數珠

起源

Prayer Beads are used by all Buddhists and by many other religions as well. These beads are called Juzu or Nenju in Japanese, Malaby the Tibetans. In Sanskrit they are called Japamala. When the Romans first saw prayer beads (Japamala) used by the Hindus, they mistakenly heard “jap” instead of “japa.” Jap in Sanskrit stands for rose. Translated into Latin, this turned into Rosarium, and in English as “Rosary.” The Juzu or Mala may have been the inspiration for the Rosary used by Christians and Muslims today.

Different Buddhist schools have different uses for Juzu, but one of the main uses is for counting prayers or prostrations. It is also a symbol that identifies the carrier as someone who follows the Buddhist path. Each school of Buddhism has their own style of Juzu. Some are small for the wrist and others are large. The beads may be made of bone, crystal, Bodhi tree wood, bamboo, coral or any number of other materials. The number of beads varies but the most common is one hundred and eight. One hundred and eight represents the one hundred and eight earthly desires.

數珠的含意

日蓮宗數珠有108顆珠子,綁成一圈,附有五道流蘇,兩側各為三道與兩道。除了108顆珠子外,還有好幾顆特別的珠子。兩個大珠子代表釋迦牟尼與多寶如來,主圈下方較小的四個珠子代表守護世間的四大菩薩。數珠也能代表個人,流蘇代表我們的頭、手臂與腿,用以提醒我們人是由108種欲望所組成。

日蓮宗使用好幾種樣式的數珠。這些樣式的流蘇各有不同。第一種數珠是一般信眾使用,具有五道流蘇,每道流蘇末端都有珠子。第二種數珠是由僧侶使用,珠子末端飾有羽簇。第三種數珠的流蘇類似第一種,但長度長了許多,是由實行特別祈禱祝福的僧侶使用。

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