The Significance Of Prayer Beads

Click for a larger imageIn the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, we hold juzu beads in our hands while reciting Gongyo and chanting Daimoku.

There are 108 beads in the main body, signifying the 108 Earthly Desires.

The 4 smaller beads in the main body represent the 4 Great Bodhisattvas of the Earth….Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jyogyo, and Anryugyo.

The 2 large beads at each end of the main body, are the “parent” beads.  The “mother” bead, representing “mystic” is on the side with 3 dangles, and is placed over the middle finger of the right hand.  The “father” bead, representing “law” is on the side with 2 dangles, and is placed on the middle finger of the left hand.

We cross the beads in the middle, which shows our oneness with THE LAW.  Also, we cross the beads so our benefits do not fall through our hands and lives.  By placing the beads on our hands this way, we are accepting the reality that Buddhahood exists within our lives.

When we press our hands together while we hold our juzu beads, our 10 fingers represent the 10 Worlds which fuse together simultaneously in the life of a Buddha, our lives.  Our life is now one with the Mystic Law!

The one small bead that sits below the “father” bead, represents Absolute Truth.

Prior to Nichiren Buddhism, there were only 2 dangles on each end of juzu beads.  The third dangle, consisting of 10 beads and a “Kosen-Rufu” bead, on the side of the “mother” was added, actually tied on, to signify Nichiren Buddhism and distinguish it from other Buddhist sects.

On the remaining 4 dangles, there is a differently shaped bead part way down each string.  This bead is called the “jar” bead and holds the benefits of our practice.

The 5 larger beads at the bottom of each dangle are the “Kosen-Rufu” beads, and represent our desire to spread Nichiren Buddhism,  Kosen-Rufu, throughout the World.

My huge thanks are due to my lovely friend Lily Rose of Myoho Beads for researching the meanings of the individual beads and for allowing me to use her explanation.

As Lily Rose says on her site, be careful buying juzu beads on line.  Use this description or the juzu purchased in SGI bookstores as a guide.  Make sure the beads you purchase have been created in an ethical and politically correct manner. Sorry to say, but many are not.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Four Virtues | The Search For Enlightenment
  2. gloria976
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 19:37:39

    This article was very informative; thanks so much. Do you know where I can purchase beads like the ones pictured?

    Thank you!


  3. gloria976
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 21:06:04

    It was right there in the article..silly me! I just left Lily Rose a voicemail message…She sounds like a lovely person:-)…I will be sure to share your kind words with her…



  4. Mary Lodato
    May 02, 2014 @ 20:22:47

    Thank you this was very informative. Mary in UK


  5. Tarsha
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 01:41:58

    I bought some beautiful glass beads in the SGI bookstore in NY


  6. shanti
    Aug 19, 2014 @ 16:11:00

    where can buy the black and sea blue beads?


  7. Shanti
    Aug 19, 2014 @ 19:15:57

    Thank you but I rather buy from SGI America there beads are reasonably priced as for Lily Rose beads I find it over priced.


  8. Gary Johnson
    Sep 20, 2018 @ 07:39:56

    Thanks for the info I am a Nichiren Buddhist and still learning. I was introduced 50 years ago, and studied other schools, but always gravitated back to Nichiren. I along with my granddaughter joined a while back.


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