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Beads and Faiths

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  • Beads and Faiths

    [frame="2 80"],Salamun alaykum
    This is a series of illusrated topics depicting the relation between beads and life of different peoples of the world with an emphasis on the role of beads in the spiritual and religeous convictions of people. Enjoy

    Beads can be traced to the beginning of mankind. First, beads were used as amulets to aid in the conquest for food. It was believed that if one wore a "piece" of the animal being pursued, it would bring success on the next hunt. Similiarly, talismans were used as protection from enemies in battle and to ward off various ailments. Then, as today, many stones were said to possess unique powers. As civilizations developed, the function of beads and amulets evolved from the realm of mysticism to one of ornamentation or a combination of the two



    Amulets[/frame]

  • #2
    Good information...thank brother

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    • #3
      Thank you my brother for these informations. Though its it could be a theory and thoughts of scientists.
      The red indians was wearing this amulets> Is that for bringing luck for the hunt too?

      والحمد لله

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      • #4
        المشاركة الأصلية بواسطة العباس 2
        Thank you my brother for these informations. Though its it could be a theory and thoughts of scientists.
        The red indians was wearing this amulets> Is that for bringing luck for the hunt too?
        والحمد لله
        Thanks for your comment. There is more information in the rest of the topic. You will know

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        • #5
          [frame="2 80"]Beads evolved once more as the world’s agrarian and tribal societies, with varied religious rites, were organized into civilizations with standardized religions. Beads became functional. They were used to decorate and fasten clothing and in the making of bags. The Chinese invented the abacus, which aided in counting and complex calculations. It is theorized that the abacus, with its concept of stringing beads, lead to the practice of counting prayers


          A Chinese Abacus
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          • #6
            [frame="2 80"]The stringing of beads allowed the devotee to easily keep count of the number of prayers repeated. The earliest use of prayer beads, Scholars agree, is traced to the Hindu faith of India. Exploration was the catalyst for the spread of this practice. Initially, this trend spread to the East, then Middle East, and finally Europe. To simplify this discussion I will limit my topic to prayer beads used by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Catholics. The function of prayer beads in these four faiths is the same; they are used to count devotions. While the significance of materials used, quantity of beads, and religious lore is unique to each faith. The basis of this knowledge comes from missionaries and devotees of the new organized faiths as they encountered the ancient traditions and superstitions of the tribal groups

            It is possible that the use of beads for devotion dates back to the eighth century BC in the cult of Siva. Sandstone sculptures in India, from 185 BC, show Hindu sages holding prayer beads. These Hindu prayer beads are called mala. The names of both Hindu Gods and prayers are repeated on malas


            Hindu Prayer Beads are considered by many to be the oldest prayer beads in the world
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            • #7
              [frame="1 80"]Sivas and Vishnus make up the two main branches of Hinduism. Sivas pray upon the seeds of the rudraksha tree. This tree is unique to ************. The surface of the seed is rough and represents the austere life the Siva worshipper must follow. The number of beads on a prayer strand varies from 32 to 108. The Vishnus use beads made from the wood of the tulsi or holy basil tree and they usually number 108. Vishnu children begin using prayer beads as early as age seven. Devotional beads are central to the Hindu life and are used everyday for hours on end



              Seeds of the rudraksha tree which is unique to ************
              [/frame]

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              • #8
                [frame="2 80"]Buddhism evolved in India around 500 BC. It actually started as a branch of Hinduism and with the Hindu converts came the use of prayer beads. Buddhist states the origin of rosaries as follows: "Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism…paid a visit to King Vaidunya.. Sakya directed him to thread 108 seeds of the Bodhi tree on a string, and while passing (them) between his fingers to repeat…‘Hail to the Buddha, the law, and the congregation’…(2,000) times a day". Buddhist monks always carry a strand of prayer beads, or rosary, usually consisting of 108 beads. Lay persons may carry strands of 30 to 40 beads. In India the favorite material for bead construction is wood from the sacred Bodhi tree. The number of beads, 108, corresponds to the number of mental conditions or sinful desires that the devotee must overcome in order to reach nirvana or heaven



                Buddhism reached China in the first century AD. The Buddhist rosary was never popular with the Chinese. They were however utilized by the ruling hierarchy and became quite elaborate. They were named "court chains" and became more of a status symbol then a prayer counter
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                • #9
                  [frame="2 80"]Buddhism was introduced to Korea at the beginning of the fourth century AD. Since then the Koreans’ use of rosaries has been extensive, except during the YI dynasty ban on Buddhism (1392-1910) slowing their popularity. Here prayer beads have two large beads in addition to the regular 108. One of the two is decorated with a swastika and is at the beginning of the strand, while the other is plain and in the middle. They function as dividers and are used during special prayers

                  Japanese around the sixth century AD were introduced to rosary beads and Buddha. They gained extensive use at social events, such as, funerals, weddings, and ceremonial occasions. The social gathering place of Japanese life, the teahouse, was always marked for prestige, by a strand hanging on the wall. Generally their prayer beads are made of wood and contain 112 beads. The name given these wooden prayer beads is "SHOZOIKI JIU-DSU". A monk has blessed the most coveted ones over incense smoke, at a favorite temple

                  Tibet received Buddhism around 800 AD. Tibetans prayer beads may contain beads of coral, shell, ivory, amber, turquoise and other stones. The most treasured beads are made of the bones of dead holy men or lamas. Tibetan rosaries contain 108 beads divided by three large beads. The end pieces include the "djore" or thunderbolt and the "drilbu" or bell. These end beads represent the Buddha, the doctrine, and the community. The end pieces plus the three large beads divides the whole into 27 bead sections. Attached to the main strand are two smaller strings of beads. These are counter beads and act as an abacus, capable of counting up to 10,800 prayers. More elaborate strands exist for counting even more devotional cycles. Additionally, Tibetans may attach personal items of keys, favorite ancestral beads, tweezers, and files, with the counter beads



                  Juzu or ,Japanese prayer beads, play an integral part in the lamaistic rites, and its symbolism evolved and attained its full development in Japan
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                  • #10
                    [frame="2 80"][img]http://www.east************.com/books/wilds/big/60.jpg[/img]

                    ************ Island

                    Most populated island of Indonesia, situated between Sumatra and Bali. The capital is Jakarta (which is also the capital of Indonesia). About half the island is under cultivation, the rest being thickly forested. Mountains and sea breezes keep the temperature down, but humidity is high, with heavy rainfall from December to March. Ports include Surabaya and Semarang
                    [/frame]

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                    • #11
                      [frame="2 80"]Muslim explorers and traders most likely brought the Buddhist prayer bead tradition to Islam. No definitive date is known for the introduction of their prayer beads or "Subha", which means, "to exalt". The 99-bead strand is divided into 33 bead sections by marker beads. The 100th bead or "leader bead" signifies the completion of one cycle of devotion. Cords come out of the leader bead and are attached to two (2) beads and a tassel. Each of the 99 names of Allah, and his attributes, are represented by beads. "Allah" is uttered on the leader or 100th bead. The Muslim’s major prayers are the Tahmid (God Be Praised) and Tahlil (There Is No Deity But Allah). Forgiveness is achieved by repeating these 100 times morning and night. While the preferred bead material is clay, from the holy cities of Mecca, Medina or Karbala, any material from wood to precious stones is utilized


                      Tassel of a Muslim rosary or Subha
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                      • #12
                        [frame="2 70"]Worry beads were likely inspired from Islamic prayer strands. These are most favored in Greece, Turkey, and Armenia. They usually contain 33 beads, Christ’s age at death, or an even divisor of 99, the number of beads on Muslim strands. They are most often fidgeted with to relieve the tension of the day

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                        • #13
                          [frame="2 80"]European Christian’s began using prayer beads in the seventh century AD. Prior to the twelfth century, rosaries were used for talismanic purposes. For instance, coral was thought to purify blood and prevent illness in children. The Christ child is often depicted in early paintings to be wearing or holding coral beads. By the eleventh century, the church hierarchy decided rosaries were better suited for counting devotions than pagan talismanic protection. Those who were unschooled in Latin or illiterate were assigned prayers to memorize and repeat on rosaries. The medi************ church’s stand against personal adornment was met by women wearing progressively more elaborate prayer beads. Pope Pious V in the mid sixteenth century decreed St. Dominic (1170-1231) as the official inventor of the rosary. The Dominicans still make the official Catholic rosaries today. At this time, the structure of rosaries was sanctified. The only change since being the replacement of the bottom cross with the crucifix


                          modern rosary with crucifix
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                          • #14
                            [frame="2 80"]Judaism (like Wahhabisim) rejects rosaries because of the talismanic inferences and the belief one must address God directly

                            In the west, Catholics employ two hands for prayer bead manipulation while reflecting on past sins and pursuing forgiveness. Eastern religions utilize one hand to move the beads while trying to suspend thinking and attain a state of oneness with their surroundings
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                            • #15
                              [frame="2 80"]

                              I hope that I have left you with a better understanding of the origin of prayer beads and their uses among various religious groups. For a more in-depth understanding of the subject, I would recommend a review of the references listed below



                              :References

                              The Universal Bead, Joan Mowat Erikson, © 1969, 1993, by W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. New York, NY

                              Beads of the World, by Peter Francis, © 1994, by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Atglen, PA

                              Catholic Encyclopedia, "Use of beads at prayers", © 1913, by Encyclopedia Press, Inc. © 1996 New Arent, Inc. Electronic Version

                              Glass Beads from Europe, Sibylle Jargstorf, © 1995, by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Atglen, PA

                              The History of Beads, Lois Sherr Dubin, © 1987, by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY
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