayers, typically the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"). The invention is attributed to St Anthony or his associate St Pachomius in the fourth century. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... The Desert Fathers were Christian Hermits who lived in the Sahara desert of Egypt, beginning in about the third century. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... (4th century - 5th century - 6th century - other centuries) Events Rome sacked by Visigoths in 410. ... Christogram with Jesus Prayer in Romanian: Doamne Iisuse Hristoase, Fiul lui Dumnezeu, miluieÅŸte-mă pe mine păcătosul. ... Saint Anthony the Great (c. ... Pachomius, who died around AD 345 in Tabennisi, Egypt, was one of the founders of Christian monasticism. ...


Roman Catholics and Anglicans use the Rosary as prayer beads. The Rosary (its name comes from the Latin "rosarium," meaning "rose garden"), is an important and traditional devotion of the Roman Catholic Church, combining prayer and meditation in sequences (called "decades") of an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be to the Father, as well as a number of other prayers (such as the Apostle's Creed and the Hail Holy Queen) at the beginning and end. Traditionally a complete Rosary involved the completion of fifteen decades, but John Paul II added an additional five. Our Lady of Lourdes - Mary appearing at Lourdes with Rosary beads. ... The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father, also known as Gloria Patri, is a doxology, a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian liturgies. ... The Apostles Creed is an early statement of Christian belief, probably from the first or second century. ... The Salve Regina or Hail Holy Queen is a Christian hymn and prayer to the Virgin Mary. ... Official papal image of John Paul II. His Holiness Pope John Paul II, né Karol Józef Wojtyła (born May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, Poland), is the current Pope — the Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. ...


Roman Catholics also use prayer beads to pray chaplets. The term Chaplet is used commonly to designate Roman Catholic prayer forms which use prayer beads, but are not necessarily related to the Rosary. ...


Eastern Christians use loops of knotted wool (or occasionally of beads), called chotki or komboschinia to pray the Jesus Prayer. Although among the Orthodox, their use is mainly restricted to monks and bishops, being less common among laity or secular clergy. Among Russian Old Believers, a prayer rope made of leather, called lestovka, is more common, although this type is no longer commonly used now by the Russian Orthodox Church. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "The rosary is conferred upon the Greek Orthodox monk as a part of his investiture with the mandyas or full monastic habit, as the second step in the monastic life, and is called his 'spiritual sword'." [1] Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions and churches which developed in Greece, the Balkans, the rest of Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. ... -1... Christogram with Jesus Prayer in Romanian: Doamne Iisuse Hristoase, Fiul lui Dumnezeu, miluieşte-mă pe mine păcătosul. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... In the context of Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers (Russian: ) separated after 1666 - 1667 from the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon. ... -1... Sketch of a lestovka made by Russian ethnographist Lestovka or vervitsa (Russian: ) is a special type of prayer rope sometimes referred as prayer beads made of leather used by Russian Old Believers, currently in use by Russian Orthodox Oldritualist Church. ... The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian: ), also known as the Orthodox Christian Church of Russia, is a body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow, who in turn is in communion with the other patriarchs and primates of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Greek Orthodox Church (Greek: Hellēnorthódoxē Ekklēsía) can refer to any of several hierarchical churches within the larger group of mutually recognizing Eastern Orthodox churches. ... A Mantle is a piece of clothing, similar to a robe but open on the front side and often sleeveless. ...


In the mid-1980s Anglican prayer beads or "Christian prayer beads" were developed in the Episcopal Church. They have since been adopted by some Protestants. The set consists of 33 beads (representing the 33 years of the life of Christ) arranged in four groupings of symbolic significance. Many Anglo-Catholics use the Catholic rosary in addition to or instead of Anglican prayer beads. Anglican Prayer Beads Sometimes known as the Anglican Rosary, Christian prayer beads, or ecumenical prayer beads, Anglican Prayer Beads are a loop of strung beads which Anglicans and other Christians use as a focus for prayer. ...

Pearls of Life
Pearls of Life

The contemporary Pearls of Life, invented by Martin Lönnebo, Bishop Emeritus of the Linköping Diocese of the Swedish Lutheran Church, is a set of 18 beads, some round and some elongated, arranged in an irregular pattern. Each one has its own significance as a stimulus and reminder for meditation, although they can also be used for repetitive prayer. Image File history File links Pearls_of_Life. ... Image File history File links Pearls_of_Life. ... The diocese of Linköping is a Swedish diocese. ... Bishop Lennart Koskinen with some young people. ...


Hinduism

Main article: Japa mala

The earliest use of prayer beads can be traced to Hinduism, where they are called Japa Mala. Japa is the repeating of the name of a deity or a mantra. Mala (Sanskrit:माला; mālā) means 'garland' or 'wreath'.[1] Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... A japa mala or mala is a set of prayer beads popular in India and Tibet, often with 108 beads in number. ... A japa mala or mala is a set of prayer beads popular in India and Tibet, often with 108 beads in number. ... Japa, or Japam, is a spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of the God. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


Japa mala are used for repetition of a mantra, for other forms of sadhana (spiritual exercise), and as an aid to meditation. The most common mala have 108 beads.[2] The most common materials used for making the beads are Rudraksha seeds (used by Shaivites) and Tulsi stem (used by Vaishnavites). In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... A Sadhana is a ritualistic meditation practice from Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions which is followed in order to achieve a form of spiritual purification or enlightenment. ... For other senses of this word, see Meditation (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Roxb. ... Saivite: of Saivism; belonging to Saivism, the Hindu denomination that worships God Siva as the Supreme God. ... Binomial name Ocimum tenuiflorum L. Synonyms Ocimum sanctum L. The Tulsi (also known as Tulasi) plant or Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is an important symbol in many Hindu religious traditions. ... Vaishnavites are followers of Vaishnavism in which Vishnu or His avatars are worshipped as the supreme God. ...


Islam

Main article: Misbaha

In Islam, prayer beads are referred to as Misbaha, and contain 99 beads, corresponding to the 99 Names of Allah. Sometimes only 33 beads are used, in which case one would cycle through them 3 times to equal 99. Use of the misbaha to count prayers and recitations is an evolution of Muhammad's practice of using the fingers of his right hand to keep track. While in pretty wide use today, some adherents of Wahhabism shun them as an intolerable innovation, preferring to stick to the exact method believed to have been used by the Prophet. For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... A Misbaha A Misbaha (Arabic: مسبحة) or Subha (Arabic:سبحة) is a string of prayer beads, probably of Persian origin, which is traditionally used by Muslims to keep track of counting in Tasbih. ... A Misbaha A Misbaha (Arabic: مسبحة) or Subha (Arabic:سبحة) is a string of prayer beads, probably of Persian origin, which is traditionally used by Muslims to keep track of counting in Tasbih. ... The 99 Names of God, according to Islamic tradition, are the names of God that God, or Allah, has revealed to man. ... Wahhabism (Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya الوهابية) or Wahabism is a conservative 18th century reform movement of Sunni Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, after whom the movement is named. ...


They are most commonly made of wooden beads, but also of olive seeds, ivory, amber, pearls or plastic. For other uses, see Wood (disambiguation). ... Binomial name L. 19th century illustration The Olive (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean region, from Lebanon and the maritime parts of Asia Minor and northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Amber (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pearl (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ...


Sikhism

Sikhs use a Mala with 108 beads. they also use prayer string made of wool with 99 knots rather than beads. Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ...


Nazorean Gnostics

The ancient Gnostic term for prayer beads was "Humarta", or "Humria" in the plural. It meant not only prayer bead, but also amulet, charm, joint, knot, stone, and spirit of an amulet. The Gnostic Mala (humarta) has 101 beads: "The Mystery of the mala (prayer beads) is to say one and to hear a hundred and one." (Secret Teachings of the Angelic Kings, 42)


These 101 beads are separated into three sections of 33 beads each, with two divider beads between them. The two divider beads represent Yeshu and Maria, the two male and female aspects of the Gnostic Redeemer. The 33 beads represent the thirty-two and one mysterious paths spoken of by Yeshu in the Pistis Sophia. These are the 33 degrees of Nazirutha. The mantra of the eastern branch of Gnosis (Bonpo) is OM MA TRI MU YE SA LE DU. One mantra of the western Gnosis is HI OR-YA DIR-KA KUSH-TA AI which means the Living Gods, Buddhas (Orya), Dharma (Dirka) and Sangha (Kushta). This Aramaic mantra can also be interpreted to mean: "Our Life, Light, Way and Truth."[3]


Non-denominational

Non-denominational prayer beads borrow from many traditions without adhering solely to any one religion or creed. They are neutral in nature so that, as a spiritual practice, they can fit into an already existing belief set as easily as they can stand on their own. A non-denominational church (usually Christian) is a religious organization which does not necessarily align its mission and teachings to an established denomination. ...


By selecting symbols and choosing the ways in which to work with them, non-denominational prayer beads can be personalized.


Non-denominational prayer beads can act as a focusing tool in prayer or meditation, adding a tactile element to those practices. They can be used as an anchor for affirmations and even projects (like writing projects.) When used with repetitive phrases they can provide comfort and ease the grieving process.


In his book, Simply Pray, Erik Walker Wikstrom offers a modern prayer practice that can be customized to meet individual spiritual needs. Using a set of 28 beads as a frame of reference, the practice includes centering and entering-in prayers, breath prayers and prayers of Naming, Knowing, Listening and Loving.


References

  1. ^ Apte, V S. A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary. 
  2. ^ The Significance of the number 108.. Retrieved on 20071223. 
  3. ^ http://www.essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=203&Itemid=317

See also

-1... Kombológia of different materials: turquoise, obsidian, Faturan and yemeni amber Komboloi also spelled Kompoloi (Greek: Κομπολόι) is a Greek fidget toy, used to relieve stress and generally pass time. ...

External links

  • The History and Use of the Anglican Rosary

  Results from FactBites:
 
+Beads of Inspiraton ~ About Prayer Beads ~ Rosaries and Chaplets by Via Rosa+ (4280 words)
Beads variously strung together, according to the kind, order, and number of prayers in certain forms of devotion, are in common use among Catholics as an expedient to ensure a right count of the parts occurring in more or less frequent repetition.
Among travelers; records of prayer beads is the famous instance, by Marco Polo, of the King of Malabar, who wore a fine silk thread strung with one hundred and four large pearls and rubies, on which he was wont to pray to his idols.
Moslem prayer beads are strung in 33- or 99-bead strands.
Anglican prayer beads - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (450 words)
When the loop of beads is opened into a circular shape, these particular beads form the points of a cross within the circle of the rosary, hence the term "cruciform." Next after the cross on Anglican Prayer Bead sets is a single bead termed the "invitatory" bead, giving the total of thirty-three.
The beads used are made of a variety of materials, such as precious stones, wood, dried and painted seeds, coloured glass, antique jewelry, or jade.
While both types of rosaries are intended as aids to contemplative prayer, the most common prayers used with the Catholic rosary focus on the seminal events in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and venerate Mary.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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