The top of the wheel is removable to allow for the insertion of the sacred text into the cylinder. The cylinder contains a tightly wound scroll with the sacred text printed on paper. The text is a sutra or invocation to Avalokiteshvara. The cylinder can turn around the wooden handle with a slight rotation of the wrist, thanks to a ballasted chain, which keeps it in movement. The syllables Om Mani Padme Hum are carved outside the wheel in Tibetan. The uppermost point of the prayer wheel forms the shape of a lotus bud.
Prayer wheels are used primarily by the Buddhists of Tibet and Nepal, where hand-held prayer wheels are carried by pilgrims and other devotees and turned during devotional activities. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning a prayer wheel is just as effective as reciting the sacred texts aloud. This belief derives from the Buddhist belief in the power of sound and the formulas to which deities are subject. For many Buddhists, the prayer wheel also represents the Wheel of the Law (or Dharma) set in motion by the Buddha.
Each rotation sends a set of prayers to all Buddhas and all sentient beings, and will generate merit (good karma) as the prayers inside are 'read' and fly out to the four winds.
This prayer wheel is handmade in Nepal and an is excellent addition to your Buddhist accessories or as a gift for anyone who practices meditation. It is both a spiritual tool and work of art!