Solar Prayer Wheel
Category : Other
Prayer wheels play a very important role in Buddhist belief. Each wheel, no matter the size, is beautifully decorated and embossed with (usually) Sanskrit letters spelling out the incantation ‘Om mani padme hum’, the mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion. Inside, rolled tightly around the central spindle of the wheel, is a scroll with sacred texts, which may include sutras and incantations. When the wheel spins, the prayers are sent to heaven, and it is usual to find a line of prayer wheels to turn by hand as you enter a temple, or see them carried by pilgrims who spin them as they walk.
But you don’t actually have to be there turning the wheel yourself for the prayers to continue working on your behalf, sometimes it is enough to have put them in motion and left them to carry on by themselves. So – the prayer flags you see strung up in colourful lines at sacred places are thought to be offering up their mantras as they flutter in the breeze, and mountain streams are often harnessed to keep large prayer wheels turning like water wheels.
This, however, is the first time I have seen a solar powered prayer wheel, and in a taxi at that. Perched on the dashboard, it was spinning merrily away even though the car was parked and the driver gone. It was quite nice to think of those prayers protecting the vehicle all the time the sun was shining…