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Tibetan Carpets : Their Different Types & Designs

There are mainly two types of Tibetan Carpets or Rugs. One is Tiger Rugs and other is Wangden rugs. At the end of 19th century, the American designers and buyers took great interest in Tibetan style rugs, making Tibetan rugs even more famous.

Because of the modern technologies the Tibetan cultures and tradition have become clearer to the world allowing people to know about their art and culture. Making of the Tibetan rugs is one of the cultures unfold due to the technologies. Each and every rug is special because of their unique, ancient designs. Carefully  hand woven Tibetan rug tells us the story of the skills and dedication of craftsmen involved in making them and overall magnificent mysterious art of Tibet.

Types of Tibetan Carpets:

Tiger Rugs:

It is said that the western collectors were more interested in the Tibetan tiger rugs as they used to have striking resemblance to the real tiger skinOne type of these rugs is called the whole pelt which includes the legs and the face of tiger. In the Buddhist culture tigers are commonly seen along with the wrathful deities of Vajrayana tradition. It is believed that the tiger skin provides protection to the person involved in the meditation. On the one hand tiger skins are seen in the male deities while on the other hand leopard skin like rug is seen used in the female wrathful deities.

Tibetan Carpets
Tiger Rugs

Wangden rugs:

These types of rugs have looser weave hence the lower knot count and have a thick shaggy fringe. These rugs are said to have their presence widespread at one time but currently they are only woven in the Wangden valley, Tibet. Wangden rugs were originally used by the monks in monasteries as sitting carpets. Wangden carpets differ from knotted Tibetan carpets in both structure and design. The knotting method is unique and the rug backing is ‘warp-faced’.

Tibetan Carpets Double Dorje
Wangden Rugs

The wangden rug comes in different types according to size:

  • Meditation mats: They are small sized rugs used mostly for single persons meditation or seating purpose.
  • Runner rugs: They are longer in length and tends to provide more seating space for multiple people.
  • Standard mats: The traditional Tibetan mat size of roughly size 3ft*6ft commonly used as area rug.
  • Door mats: They are smaller rugs used commonly for the decorative purpose in the doorway or rooms.
  • Door carpets:They are type of carpets used as curtain on door mainly seen on Tibetan Home.
  • Customizable size: They are custom sized rugs made upon the demand of the consumer.

Different designs of the Tibetan Carpets:

The traditional Tibetan rugs have large variety of design, pattern and symbols .The Tibetan rug making is not as strict as Tibetan thangka paintings so the weavers have more degree of freedom in combining different symbols and colors. Some of the common designs are:

Medallions:

This design can be found with one or more medallions in the middle or in geometric pattern on the carpet.Typically they come with Tibetan border pattern but some even come in shape of flowers, mandalas like design or  even have Chinese symbol of longevity.

Tibetan mandala lotus carpet rug
Tibetan Rug with Medallion Design

Dragons:

The dragon design is one of the traditionally associated with Tibetan pattern. Often believed to bring power, wisdom and good luck the dragons are crafted with same belief into the rug. Dragon on the traditional Tibetan tugs are seen holding the Buddhist jewel on one claw flying in the air. And often enhanced by the designers own color choices and cloud designs.

tibetan rug dragon carpet vertical
Tibetan Rug with Dragon Design

Flowers:

Floral pattern are one of the main design element in the Tibetan rugs. Even though flowers designs are mostly just taken as decorative designs.They have deep meaning rooted in the Tibetan folk or Buddhism.The mostly commonly seen flowers in the rug are lotus, peach and peonies.

Tibetan Carpet Flower Rug spiritual gift
Floral Designed Tibetan Rug

Tibetan Mythical Creatures:

The snow lions and pheonix are believed to common mythical creatures related to the Tibetan folks.Snow lions has been the part of Tibetan flag and also a symbol of identity of the Tibet whereas phoenix is related to part of tibetan palsing yoga (the system of transformation) . Snow lions are usually used as a designing element in the Tibetan rugs generally shown in white color with green or blue mane.

Tibetan rug with pheonix

Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism:

The eight auspicious symbols are believed to be the attributes of the goddess of wealth. In Buddhism it refers to the offering given by the great vedic gods to the tathagatashakyamuni Buddha on his enlightenment. Each symbols have their own meanings and are common to be found designed in the rugs.

  1. The Golden Fishes: They symbolize the beings suffering and happiness
  2. The Dharma Wheel: It represents the symbol of spirituality and universe.
  3. The Conch shell: It represents the teachings of enlightenment.
  4. The Parasol: It symbolizes protection from evil.
  5. The Lotus: It symbolizes the spiritual unfolding and the purity.
  6. The Treasure Vase: It represents the spiritual fulfillment.
  7. The Endless Knot: It represents the meditative mind and Buddha.
  8. The Victory Banner: Lastly it represents the victory of wisdom while overcoming the problems.
Tibetan rug Eight Auspicious symbol bottom
Tibetan rug with The Golden Fishes

Geometric and Abstract Designs:

These Designs are more modern like creations following the western interior decorations taste.But they are actually traditional designs modified to match the taste of western buyers. A special form of geometric pattern is the checker board design.

Door carpets:

Door carpets are rare Tibetan designs as these designs are not demanded by the western buyers. These designs have same basic pattern as other Tibetan carpets but made as a curtain for door and windows. These types of carpet or curtain are used in harsh and windy places like Tibetan plateau.

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Tibetan Rugs : Frequently Asked Questions

Tibetan rugs are the special rugs made by following the traditional crafting method of Tibetan art and culture passed down through many generations. These are the frequently asked question regarding the Tibetan rugs.

tibetan rugs
Tibetan Wangden Rugs
What are Tibetan Rugs?

Tibetan rugs are the special rugs made by following the ancient traditional crafts of Tibetan art and culture. When comparing the Tibetan rug with the Persian handmade rugs, the main difference is that they are tied with different sort of knots. When comparing the knots huge difference can be found between Persian and the Tibetan rug. Traditionally made from the Tibetan sheep’s wool called “changpel”, these are one of the most unique rugs. Tibetan rugs are used for various purposes ranging from wall hanging to the flooring commonly used as seating carpet mostly. There are also runners that can be used in lobby, hallway, living room, bedroom and kitchen.

What is an ancient history and background of Tibetan rugs?

Even though the precise date of Tibet rug or carpet making cannot be found, it can be said that the carpet making industry in Tibet dates back to thousands of years back as there are few references of carpet made in the early writings of religious figures.

The first detailed account of rug making was made by the British foreigners, who entered Tibet during the British invasion in 1903.In the British recording it is recorded as “both men and women working in the courtyard filled with the weaving looms” hence making rugs and describing rugs as the “beautiful things” on their way to Lhasa.

In those times the simpler rugs were used as home décor but the rugs made by the dedicated workshops were commonly sold to the wealthy families of traders in Lhasa and other nearby places and monasteries of Tibet. Often the local families in Tibet, who used to pass rug making as norm, owned those workshops.

However during the 20th century came the downfall of Tibetan rug making due to the Chinese invasion which caused major of rug making families flee to neighboring countries like India and Nepal. Slowly, the Tibetan rugs making industry developed and thrive in those neighboring countries where the Tibetans fled. This helped in these countries economical growth.

What are different Types of Tibetan rug?

There are mainly two types of Tibetan rugs One is Tiger Rugs and other is Wangden rugs. For more details check here.

Where are they made?

Even though Tibetan rug making were thriving during the 19th century, in the early 20th century the Tibetan rug making industry declined drastically due to the cultural revolution of China. Most of the owners fled to nearby neighboring countries India and Nepal as refugees and established new industries there. Hence in modern days, these Tibetan rugs are mostly made in Nepal and southeastern Asian countries. However Nepal’s Tibetan rugs are widely world-renowned.

What are the different sizes of Tibetan Rugs available there?

Modern Tibetan rugs can be made into any size using different combination of wool and silk, or using them individually. More than any other regions, Nepalese weavers are renowned for expertly maintaining their color and design to their finest level. The designs are very straight forward making a relaxed yet revealing the sensibility of the art. Commonly they are made as a small carpet called the Kanden used for sleeping, sitting, door mat or meditation. The traditional Tibetan rug are made to be of roughly 3ft by 6ft in measurement but due to modern needs now wide variety of sizes are available as per need. There are small to medium size carpets enough for meditation and as floor seats. There are runner types Tibetan rug, which are long in length used mostly during the ceremonial events. Such type of rug can seat many people in row. Other are the area rugs which are bigger than the traditional size of 3ft by 6ft  making it perfect as decorative carpets for the rooms and meditational areas.

How to judge the quality of the rugs?

Knot density normally means knots per square inch, which means the no of vertical knots per inch of carpet times the horizontal knots in same area. These knot density affects the thickness of length, width pile and their characteristic and appearances. It is believed more the number of knots better the quality of rugs. Qualities of rugs are mostly defined as knots per inch. Quality is differentiated with the amount of knots used per inch while weaving the rug. The three most common quality levels are 60 knots per square inch, 80 inch per square inch or 100 knots per square inch. Finished rugs can have more than half a million knots.

What is the difference between Synthetic carpets and Woolen carpets ?

Synthetic carpets are made up of materials like nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. These carpets are often cheap compared to the woolen carpet. These carpets are easy to clean and pretty durable and also said to hold the colors pretty well. Because of polypropylene these carpets have superior stain resistance and have high resistance against color fading from sunlight.
 
However Woolen carpets are very soft and pleasing to touch compared to the synthetic carpet even environment friendly. The wools are naturally dirt repellent and retain color well. However due to high price of woolen carpets people tend to choose the synthetic carpet as woolen carpets are even prone to damage due to detergent.

What is an area rug?

Area rugs are the alternatives for wall-to-wall carpet because they are easier to remove and clean. They also need very less commitment and easy to switch if you want to redecorate. These carpets are not very long so can be used to decorate small spaces as well.

What should I look for when buying a rug?

The first thing to look when searching of rug is finding rug which matches the sense of your style. Since you are going to be investing a lot of money in the rug, you might be living with it for pretty long amount of time. So getting the rug that matches your style is top priority.
 
Rugs need to be cleaned very regularly but that is more necessary if the rug is kept in heavy traffic area. Mostly the woolen rug as it can take the smell from surrounding if not taken care properly. So you should choose rug that you can afford to clean and maintain regularly.
 
Before you get the rug you should know where the rug is going to be placed. How big is the room? what size rug fits the room? how it’s going to be used? Question such as above are the major points to be considered. Taking up every nook and corner of room doesn’t look very good. So it’s suggested to take the rug covering the right amount of space. Ideally rugs are placed in areas where you are likely to walk barefooted. Also if you move a lot you should consider getting a rug that may fit in those future rooms or you may end up ditching the rug more quickly than you planned.
 
The major reason why people buy the rugs and carpets is for the feel it gives. Rugs are smooth to touch, pleasant to step on or even feels cozy. Smoothness also depends on quality of the rug like 100 knot carpets are more softer and smoother compared to 80 knot carpets. Also, woolen carpet is different than synthetic. Woolen rugs are more smoother and softer. Make sure you choose the rug material that pleases you.

Why are Tibetan rugs getting famous?

Tibetan rug making is regarded as ancient tradition of Tibet. Tibet prides itself on its long history of fine craftsmanship and its cultural influence on neighboring countries. Since the Tibetan rugs are very unique and beautiful these rugs are making their way into people’s home worldwide representing the work and dedication of craftsmen involved in rug making like a piece of art. The Tibetan rug industry was re-established using the European commissions for purpose of creating employment for Tibetan refugees in Nepal. The industry then rapidly progressed into higher standards of the European weaving companies. By the end of 19th century, the American designers and buyers took great interest in Tibetan style rugs, making Tibetan rugs even more famous.

How are the traditional Tibetan rugs made?

Creating the traditional Tibetan rug is pretty lengthy process as it includes various steps. However the methods used in creating the Tibetan rugs may differ from one industry to another. Even though they are commonly hand woven, machine woven rugs can also be found.One of the most common ways is described below.

  1. Getting wool: First the industries get the wools from the sheep from different countries varying according to the industry’s need.
  2. Cleaning wool: These wools are cleaned from any foreign matters that may have resided in sheep which could affect the quality of end product.
  3. Carding Process: After the cleaning process, the wools are broken down into the fiber like structure so that it can be spun. This process is known as carding process. This process is done either by spinning machine or spun into the spinning wheels by hand.
  4. Dye the wool: For the colors of rug, again wools are dyed either by hand or machine. Most commonly pot dying method is used for this process.
  5. Drying the wool: The drying process follows dying process where the wool is dried in sun after being dyed in color.
  6. Design or make a sketch of a rug: For the design of rugs, a sketch guide is created as a template on grid.
  7. Knit the rugs: Rugs are then hand knotted to match the guide.
  8. Trim the rugs: Then the carpets are trimmed to the perfect length to make the design stand out more.
  9. Wash and Clean: After the trimming process the carpet is washed with water and chemicals to make it picture perfect.
  10. Dry the rug under the sun: Since washing causes rug to shrink in size, they are left to dry in rack stretching them back to their original size.
  11. Finalize with final touches: After this the carpet gets some final touches and then is ready to be exported.

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Namgyalma – The Buddhist Goddess of Longevity

Namgyalma Golden Buddha Statue
Namgyalma

Symbolic meaning of Namgyalma

Namgyalma also knows as the usnisavijaya, in Newari language is a female Buddha of longevity. Namgyalma is known by various other names but the crested tara in Chinese Buddhism is also one of her renowned name. In Tibetan Buddhism her name means the victorious one with three heads. She is one of the most famous Buddhist goddesses in Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal. She is regarded as the enlightened Buddha who is said to grant people the long life. She is also believed to be the one who guides the wicked souls to get over their wrong deeds and repent to get enlightened. Namgyalma has been the namesake of namgyal monastery which was built by the third Dalai Lama.

According to the old myth, During the time of Shakyamuni Buddha in the human world there was a deva(god) who was experiencing the symptoms of death. He started to remember his previous lives and see his future lives. However his future lives were going to be on the lower realm. Since at that time of realization he was in higher realm full of enjoyment and happiness than those in lower realm, he didn’t want to be reborn in lower realm.

Looking at his desperate state of mind, he was suggested by the king of gods Indra to visit Shakyamuni Buddha for the way out of it. Following Indra’s lead he came to Buddha and asked for help. In response to his call Buddha manifested him to the guidance of the God of Logetivity, Namgyalma by giving him a special Namgyalma mantra. The mantra was said to be so powerful that reciting the mantra for seven days, the deva was freed from all his karma so that he didn’t need to be reborn in lower realm.

It is believed that practicing her mantras one can get rid of life threatening diseases, increase a life span, increase their wisdom and get rid of evil deeds. The Namgyalma mantra is said to be so powerful that one who hears will never be born from the womb again. The main purpose of this mantra is to purify and release the beings from the lower realm and purify the negative energy.

Postures and Gestures

Namgyalma is seen as female bodhisattva in white colour with three heads and eight arms. Even Amitabha Buddha is shown sitting on her upper right palm which represents that her realization is more powerful or equal to that of Amitabha Buddha. Each of her face has different color middle face being white representing the eradication of disasters, yellow head on side representing the longevity of the life and finally blue head representing the defeat of the evil.

She is shown sitting in full vajra posture holding a double dorje and rope on her hands.While her lower right palm is in varada mudra. Her first hand is tilted up and her second hand is grasping a bow. Her lower left hand is shown holding a Kalasha(holy pot) with a blooming flower. In one of her top right hand there resides Amitabha Buddha himself.

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Tsongkapa – The manifestation of Manjushree

Tsongkapa
Tsongkapa (middle)

Symbolic Defination of Tsongkapa

Tsongkhapa commonly also known as Je Rinpoche was said to be from the tonsgkha part of Amdo,Tibet in around 13thcentury. Tsongkapa is also believed to be the living form of Manjushree and Guru Rinpoche, It’s said that he is reincarnation of the boy who offered Shakyamuni Buddha the crystal rosary. Also, in china he is known by name Zongkapa Lobsang Zhaba.

Tsongakapa was regarded as the heir of a particular clan or tribe called Longben. This tribe is believed to have had leadership in Tibet during the era of the Yuan Dynasty in China. The clan was supposed to have served as executives during this period because the Tibetan Longben clan leader once had official working relationship with the executives of China.

According to the myths, It is believed that during the time of shakymuni Buddha in India ,there was a boy who gave Buddha a crystal rosary which in return Buddha gave a conch shell.This boy was said to be previous incarnation of the Tsongkhapa. Buddha predicted that the boy would later go on to be born in Tibet. Buddha also predicted that the boy will establish a great monastery in Tibet and play major role in spreading the Buddhism there.He later became known as the great teacher in Buddhism who formed gelugpa school of thought in Tibet. Therefore, He is known as founder of the Gelugpa tradition of Buddhism in Tibet.

It is said that even Guru Rinpoche predicted the Tsongkhapa’s arrival. Rinpoche predicated that the boy of name Losangdrakpa would be born as form of known bodhisattva manjushri and later on be the fully enlightened Buddha. Hence both the prophecies came true as later on he built a great Gaden monastery in Tibet. It’s believed that place where the monastery was built, was the place where the previous incarnation of Tsongkhapa was buried. The conch shell that Buddha gave to the boy was preserved in the largest monastery in Tibet until the 19th century but unfortunately was lost during the Cultural Revolution later on.

It is believed that Tsongkapa had realized emptiness through study of the Indian written scriptures. And even through the teachings of his teacher Umapa and guide of Rendewa. Since he was a form of manjushri , he had same persepective as manjushri which got him through difficult times. He conducted his researches as guided by the Manjushree.

Posture and Gestures

Lama Tsongkhapa has a smiling face which resembles his happy state of mind wearing a yellow pandit’s hat with pointed end. He is shown sitting in vajra position commonly on a lion throne or lotus throne. He wears a monk’s robes while his hands are in dharmachakra mudra which represents the wheel of dharma. In his left hand he holds a lotus in which lies the scripture of the perfection of wisdom. In other hand he holds another lotus stem with sword of Manjushree on top of it .In the other form he is seen with a vase in his left hand and his right hand in resting position on the right knee. He is mostly seen with his two main disciples Khedrubje and Gyaltsabje who are also regarded as his spiritual sons. Three of them signify the perfection of the moral disciplines.

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Maitreya Buddha – The Future Buddha

Maitreya buddha

Symbolic Meaning of Maitreya Buddha

Maitreya Buddha is regarded as a future Buddha of this world who is yet to descend from the heavens. Maitreya is derived from “Maitri” which means friends in Sanskrit language.He is said to be 5th Buddha who is going to appear in this current era. It is told that when practicing as a bodhisattva Maitreya Buddha specialized in the meditation of great love .His meditation is said to be so powerful enough that those who are passing by him would also get the portion of realization of his great love. Images of Maitreya Buddha are found throughout the Buddhist literature, many of them represent his promise that he is still yet to come.

According to Prophecies, It is said that the Maitreya took vows from the great power Tathagata(Gautama Buddha) in front of many other Buddha. He is believed to be still meditating in the Tushita heaven and will be descending to earth to teach new dharma once the teaching of Gautama Buddha has vanished. He will achieve nirvana and will teach path of enlightenment to many other people, which is when he will be regarded as a true successor of the living Buddha The Gautama Buddha.

Maitreya Buddha is believed to express his prayer of love and has been practicing the prayer as always.It is believed that those people who follow the teaching of the great Shakyamuni Buddha in the present time will have chance of being the direct disciples of Maitreya Buddha himself in future when he descends on earth. Buddha Maitreya will eventually lead the disciples to the path of total enlightenment.

Postures and Gestures:

He is often shown seated in European manner with hanging legs and clothed as Buddha himself. He is also shown as bodhisattva standing and wearing different jewels. In some cases he is also shown seated with his legs in lotus position. Often, he is found wearing a small stupa in his headdress. However his attributes can vary some times when he is seen holding a vase or chakra placed on lotus. Sometimes in his left shoulder there is an antelope skin and scarf around the waist.

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Jambala : The Buddhist Deity of Spiritual and Material Wealth

Jambala

Symbolic Meaning of Jambala:

Jambala commonly known as Dzambala which generally means the god who brings the spiritual wealth and material security to the family. He is known as the god of wealth and regarded as part of Ratnasambhava family. There is another form of jambala called Kubera who is also seen as Hindu God, is believed to be an abstract of Chenrezig. There are told to be five different Jambhalas; each jambhala has their own practice to help get rid of ones financial difficulties and create better financial conditions. Jambhala is also belived to be hindu god of wealth “Kubera”. One rinpoche said that Jambhala is the one who guards all teaching taught by Buddha and help pass it on to next generation.

In legend it is said that when Gautama Buddha was teaching the sutra, the angry and envious Devadatta threw stones at the Gautama Buddha. However the stones hit the Jambhalas. Buddha came over to the Jambhalas to bless them. From Buddha’s hand there flowed sweet liquid like substance of wisdom and love, which touched Jambhala’s head. Buddha had blessed the Jambhalas and freed them from all of their impurities and obstructions. After that Jambhala bowed down to Buddha and thanked him. It is believed that Buddha gave bloom to the Jambhalas to be able to bestow the people with both spiritual and material wealth to whoever cited their(Jambalas) mantra.

There are supposed to be the five jambhalas each in different colour such as red, green, black, yellow and white. Green jambhala is regarded to be head of the all jambhalas, Yellow is regarded as the most powerful and popular among the wealth gods. Red Jambala is supposes to be the form of vajrasattva. And the black jambhala is often known to be hindu deity kuber whereas white is compassionate manifestation of chenrezig.

Posture and Gestures :

Jambala is commonly shown sitting in the vajra position where his one leg is placed above a snail, and his other leg is twisted. He has one face and two arms. His one hand holds a mongoose “Nehulay” which spits precious gems, while his other hand held gem shaped fruit and leaf of lotus. Jambala is considered a family of wrathful deities who are primarily responsible for protection. That is why they can be seen as protectors in the door fronts of shrines, monasteries and even in front door of personal home. The face is considered angry face showing the scary expression.

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White Tara Meaning: What does white tara mean?

White Tara Meaning

White Tara Symbolic Defination

Tara is generally known, as female image of boddisattva Avalokiteshvara. In Tibet Tara is famous as Sgrol-ma, Buddhist goddess who is said to have many forms, popular in southern Asia like Nepal, Mongolia and Tibet. White Tara is regarded as one of the many forms of goddess Tara in Tibetan and Newari Buddhism. Generally white tara meaning to the humans during their period of existence hence perceived as a navigator from earthly life to enlightenment.

According to legend, it is shown that Tara came to life from a tear of Avalokiteshvara from his left eye. The tear that fell to the ground formed a lake. From the waters of lake, there sprouted a lotus, which, when blossomed, emerged the goddess Tara from inside of it. She showed the same compassion in her facial expression just like the Avalokiteshvara. In China White tara is also believed to have been reincarnated as the Chinese princess. White Tara is generally used to represent purity like the white colour itself.

White Tara is generally shown standing in her consort, Avalokiteshvara’s right hand, or seated with her legs crossed in Vajra position while holding a full-blown lotus. She is commonly shown with a third eye on her forehead. Pretty often Tara is shown with eyes on the palm of her hand and even the soles of feet giving the name Saptalochana Tara that defines as “Tara of the seven eyes”. She is said to be consort of Avalokiteshvara and sometimes Vairochana too.

Tara is regarded as a goddess of forest relating to plant life like flowers and trees. White Tara meaning specifically compassion, serenity and healing power. Hence, White tara is also considered as the wish fulfilling wheel.Moreover White Tara is not only treated as healing goddess but kind caring mother too. Because of this people follow the teaching of White Tara for healing purpose and prosperous healthy life. As also, considered by some as goddess of wind symbolizing she quickly responds to any call for help just like how the winds blow.

Gestures and Postures of White Tara

White Tara is shown seated in Vajra Posture while her right hand is in blessing posture. Her left hand holds fully blossomed lotus in teaching gesture. She is dressed beautifully with many precious ornaments.

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Find that perfect Meditation gifts for your loved ones

meditation gifts to a Buddhist friend or monk

Giving meditation gifts to Buddhist Monks

How to find the right Meditation gifts ?

Meditation gifts or spiritual gifts in the form of Buddhist gifts and rituals objects mentioned in details below helps us to strengthen the connection between Dharma(spiritual teachings) and your inner self. These gifts help to keep our environment and surrounding peaceful and spiritual. They are there to constantly remind us of the Buddha’s teachings.  Feeling of stronger connection with the Dharma can be meaningful in itself. These spiritual objects can give you inner strength to carry on when you are having tough times.

Time needed: 2 hours.

Follow these steps for finding the right meditation gifts

  1. Educate yourself about meditation gifts in the context of Buddhist rituals objects

    When it comes to meditation gifts and mindfulness presents Buddhist ritual gifts come into play. Buddhist rituals have been significant part of Buddhism since the time of Buddha. Buddhist rituals express many dimensions of our human aspects and situation including our relationships and also our spiritual life. If Buddhist rituals are preformed whole-heartily, they help us to discover and express some of our deepest feelings and aspirations. Buddhist rituals have much in common with prayers and its impact on practitioners. Buddhist rituals can strengthen and highlight the values, intentions, and experiences we have chosen to live by.Tibetan Magical Bowl for New year gift

  2. Know who you are giving a gift to and what kinds of suitable meditation gifts you want to give.

    Who do you want the meditation gifts be given to? Your target recipient holds the clue to meditation gift ideas. They can be your lover, girlfriend, closely related loved ones, family members, Buddhist friends or a Buddhist monk. If it is she then there are relevant meditation gifts for her. Similarly if its male recipient then there are suitable meditation gifts for him. And there are mindfulness gifts for meditation lovers.

    On the other hand they could be entirely categorized as Buddhist friends who you would love to give a pleasant surprise with best meditation gifts. Even more they could be Buddhist monks, a spiritual teachers of yours. you can give mindfulness presents or meditation presents to gift a Buddhist monk or a Buddhist nun too.Meditation Gifts

  3. Do a little research on what is available in market

    There are many different varieties of meditation gifts available in market. Take some time to do a research on the relevant products or options. Your can simple search terms such as “meditation gifts” or “Buddhist gifts” or “gifts for a Buddhist friend of monk” or “mindfulness gifts” etc in google or other search engines or your favorite social media platforms. This way you are presented with relevant products. Meditation Gifts

  4. Grasp a general knowledge of the meditation gifts

    Buddhist meditation gifts or objects convey the way artifacts function in traditional Buddhist altar or the way the are used in everyday prayers. The Buddhist ritual objects are used in personal prayers or religious rites where they are mostly related to ritual implements. This tradition is most widely used in Tibetan and Newar Buddhism. Objects such as Bell and Vajra, prayer wheels, Butter lamps, Ritual conch shells, Prayer Flags, Phurba (“magic dagger”), Incense Sticks, Offering bowls, Damaru, and many more are the repertoire of ritual items used in Buddhism. Each ritual object has its specific importance in the tradition of Tibetan and Newari Buddhism.how to find best meditation gifts

  5. Narrow down products and choose the right spiritual gift for your Buddhist friend.

    Below are the different categories of products that might be suitable for you. Here we guide you to help you choose the right gifts for your loved ones. Each category is thoroughly explained. Once you go through all the information you will have plenty of knowledge to make your choice and right decisions. These meditation gifts will certainly delight you spiritual friend in concern.

    Tibetan Charms Pendants Bundle of six

Bell and Dorje as Buddhist gifts for priests or Buddhist monks

Bell and Vajra (Dorje) are the ritual implements used together that represents the inseparability of wisdom and compassion. While bell is held in the left had represents female element of wisdom and Dorje held in right represents the male element of skillful means along with compassion of the Buddha. During the chanting of the mantras the Bell and Dorje are used together in a variety of different ritualistic ways to represent the union of the male and female principles.

Prayer wheels as meditation gifts to Buddhist friends

Prayer Wheels are the most common prayer instrument among the Buddhist. These prayer wheels are mostly carved with Tibetan or Newari Letters signifying the mantra ” Om Mani Padme Hum”. The matras are also kept inside the wheels as paper roll filled with these mantra letters. The prayer wheels can be small or large based on the need. Smaller ones can be carried around by devotees. Large ones can be fixed  and placed in places like gumba, monasteries, temples, shrines and even decorate your home. It is believed that turning of the prayer wheel full circle will give your peace and help you in meditating your mantras. Each turn of full circle is equivalent to reading a sutra or mantra that is inside the prayer wheel

Butter lamps for altar and prayers

Butter Lamps It is said offering light from the flame of Butter Lamp is the most powerful offering because their light symbolizes wisdom and awakened mind. The butter lamps are used in every Newari and Tibetan temples, monasteries, household and altars. The butter lamps are filled with butter ghee and burnt during prayers. Materials used to make them are generally copper, brass or silver and white metal. Silver or pure gold 24 k is oftern plated on the surface of these lamps where many  Buddhist symbols are found to be carved .

Sankha or conch shell for prayers

Sankha or Conch Shell is also known as an offering vessel. The Sankha has its ritual and religious significance in Buddhism. Sankha is one of the eight auspicious signs, the Asthamangala. The white Conch Shell of Sankha has survived as the original horn trumpet since time immortal. The sound produced by  these shells penetrate and travel great distances.The instrument is used to call monks to worship and may also be used to invoke water and rain. It’s a sign of good luck and stands for the absence of all evil as an attribute, symbolizing the glory of all holy men.

Prayer flags outdoor decoration for shrines and home decor

Prayer Flags- There are mainly two type of prayer flags. 1. Lungta 2. Darchor. Lungta are made to wave horizontally and Darchor prayer flags wave vertically. Prayer Flags are inscribed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers, Buddhist symbols and mantras. It is believed that the prayers and mantras of the prayer flags when blown by air towards the heaven will give blessings to the one who hangs the prayers flags. Not only to him but his neighbors and other beings in the vicinity. Prayer flags are said to bring happiness, long life. Old prayer flags are replaced with new ones annually on Tibetan New Year.

Phurba “the magic dagger’ tantrik ritual

Phurba is also called ‘the magic dagger’. Padmasambhava used the Phurpa to consecrate the ground when he established the Samye monastery in the 8th century. Phurba which is also called tantrik ritual dagger signifies destruction of evil force or obstruction. The dagger is often made using different materials like copper, brass or bronze. It is also found to be made of wood, bones of various animals. The lower part of the blade is said to represent “Method” while the handle “Wisdom”.  Phurba is considered essential and very important tool in surviving in harsh environment or in difficult places.

Offering bowls for altar setup perfect for meditation gifts

Offering bowls  are generally a set of seven bowls that are placed on the altar of meditation room or on ones shrine. They are filled with holy water daily during prayers. It is also common to fill them with objects that symbolize the traditional offerings like flowers, incense, light, perfume, food etc.  The seven bowls are not simply bowls, they are powerful reminder of seven aspects of Buddha and represent seven limb practicing method to purify negative tendencies and accumulating positive vibes.

Now I hope you have much knowledge needed to make decision. So here you go now and act to gift a meditation gift to your spiritual friend or loved one.

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Chenrezig Avalokitesvara – The God of Compassion

Symbolic Meaning of Chenrezig Avalokitesvara:

Chenrezig, commonly also known as “Avalokitesvara” in Sanskrit, which means the one who looks with unwavering eye. Since he is one of most loved deity among the Buddhism world, he has many names such as “Spyan-ras gzigs” the one with a pitying look in Tibetan language. In Newari language Chenrezig is also called “Changresi” or “Kharcheri”. He is said to reside in the mountain Potala in Lhasa, Tibet.

He is regarded as one of the most admired Bodhisattvas, who expresses the compassion among other forms of Buddhas.  He is said to hear the prayers of every beings at all times including difficult times.One Buddhist story says that Chenrezig has vowed never to rest until he has freed all beings from the cycle of death and rebirth. Even when giving his best efforts, the objective of freeing all the being is overwhelming.

Legend states that when he realized how many wicked beings needed to be saved from the world his head split into many pieces with sorrow. Seeing this, Amitabha Buddha arranged these separated pieces in to three levels of three heads. Each layer contains three heads. Then the 10th head stays on the top of all the heads.This whole arrangement was made to look like Amitabha Buddha’s own image.

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Chenrezig is believed to be earthly form of the eternal Buddha Amitabha, who has been represented in the headdress. He is said to be guarding the world from the time of departure of Buddha till the incarnation of Maitreya. Chenrezig is believed to protect us from wild animals, fire, assassins, and robbers.

Postures and gestures of Avalokitesvara

This is the reason Chenrezig is shown to be the deity with eleven heads and a thousand arms spread out like the tail of a dancing peacock so that he can reach out to all the beings in need. In thangka paintings he is usually shown in white color exception to Nepal where it is shown in the red color.

 It is believed in Tibetan Buddhism White Tara is the consort of Chenrezig. According to myth, from a single tear shed by Chenrezig the White Tara was born. As the tear hit the ground lake was created on the spot and a lotus blossomed in the lake revealing Tara inside it. In another version of legend, from the heart of Chenrezig, White Tara emerged. Whatever the myth, it is clear that Tara is shown as the part of compassion separated from Chenrezig.

Changresi or Kharcheri is another form of Chenrezig

Though in general Chenrezig is represented by thousand armed Avalokitesvara there are other forms of Chenrezig as well This is specially to with another form of Chenrezig that is called “Changresi” or “Kharcheri”. This particular form has four arms where two hands are joined together in namasakar mudra and other two hands are spread apart.One of the other hands holds japamala and the other hand holds a lotus flower. He is seated in meditation mudra with both of legs crossed each other. And his face expresses compassion.

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Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche – The Tantrik Buddhist Master

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Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche Symbolic Meaning

Padmasambhava commonly also known as Guru Rinpoche, Padhmasambhava refers to the one born from the lotus in Sanskrit. Guru Rinpoche was known to be Indian master of tantric. Later on he became known as the Tibetan teacher  “Slob-dpon” after his journey to Tibet. He is regarded as the one who played a very important role in the 8th century to spread Vajrayana Buddhism to the whole Tibet. Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche is said to have taken eight different forms showing sides of his being, such as his anger, compassion, etc. Historically very little is known about him, since he is subject of different myths.

 One of the four major rivers that flow from the Kailash Mountain, river “Sindhu” takes it path through the western part of Odiyana. When the river reaches Odiyana, it connects to lake full of beautiful lotuses. The lake was also known as “the ocean of milk” since the roots created a milky juice, which blend into the water of lake. Before the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, a big, beautiful, red lotus grew in the middle of the lake. And it is believed from the grace of Buddha Amitabha in space the syllable of Buddha dropped into the corolla of the lotus. Hence after the syllable solved into the lotus , there was an eight year old child enlightened by birth sitting in the fully blossomed lotus. He had a beautiful lotus on one hand and a shiny vajra on the other hand then he started giving teachings to the dakinis and deities of the area.

Padmsambhava Guru is believed to have come from India to Tibet at the invitation of the Tibetan King Ti-song de Tsen in 747 AD.During the Era of Ruler Trisong Detsen, Padmasambhava is said to have been the one who established the Tibet’s first ever Buddhist monastery “Samye”. He is also considered as the creator of the Nyingma school, which is regarded as the earliest tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was regarded as the reincarnation of the Shakyamuni Buddha or hence the second Buddha.

Padmasambhava was believed to have had five female tantric consorts. When viewed from an external, or even historical views, these five women were believed to be from all over the Asia who were known as the Five Consorts. The consorts who came from very different geographical areas representing the mandala. They became a helping hands for Guru Padmasambhava in teaching the dharma throughout the various region and states all over the southern Asia.

 However it is not possible to show detailed information of his history and his work. It is believed that he helped in spreading the Buddhism through out the southern Asia. Hence it can be said that the world of Buddhism credits the teaching and spreading of the Vajrayana Buddhism to the Guru Padmasambhava.

Gestures and Postures of Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche

Padmasambhav Guru is seated on a lotus base. His right leg is stretched upfront and the left leg is in folded state. His right hand holds a vajra and the left hand lying on his lap holding  ritual bowl. He holds the khatvana as his special symbol across his shoulder towards the left side of his head. His khatvana bears double dorje in the middle. On top of it there lies two heads and a skull. On top of the skull there is trishula with fire. His facial expression shows the intensity of the tantric who is in deep meditating state.

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