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Benefits

Buddhist texts teach us that the practice of the prayer wheel has many spiritual, "magical," and practical benefits.

Use of the prayer wheel is one of the easiest ways to purify past negative karma, nonvirtuous actions, defilements, and obstacles that prevent us from realizing our true self and becoming enlightened.  Buddha said, "One benefit is that the karma and disturbing thought obscurations that have been accumulated for beginningless rebirths are purified without effort ."  As the texts cited below teach, other prayer wheel benefits include:

 
  • Transforming one's own body, speech and mind into the Body, Speech and Mind of a Buddha. One's own body becomes like a holy place.
  • Transforming one's home and property into a very peaceful, pleasant, holy, and precious Potala pure land, "high heavenly realm" or "Heaven on Earth."
  • Saving all the beings in the area around prayer wheels from rebirth in the lower realms (e.g., animal incarnation).
  • Purifying our body, speech and mind.
  • Accumulating extensive merit for oneself and all beings in the area.
  • Protects and prevents harm from spirits, ghosts and negative beings.
  • Helps to heal sicknesses and protect from contagious diseases and epidemics.
  • Acts as an antidote to war and fear in the world by radiating peace, kindness, and relief from suffering.

Even this list of benefits does not fully describe the benefits of spinning a prayer wheel.

Using the prayer wheel produces extraordinary and inconceivable benefits. Here is a listing of benefits of spinning a prayer wheel as described in two ancient Tibetan Buddhist texts entitled "Mani Kabum."  First, here are benefits as translated and summarized from the Ma ni'i phan yon or "The Benefits of Mani."

  • The prayer wheel is like a precious jewel: whatever you wish for, it will accomplish all the supreme and ordinary attainments.
  • The Meditational Deities, Dakinis, and Dharma Protectors automatically help us when we turn a prayer wheel.  
  • Turning the prayer wheel has the power to quickly bless; it has the vastness of great skill in means; its actions are quick; the power of turning the wheel brings freedom from demons/obstacles, anti-Buddhists, vow-breakers, 80,000 ghosts, 360 evil spirits, 18 untimely deaths, averts all obstacles; and will guard you. All enemies will be overcome.
  • Turning this wheel with great remorse and confession will eliminate the five actions of immediate retribution, the four heavy (bad deeds), the eight wrong views, and the ten non-virtues.  
  • If you turn the wheel by hand, whoever sees you turning the wheel, touches you or the wheel, remembers you or the wheel, is struck by the shadow of you or the wheel will never go to the three lower realms and will be established on the stage of Buddhahood.  
  • Turning the wheel is more powerful than 100 monks doing long life prayers and mantras, and more powerful than 108 meditators visualizing the vajra protective circle.  
  • Any man or woman who turns the wheel will obtain whatever they wish for that is in harmony with the Dharma.
  • Whoever turns the prayer wheel will not be born as a householder with wrong views, as a cripple, blind, deaf, mute, or as a pauper.
  • You will get an impartial enlightened mind acting for the benefit of beings.

Here are benefits of spinning the prayer wheel as translated from the Ma ni 'khor lo'i phan yon  or "The Benefits of the Prayer Wheel:"

  • One turning of a prayer wheel is equal to reading one time the Tanjur (the translated commentaries on the teaching of the Buddha).
  • Turning the wheel twice is equal to reading the translated Word of the Buddha (Kanjur) once.
  • Turning the wheel three times eliminates the obscurations of body, speech, and mind.
  • Turning the wheel ten times eliminates misdeeds as large as Mt. Meru.  
  • Turning the wheel 100 times is equal to Yama, King of the Dharma.
  • Turning the wheel 1,000 times one will realize the meaning of the Dharmakaya, beneficial to oneself.
  • Turning the wheel 10,000 times accomplishes the benefit of others, beneficial to others.
  • Turning the wheel 100,000 times, one will be born as an attendant to Chenrezi.
  • Turning the wheel one million times, the sentient beings of the six realms will obtain an ocean of happiness.
  • Turning the wheel ten million times, delivers all sentient beings from hell.
  • Turning the wheel 100 million times, one will become equal to noble Chenrezi.
  • According to the Chu klung chen po'i mdo (The Great River Sutra), turning the wheel once has greater benefit than meditating for seven years.  Turning the wheel once has greater benefit than an eon of teaching, learning, and meditation; greater benefit than striving with the six perfections for an eon; has greater benefit than teaching and learning the Three Baskets and the Four Classes of Tantra for an eon.  Reciting the six-syllable mantra and turning the prayer wheel on holy days is equal to the good fortune of a thousand Buddhas.  The person who turns the prayer wheel will become the Bodhisattva follower of a thousand Buddhas.  
  • At the time of death, placing the prayer wheel at the Brahma aperture makes the transference of consciousness unnecessary.

 

[1] Wheel of Great Compassion: The Practice of the Prayer Wheel in Tibetan Buddhism by Lorne Ladner, Wisdom Publications, 2000, 45.

[1] Ma ni 'khor lo'i phan yon. Palace Monastery [sic], Gangtok, Sikkim: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama for Dzongsar Khyntse [sic] Labrang, 1985.  Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Literature Series, Volume 136. 25 pages. "On the benefits to be derived from the use of the prayer wheel and the recitation of the Avalokitesvara formula[.] Reproduced from a block print from the 'Bri-gun Ñi-ma-lcan-ra blocks"

[1]Lama Tulku Yeshi and Dr. Jeffrey Schoening translated and summarized the Ma ni 'khor lo'i phan yon andMa ni 'khor lo'i phan yon texts.

[1]Ma ni'i phan yon. Palace Monastery [sic], Gangtok, Sikkim: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama for Dzongsar Khyntse [sic] Labrang, 1985. Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Literature Series, Volume 142. 11 pages. "On the benefits to be derived from the repeated utterance of the Om-ma-ni-padme-hum formula, dharani of Avalokitesvara[.] Reproduced from an ancient manuscript from the Library of Jokhang Lama Gyaltsen of Sikkim.

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