Tibetan prayer wheels, or Mani, are devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well-being. Due to its round structure and wheel-like action it is often connected to the Wheel of Dharma and the first teaching of Buddha to his disciples. Many copies of the well-known mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, are printed in an ancient Tibetan script on rolls of thin paper and wound around an axle in a protective container, and spun around and around. Normally larger decorative versions of the syllables of the mantra are also carved on the outside cover of the wheel. Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of the Buddha Chenrezig, embodiment of compassion.
Dr Francois Bothma as independent bishop in the Home Temple Group Australia embraces all different forms of spirituality. His Buddhist teacher, Tulku Orgyen Phuntsok Rinpoche, has been instrumental in his progress in Buddhist practices. Francois spent his early life in South Africa, but after traveling the world, finally settled in Orange, Australia. Dr Bothma utilizes his knowledge of spiritual practices and complimentary healing methods to enhance his dental treatment of patients at Kite Street Dental. He has several prayer wheels all around his temple, home and practice for times that he has a special need to provide a different healing method for healing the world.
Francois states that the earliest known mention of prayer wheels is in an account written by a Chinese pilgrim, in 400 AD, while traveling through the area now known as Ladakh. The idea is said to have originated as a play on the phrase “turn the wheel of the dharma,” a classical metaphor for Buddha’s teaching activity. They can be found mounted in rows next to pathways, to be spun by people entering a shrine, or along the route which people use as they walk slowly around and around a sacred site – a form of spiritual practice called circumambulation. Tibetan Buddhist Mani wheels are always spun clockwise, as viewed from above, for any or all of several reasons: It rotates the syllables of the mantra so that they would pass a viewer in the order that they would be read, it follows the direction of the sun, and it matches the clockwise circumambulation of stupas.
It is believed that simply touching a prayer wheel brings great purification of negative karmas and obscurations.
The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hung
In the same way it is believed that any of the elements like water, fire, light and air (wind) that touches the wheel becomes blessed. Each element then carries the power to purify all the billions of animals and insects coming into contact with it, spreading Blessings to all life forms.