Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Universal Prayer Beads

Allah o Akbar! Yasu! Jesus Christ, son of G-d! Om Namah Shivaya!!!
All of these prayers can be said while rubbing your fingers on beads strung on a string. The only difference is a few materials, the amount of beads and the titles for G-D! But all in all, its a Universal Prayer bead to me!

In Islam they are called: Masbaha. They are used to perform the Dhiker where one can say phrases like, "Allah o Akbar" (G-d is great), "Subhanallah" (exalted in G-d), and "Alhumdulillah" (all the praise is for G-d).
The Masbaha is like an abacus that helps in memorizing verses of the Qur'an. There are usually 99 beads that represent the 99 names of G-d but there are also shorter strings that have about 33 beads.

Greeks call their worry beads; Komoloi. These have no religious significance but many of the beads are in the design of "The Eye"; a Blue, white and black eye that protects one from the Evil Eye.

In Christianity: the prayer beads are often called a Prayer Rope or Rosary (which means a garland of roses).
The Rosary is a Roman Catholic devotion that allows the person to repeat sequences of 'The Lords Prayer' and 'Hail Mary'.
Whereas the Prayer Rope is traditionally found in Eastern Orthodox communities. It is made from silk and other soft materials that are stung along in complex knots. Most have 100 knots and others come in rows of 50 and 33. There is usually a red tassel on the end and that symbolizes the blood of christ. jesus christo!

 Mala beads are popular in Hinduism and Buddhism (and Los Angeles ;)
In Hinduism, the practice is called Japa Mala and there are 108 beads on a string. The 109th bead is called the Guru Bead and it signifies the time for the devotee to switch directions. In Hindu tradition, the index finger represents the ego; therefore its best to avoid that finger when chanting. One can chant many mantra's and holy names of G-d when praying with the Mala. A few examples would be:
Om Nama Shivaya
Om gam ganapataye namaha!

The Jewish religion does not have prayer beads but they do have the tallit. A blue and white silk shall with fringe, 5 knots and 4 tassels "so you will remember all the commandments of the Lord."

The Native Americans have always held much sacred significance in beads. Usually worn around the neck and attached to articles of clothing, these "little spirit seeds" were sometimes seen as gifts from G-d. On every string of beads, it is recommend to have a Spirit Bead- one that stands out from all the rest because of a unusual color or design, something that looks like a mistake. This is to remind us all that we are not perfect, only G-d is perfect.

African cultures have long prized beads and used them to communicate, acting as "love letters", the Zulu tribe manipulated the colors and patterns of beaded offerings to one's suitor in order to convey secret messages.

"Ambassador beads," were used to elicit the goodwill of the Divine in Rhodesia. Matabele chiefs gave beads to witch doctors as tribute to their god.

For the Yoruba, beads represent the qualities of spiritual wisdom, the power of the gods, and the gods themselves. They believe that using beads in ritual or on ritual objects will enhance their power. Diviners wear special bead necklaces that identify them as spiritual leaders and enhance their power.

Finally, the Masai find beads so meaningful to their culture that their language includes more than 40 words for different kinds of beadwork.

Beads around the world!!! Filled with religious and cultural significance, adorned with vibrant and healing colors, and sacred pebbles that hold the power for our own personal devotion. Its beautiful to live in a country where we can choose who we praise! For I choose to praise them all who praise love, unity and joy!!!

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