Gyres of Prayers
For the devotees of Tibetan Buddhism in Arunachal Pradesh, prayer wheels are a means of spreading blessings and spiritual well-being. They are commonly found and accessible to anyone who wishes to set the wheels in motion.
Each cylindrical wheel has a long scroll of paper wound around its inner axle which is imprinted many times over with the mantra, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, a prayer entreating the Compassionate One to bestow the precious jewel of enlightenment on the worshiper.
These sacred words are also embossed in decorative script on the outer wheel cover which, if recited when the wheel is turned, further intensifies the resonance and power of the mantra by the number of times it is printed on the scroll inside the gyre.
This Monpa farm woman had just paused by a roadside shrine. Poised as it was on the edge of a valley, she not only invoked benevolent attention on herself but also conveyed it on all the inhabitants of the villages below.