monks and laymen have always used
religious articles as part of their
daily lives. Some of those most
commonly encountered are listed
Prayer Flag Found in clusters
fluttering on roofs, at mountain
passes, strung across rivers, above
paths, etc. Prayers and mantras
printed by woodblock on five colours
of cotton cloth are thought to be
carried heavenward by the wind.
Prayer Wheel A hollow cylinder
containing printed prayers or
mantras. Every rotation equals a
recitation of the contents. All
sizes. Most are hand-held or
hand-turned in fixed rows around
temples; some are turned by water or
heat. Dorje and bell The dorje
represents a thunderbolt.
Fundamental symbol of tantric faith.
It is used with the bell in all
rituals. The note of the bell, or
trulpu, is said to drive away evil
by its magic music.
Mani Stone A smooth stone inscribed
with universal mantra Om Mani Padme
Hum. Found in piles near temples and
beside pilgrim paths. Juniper hearth
Large stupa-shaped fireplace found
near temples and holy spots, fuelled
with juniper wood, whose sacred,
fragrant smoke constitutes an
offering and bestows blessing.
Butter and Tsampa Sculpture Torma or
' holy food', ritually presented to
the gods, is usually a cone of
colored tsampa ( barley meal)
supporting decorated medallions of
butter. Elaborate, gilded versions
made at New Year remain on altars in
glass cases throughout the year.