The Evil Eye

The Evil Eye

Added over 5 years ago

I remember, as a small child, my mother doing a curious thing. She placed a pot of water on the stove to boil, then threw in a handful of lubia as she called them, black-eyed beans. As the pot boiled furiously, several of the beans jumped out, and each time one did my mother called “emshee! emshee!” (go away ! go away!) in Arabic. She was, as she explained to me later, removing the evil eye from our house...

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The Hamsa (Hand of Fatima)

The Hamsa (Hand of Fatima)

Added over 6 years ago

In the 21st Century we are still surrounded by talismans and symbols whose traditions date to the earliest genesis of human culture, a result of our ongoing need to find order and the familiar amongst the unknown. These symbols help to ground us, bring us comfort and instantly connect us back to the spiritual world. Here we explore the meaning of one ancient and instantly recognisable symbol, that of the Hamsa, also knownas the Hand of Fatima.

This article is part of Kashgar's ongoing series on ritual objects and symbols of the world. The entire section can be found right here.

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Thangka

Thangka

Added over 6 years ago

A thangka is a classical form of Nepalese and Tibetan scroll painting, depicting important Buddhist motifs and images. Popular since medieval times, thangka paintings are usually very intricate, with images inter-woven in a stylised geometric series of overlapping grids, and fulfil many important functions to the practicing Buddhist.

Pictured is a thangka painting of a Kalachakra (time wheel), painted in Sera Monastery, Tibet. Private collection. Photo courtesy of Kosi Gramatikoff, 2005.

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Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls

Added over 7 years ago

Singing bowls have become very popular in the West in recent years - a combination of our fascination with Eastern spirituality and a love of alternative medicine therapies.  But what makes a singing bowl sing and can it really aid your health and well-being?

Pictured is a hand-beaten bronze singing bowl at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan.  Picture courtesy of MichaelMaggs

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Kartika

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Kartika

Added over 7 years ago

The latest entry in our ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...Find them all summarised here...

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Swastika

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Swastika

Added over 8 years ago

The latest entry in our ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...you can find the entire Compendium here in the Articles section.

Pictured here is the left-facing swastika set into a Roman mosaic, 2nd century A.D., Tunisia.  The Romans considered the swastika to be a symbol of perpetual motion as well as a symbol of luck.

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Bell, Viswa Vajra, Eight Auspicious Symbols, Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra and the Prayer Wheel

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Bell, Viswa Vajra, Eight Auspicious Symbols, Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra and the Prayer Wheel

Added over 8 years ago

The second entry in Kashgar's ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...please see the entire Compendium in the Articles section

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism

Added over 8 years ago

An ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects, symbols and principals: primarily those of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths but also encompassing aspects of some of the lesser known religions of Asia, for example Jainism and Sikhism.  This compendium is updated regularly with new entries and information.

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