Tibet Skull prayer beads
At Tibet Spirit Store, owned and operated by Tibetans helping Tibet families.
Small $25 Large $35
Skull prayer beads are a type of Buddhist mala. They originated in Tibet and help users contemplate the meaning of life and death during meditation.
Malas are beaded necklaces or bracelets that help Buddhists keep track of how many mantras they chant.
Buddhism is represented by many symbols, including lotus flowers, Bodhi trees, Buddha's footprints and the Wheel of the Law. Mala beads carved into these symbolic shapes help devotees concentrate upon their meanings during prayer.
Skulls traditionally represented death in Tibet, but Buddhists incorporated Tibetan skull images into malas to represent the impermanence of life and the limits of human knowledge. Skull-shaped mala beads help chanters reflect upon the inevitability of death and the necessity of embracing lives filled with compassion.
Carving skull-shaped beads from bone re-emphasize the skull's symbolism. Traditional Tibetan skull beads are carved from yak bone to honor the beasts of burden that serve mankind and to inspire devotees to likewise serve their fellowmen.
Center Bead Function
The large bead in the middle of a mala is called the guru bead. It helps devotees keep track of how many mantras they have chanted. Briefly stopping at this center bead symbolizes the importance of taking time to reflect upon life's meaning.