Mala, Buddhist rosary, 110 beads of Abelia biflora.
Beads of 6mm diameter each.
Abelia biflora is a species of the genus Abelia, which includes about 39 to 45 species and belongs to the family Caprifoliaceae (Caprifoliaceae)
Abélia is a genus of flowering shrubs, with evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage, mainly from Asia. Abelias measure from 1 to 4 meters depending on the species. Their flowering period extends from May to the first frosts, where thousands of pink or white bells follow one another. After that, each seed formed, is protected by a flattened achene
"Dr. Clarke Abel (...) doctor of the British embassy led by Lord Amberst in Beijing (...) did not fail to visit the splendid Chinese gardens and made several discoveries, including that of the shrub to which his friend, the illustrious Robert Brown (1773-1858), was to give his name, A. chinensis, by creating for this species the new genus Abelia, around 1825."
Larousse des arbres by Jacques Brosse
This wood comes from the sacred Buddhist mountain of wutaishan, the world pilgrimage site of the bodhisattva Manjushri. This wood is also used in Taoism by exorcist sorcerer monks to scare away ghosts and evil spirits.
The mala, trengwa, in Tibetan is the buddhist's rosary, the object from which the monk (or even the lay practitioner) almost never separates, holding it in his hand or wrapped around the wrist.
The mala is first of all a utilitarian onjet: it serves as a tactile support for the recitation of mantras, at the same time as it is used to count them if one has set to repeat a defined number.
The mala is composed of 108 strung pearls, which justifies its name, since it simply means "garland" (of pearls). The different components each contain a symbolic meaning specify: The large pearl (or Buddha's head) that closes the loop represents the knowledge of emptiness. The small cone that surmounts it is the mark of emptiness itself. The cord on which the beads are strung must, theoretically, be a braid of several threads:
three sons symbolize the "three Bodies" of a Buddha (Absolute Body, Body of Glory and Body of Emanation);
five sons symbolize the "five wisdoms" or "five families" of Buddhas (Buddha family, vajra family, jewel family, lotus family, activity family)
nine sons symbolize the primordial Buddha Vajradhara and the eight great bodhisattvas.
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