The best precious Buddhist prayer beads are made of the Seven Treasures of Buddhism. It is heard that these Seven Treasures consist of seven kinds of matter. These matters, in no particular order, are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, red pearl, and carnelian. However, there is another legend about the list of Seven Treasures, claiming they are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, coral, agate, amber, and carnelian. The Seven Treasures symbolize nobility, purify, persistently, peace, prosperity, health, and perfection. They also represent consciousness and wisdom.
Over the course of thousands years of heritage, Buddha beads have been used as a tool of understanding the truth of Buddhism. They have become the symbol of great wisdom by popularity. It keeps us calm so we can experience blessings of peace and happiness when we encounter troubles. More and more people enjoy wearing Buddha beads. Beyond the meaning of religion, it has evolved to a fashion trend. In addition to the Seven Treasures, Buddha beads can be made of various materials, such as minerals, plants, and etc. Normally all materials include fruit, such as the Star and Moon Bodhi seed, Phoenix Eye Bodhi seed, Rudraksha (Vajra) Bodhi seed, banyan root (corypha umbraculifea linn), coconut shell, a mineral such as gold, silver, tridacna, coral, crystal, carnelian, jade, amber, turquoise, lapis lazuli, colored glaze, etc., or a wood such red sandalwood, eaglewood, thuja, etc. Some premium Buddha beads are made of precious wood such as red sandalwood, eaglewood, ebony, and so on. All can produce beautiful Buddha Beads. Most people enjoy them very much.
Bodhi seeds mala might be the most well-known Buddha beads. Bodhi is a pronunciation translated from Sanskrit which means “consciousness, wisdom, knowledge, and direction”. It teaches us that having wisdom helps our troubles pass away and makes us positive. Bodhi is conscious of Buddhism since Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment under the Linden. In fact, Bodhi bead is not the fruit of Linden. More than 30 materials can be made of Bodhi bead: Star and Moon, Phoenix Eye Bodhi, Rudraksha, Longan Bodhi, White Bodhi root, and more. They are all well-known. It is said that we will be happy and extremely lucky while wearing a Bodhi beads mala. Due to its profound implication, that is why most Buddhist prayer beads are called Bodhi. Each Buddhist owns Bodhi Beads, absolutely. This post can help you Understanding the Star and Moon Bodhi Seed.
Now let’s introduce the textures and effectiveness of the eleven kinds of Buddha beads we are familiar with.
1. Rudraksha. Introduced by Buddhist books, this is the seed of the Rudraksha tree, but another legend claims it is a seed of Linden. It is very precious and tough enough to withstand handling. Each seed has faces of 1-17 inequality. We hear that the different faces for one seed have different meanings. This plant grows in a plateau over 2000 meters in height, in tropical and subtropical areas. The main growing areas cover the Gangetic Plain in the foothill of Himalayas to Southeast Asia where Nepal and Indonesia are. The best quality Rudraksha can be found in Nepal. It is extremely tough to destroy all evil. You will be strong and lucky in preventing any evil when you use a Rudraksha.
2. Phoenix Eye Bodhi. The Phoenix Eye Bodhi is outstanding among all Bodhi beads due to its one or two deep veins which make it look like it is squinting. That’s why it is called Phoenix eye. There are many Phoenix patterns in Buddhism paintings, engravings, and embroidery. The Phoenix eye symbolizes luck. Bodhi, in Tibetan Buddhism, means Phoenix eye exactly. Made in Nepal where they grow over one thousand meters in height. Currently these plants are grafted in China on a large scale.
3. Longan Bodhi. There is a triangle eye on each Longan Bodhi. The dragon has special meaning in Buddhism, representing the image of Bodhisattva. The dragon has the power to create wind and rain, as well as guard to protect Buddha Dharma. The Longan Bodhi is rare. The best Longan Bodhi comes from India. It is necessary for each practitioner to have one. The Longan Bodhi can help on exorcisms and enhance consciousness.
4. White Bodhi root (banyan root). The Bodhi root is the seed of the corypha umbraculifea linn. It becomes mature every 60 years. The White Bodhi root must be processed. Some are white and some are light yellow in color. They look bright and smooth. It is most welcome when it takes on the appearance of jade after a long period of wearing. The White Bodhi root places a higher value on enjoyment, which can help one practice Buddhism and disaster mitigation.
5. Star and Moon Bodhi. This is the seed of daemonorops margaritae. Each seed has one large concaved spot surrounded by many small brown or dark dots that looks like the stars surrounding the moon, which is why it is called Star and Moon. It grows in tropical areas in Asia, Indochina and Malaysia in particular. There are a few types, e.g. the little sycee, the little gold toad, and the Mani(ice) star and moon. The quality of the Star and Moon relies on its density. The life of the Star and Moon relies on density as well. The best one is the little sycee which grows in Hainan of China, especially those grown in the area of Maogan in Hainan. Those have the best quality of density. Given the best quality of density, the Star and Moon can be played for a whole lifetime. The Star and Moon can become brighter and smoother if often worn. The color also gets dark, making the appearance is more beautiful. The Star and Moon bead can achieve Bodhi and can prevent evil. The Star and Moon Bodhi is good at conscious and illuminates troubles as well.
6. Tridacna. The Tridacna is the biggest conch in the deep sea. Its diameter can be up to 1m with a thick shell. The white colored interior is bright and smooth. The exterior is in yellowish-brown. The essence in the end of the shell produces the decoration of the Buddhist beads mala. We do not advocate killing the shell to make Buddhist malas or jewelry in Buddhism. The color of the Tridacna is very beautiful. In addition to being a decoration, wearing Tridacna can help one avoid evil.
7. Carnelian. Carnelian is one of Seven Treasures in Buddhism. Similar to jade or a craft product, carnelian is known for its colorful and beautiful shape. In ancient times, there was a unique carnelian called “Red Jade”. South Red Agate has a fine and smooth texture and is produced only in China. The price of this Carnelian has increased rapidly in the past years due to very lower productivity. It is called the “Red pearl” of Seven Treasures in Buddhism and means South Red Agate exactly. Its magic effects can strengthen the body and help boost a good immune system. Also, the different effects are good for one’s health, especially the heart and blood in the seasons of fall and winter. South Red Agate is one of the most effective jades, used as medication in ancient times. Buddhists believe deeply in its special effects. Traditional Chinese Medicine indicates the effects of South Red Agate include heat-cleaning and promotion of healthy lungs, voice, hair, blood, eyes, ears, and other internal organs. It also improves blood circulation and metabolism, makes the skin smooth, relieves stress, and enhances the quality of sleep.
8. Sandalwood. Sandalwood means donation in Buddhism. It is also considered the mascot since it’s hard, fragrant, colorful, invulnerable, and symbolizes eternal immortality. It is also called holy sandalwood because of its ability to help one avoid evil and disease. Purple sandalwood is one of the finest sandalwoods. It is used to produce carriages, musical instruments, and premium furniture. There are only a few different kinds of sandalwood. They are Shen sandalwood, sandalwood, green sandalwood, purple sandalwood, black sandalwood, red sandalwood, and Jinyao sandalwood. Purple sandalwood is the best. The texture is the hardest and heaviest around all. Because of its hard texture, fine grain, purple color, and fragrant smell, it has become one of the five fragrances in Buddhism. Most people like it. You can identify purple sandalwood with alcohol cotton. If the cotton becomes purple-red then it is true purple sandalwood. You can put sawdust into wine to observe any red silk on the sawdust. Lobular red sandalwood is the top purple sandalwood. The specialty is of high density and little dots. It is stable and not easy to crack. Lobular red sandalwood normally grows in virgin forests in tropical and subtropical areas. The color may change from dark black to red brown. It grows very slowly because the grains are fine enough. One growth ring is grown over five years. It becomes mature after almost 800 years. Lobular red sandalwood is often called “The king of sandalwood”. No other wood can compare to it. It claims to keep one safe and helps avoid evil. It also destroys vicious things and helps with money-making. You can feel the magic power while wearing an accessory of Lobular red sandalwood. It’ll keep your nerves calm and make your body flexible. This is why sandalwood Buddhist prayer beads are expensive with higher collection value.
9. Amber. Amber is the resin of coniferous plants dropped underground over 45~65 million years ago. It became fossils under the pressure and heat. Amber is also called “resin fossil” or “coniferous fossil”. It takes various shapes. The surface always keep the lines while the resin drops. You can often observe bubbles or insects or plant matter as well. We can also find some kinds of amber such as golden amber, golden & blue amber, green tea amber, black tea amber, blood amber, shade amber, flower amber, red & brown amber, blue amber, green amber, insect amber, Baltic amber, root amber, Myanmar rood amber, and so on. Wearing amber has the effect of keeping the nerves calm.
10. Turquoise. Turquoise is one of “the four famous jades” in China. There are many turquoise relics after the Neolithic period. It belongs to traditional jade, but with a long history and richer resources. Their natural structures are usually in the shape of a ball and are evergreen in color. This is why it is called “turquoise”. There are plenty of quality turquoises in Hubei of China, which has one of the best reputations in the world. All accessories made of turquoises products are very beautiful, whether they are pendants or other jewelry. The color is similar to the blue of the ocean or sky. It brings us good luck with an aura of heaven and earth. People in ancient times considered turquoise a symbol of warmth and luck that helped one avoid evil.
11. Lazuli (Lapis lazuli). Lazuli is one of Seven Treasures in Buddhism. Daily wearing helps you maintain good health. In ancient Greece and Rome, Lazuli was a symbol of wealth. The basic pantone is blue. Blue in Chinese represents hope. It delivers peaceful and kind dreams. Lazuli helps you keep your balance, enhance spirituality, and escape from evil. It is compounded by a blue stone and calcite. It is distributed mainly in Sichuan and Jiangsu of China. Some are in the provinces of Guizhou, Neimenggu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Hubei, Hunan, Shanxi, Jilin, Liaoning, and Gansu.