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Meaning and uses of Prayer Wheels

Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest and most profound spiritual traditions. This practice offers insights into the human condition and the path to enlightenment. Among many such practices, the Buddhist prayer wheel holds a special place in Buddhism. It serves as a tangible embodiment of devotion and mindfulness. But, although Buddhist Prayer Wheels is an integral aspect of Buddhism, very few people know its meaning. So, what does Buddhist Prayer Wheels mean? And how do you use them?

In this blog, we talk about the meaning and uses of Tibetan prayer wheels. Along with this, we also talk about when to use prayer wheels. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

The Six Syllabus and What They Mean in a Prayer Wheel?

newari mantra tibetan prayer wheel

The prayer wheels signify the spreading of blessings into the surroundings. Turning it is a powerful sign and a symbol of Buddhist spirituality. It promotes mindfulness, cultivates positive energy, and seeks blessings and protection. That said, prayers’ specific content and purpose may vary depending on the tradition and wheel in use.

Along with the meaning of the prayer wheel, the mantra engraved into the prayer wheel also carries significant meanings. These meanings are as follows:

Om (ཨོཾ)

Om is often regarded as the seed syllable of all the mantras. This mantra represents the universal sound of creation. Om mantra also signifies the enlightenment of body, speech, and mind. This mantra also marks the beginning of the mantra as well.

Ma (མ་)

This syllable (Ma/མ་) represents the compassion and loving-kindness. This syllable is associated with the purification of jealousy and is one of the obstacles to enlightenment. This mantra also represents ethics and lists for entertainment. The man symbol is represented by the color green with the deity-compassion symbol.


Ni represents ethics and patience. This syllabus of the mantra is associated with the purification of desire and attachment. These attachments of desire and attachments are considered a hindrance on the spiritual path.

Pad (པདྨ་)

The pad symbolizes perseverance and diligence. Along with this, it also purifies ignorance and prejudice. This mantra is represented by the blue color with a symbol of deity- Equanimity.

Me (མེ་)

I represent concentration and wisdom. This mantra is associated with the purification of pride and ego. This mantra is represented by the color red, symbolizing the deity Bliss.

Hum (ཧཱུྃ)

The syllable hum symbolizes indivisibility and unity. It also represents the achievement of enlightenment. The Hum also means the inseparability of wisdom and compassion.

When all six of these syllables (Om mani padme hum) are chanted, the mantra is believed to invoke the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. This is a powerful mantra for purifying the mind, body, and speech. When used in tandem with prayer wheels, this mantra represents the spreading of the blessings of purity and kindness in the surroundings.

When to use a prayer wheel?

tibetan prayer wheel

Prayer wheels play a significant part in Tibetan and Buddhist practice. Therefore, it can be incorporated into various aspects of your life. Some of the common occasions where you can use these accessories are as follows:

  • In your daily routine
  • During meditation
  • While walking
  • When visiting temples
  • During the act of seeking blessings
  • Cleansing and Purification activities
  • During public religious activities
  • For personal reflection

These are just some of the occasions when you can use prayer wheels. Besides the ones we mentioned here, there can be several other occasions. Regardless, you can get a general gist of the situations where you can use them.

How to use a prayer wheel?

twin tibetan prayer wheel

The process of using prayer wheels is rather simple. After you know the meaning, you can simply follow the process below.

  • Set your intention
  • Hold the prayer wheel
  • Spin the wheel clockwise
  • Recite mantras
  • Stay mindful
  • Dedicate the merit to your practice
  • Conclude your practice

You can use the prayer wheels by following the process mentioned above. The process is easy to follow, and you can reap the benefits.


Buddhist prayer wheels are an integral aspect of Buddhist culture. These prayer wheels are a sacred embodiment of devotion and universal yearning for enlightenment. Although they are popular, very few know the meaning and uses. The Buddhist prayer wheels signify the release and spreading of positive energy worldwide while encompassing mindfulness, compassion, and spiritual devotion. They enhance your meditation practice and offer a way to cleanse yourself from negative karma.

We hope you found this helpful. Check out our other blogs if you want deeper insights into religious and spiritual accessories. And, if you want to purchase the best prayer wheels in Nepal, do not forget to visit us at Nirvana Mala, the handicraft wholesaler in Nepal. Thank you for reading till the end.

FAQ on Meaning and Uses of Prayer Wheels

Q: What is a prayer wheel in Buddhism?

A: A prayer wheel is a cylindrical, often handheld or stationary, religious device used in Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism, containing sacred texts or mantras that are believed to bring blessings and positive energy when spun.

Q: How do you use a prayer wheel?

A: To use a prayer wheel, hold it in your hand, spin it in a clockwise direction, and recite mantras or focus on the intention of your practice, sending blessings to the world and dedicating merit to others.

Q: What is the purpose of using a prayer wheel?

A: The primary purpose of using a prayer wheel is to accumulate merit, cultivate positive qualities, and send blessings and positive energy to the world, all while deepening one’s spiritual practice.

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