India Adventures (2): The Weight of Devotion?

The above is a picture of a juzu (nianzhu; mala; prayer beads) holder we previously bought from Japan’s Daiso. (Yes, it’s designed to be the profile of a devotee with palms reverently together… and last we checked, it’s not available in Singapore’s Daiso outlets… in case you are thinking of getting one here!) The below is how it looks like after it’s almost fully ‘loaded’ with long and short juzus we somehow gathered from here and there. (We just got two more long juzus as gifts from our guide to ‘Buddhist India’. As we have long ones already, we’ll give them to friends who need them.)

The juzus are so many that you can barely make out the original design of holder. What’s the moral of this? Representing ‘one person’, the holder only ‘needs’ to hold one string of juzu for use. Then again, even without any juzu, its simple expression of reverence is sufficient too, in reminding us to be likewise devoted. The overloaded holder cautions us of how loads of religious paraphernalia, being only material, seldom equate to one’s amount of devotion; while they can hint of attachment instead. Like the holder, are we too sometimes ‘weighed down’ and ‘misshapened’ by our greed for spiritual ‘stuff’, instead of simply being spiritual?

念珠多不如正念多 ~ 石子

Having many [prayer] beads for [practising] mindfulness
is not as good as
having many thoughts of right mindfulness.

– Stonepeace

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