Just For Fun is my way of sharing all the little things I like to do... from crafty things to thoughtful things!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seeing through Buddha Eyes

After my recent crochet projects, it was time to turn my attention back to jewelry and specifically the beads I ordered last month from Nepal.  There are several types of mala (prayer beads) as well as turquoise/coral beads, a Gao locket and a Buddha Eyes amulet.

It was one of those things... you know the kind... where you think you are just going to buy one thing but end up with a cartful?  I had such a hard time deciding between them that I had to have them all.  Clockwise from the top:  The turquoise/coral earrings are made from beads made in Nepal.  The shapes reminded me of suns, moons and stars.  The 3-round earrings are turquoise and carnelian from Nepal (markers on the malas) with an antique brass bead in between.  The 2-round earrings are rudraksha seeds and lotus seeds also from Nepal.

While I thought I was randomly choosing sandlewood, rosewood, lotus seeds, rudraksha seeds and yak bone - it turns out they have symbolic significance.  From Wikipedia:

Increasing mantras should be recited using Malas of gold, silver, copper or lotus seeds and with 108 beads. The mantras counted on these can "serve to increase life span, knowledge and merit."

Mantras for overcoming should be recited using malas made of saffron, sandalwood, or other forms of wood including elm wood, peach wood, and rosewood.
Mantras to tame by forceful means should be recited using malas made of Rudraksha beads or bone. ...this Mala, used to tame others, but with the motivation unselfish to help other sentient beings. To Tame by forceful means, means to subdue harmful energies, such as "extremely malicious spirits, or general afflictions". Only a person that is motivated by great compassion for all beings, including those they try to tame, can do this.

Interestingly enough.. the only type of mantra I did not cover with my collection is:

Appeasing mantras should be recited using white-colored Malas. Materials such as crystal, pearl or mother of pearl are preferable. These can serve to purify mind and clear away obstacles like illness.

So... I imagine I am not in an appeasing sort of mood.  :oP  That said, while my mind may be too far gone for purifying, clearing away obstacles is always a good thing.  I am a little curious as to why I was not attracted to anything in this group since I covered the others.
I also learned that: Buddha Eyes (also known as Wisdom Eyes) symbolize the omniscience (all-seeing) of a Buddha. Between the Buddha's eyes where the nose would be is a curly symbol that looks like question mark. This is the Nepali character for the number 1, which symbolizes unity of all the things as well as the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is a third eye, symbolizing the all-seeing wisdom of the Buddha.

No wonder I like it!  Of course it reminds me of the joke... what did the buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?  Make me one with everything! Here's how all the pieces came together for my Buddha Eyes amulet.  It's hard to see, but at the very top is an endless knot - one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

I was also attracted to the copper Gao locket.  A Gao is worn for protection and blessing.

The characters read "om mani padme hum".  It is the six syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshvara. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, so the mantra is especially revered by his devotees. 

One common interpretation is that each syllable corresponds to one of the six realms of existence and purifies the vice associated with that realm:

Om purifies bliss and pride (realm of the gods)
Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods)
Ni purifies passion and desire (human realm)
Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm)
Me purifies poverty and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts)
Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm)

The end of the locket opens to reveal a space for a written mantra or sacred relic.  I have not decided what will go into my Gao, but it will probably be something written. 
I'm not sure what insights these new pieces will bring, but I look forward to it!


  1. Gorgeous! Now you need some of my white lotus seeds....

  2. I had some... and used them for earlier stuff so I didn't have enough left to add here. :oP Maybe that's why I didn't choose any of the 'appeasing mantra' materials?

  3. Oooooh how exciting. I haven't made any jewellery in ages with all the wedding prep, but you have inspired me to get cracking as soon as it's over :)

    I LOVE all the meanings behind each piece xx

  4. These are awesome beads!! Where did you buy them from? I might want some for myself. I love them! Did you make your earwires yourself?

  5. Thanks Swati... you have mail! ;o)

  6. Hi, I love all the pieces and am very curious as to what website you bought them from?

    Best, Tibbe


  7. Thanks! I bought them through ebay. The seller is

    Hope you find something fun!