In our previous articles you learnt about the meaning of the eyes and the symbols-pictograms on dZi beads. Today I would like to tell you about the meaning of the figures of deities and animals on Tibetan amulets.
The meaning of figured patterns on dZi beads.
Garuda (“Mythic bird”).
This is a huge bird, which Vishnu God rode. In Buddhism this bird is considered to be the enemy of ignorance which eliminates doubt and lie in minds. This bead protects its owner against gossips and rumors, it also protects during travelling. As Garuda dwells with the gods, the bead can help to bring the gods to its side. Especially Garuda helps to those who work with the word: speakers, writers, journalists and even PR-managers. Very often Garuda bead is amplified with other symbols: it may be vajra or just lightning sign, rings, “eyes” – in this case additional symbols emphasize one of the aspects of dZi bead power.
This is the most powerful amulet and a diagnostician for ailments.
The carved Geruda is worth mentioning separately. This dZi bead refers to the category of 3D dZi figures (I will tell you about 3D in my next article). The carved Garuda combines with vajra, which makes it simultaneously Tibetan protective Purbu (Phurbu) dagger.
Phurba-Garuda dZi bead is used in rituals for elimination of evil directed to the amulet owner. It is considered that such 3D Garuda is capable to diagnose a case at the beginning. It may change color, may crack or give another sign.
Such dZi bead protects the owner against negative energy. If you feel the effect of your enemies and haters, take Phurbu-Garuda in your hands, imagine the source of evil, obstacle, illness (depending on what you want to overcome) and stab the imagined source saying “Hum-hum-hum”. This ritual is often used by Tibetan shamans.
The Bat is honored among the nations of Eastern Asia very much. In China, if the bat flew into your house, it means that it brought happiness and wealth to the family.
On dZi beads the bat pattern is often applied together with the Insect (the meaning of the Insect symbol see in the previous article).
Bat-dZi/Insect (it is also called Bat/Sau) will help in all the efforts, even if the tasks seem to be impossible. The bat is not afraid of flying in the darkness, it sees the things which the person can’t see. It will help to overcome all the obstacles and to achieve the desirable aim and prosperity. The insect will not allow sacrificing your health and will help to keep the power of spirit and mind.
It is worth mentioning about the dZi bead with five bat pattern depicted on it. This symbol in Chinese is called “u fu” – which means quinary happiness or entire happiness (translated from Chinese).
The bead can gift to its owner incredible luck and get him into the life full of faery events and opportunities. If we take into consideration the fact that the bat is also a symbol of wealth, then the bead becomes a powerful tool to acquire wealth and prosperity.
The symbol of power and wisdom, depicted on the bead, helps its owner to cope with negative, to wade off evil spirits and to attract luck. Dragon is also the symbol of authority and prosperity. It is the keeper of treasures, that’s why this bead will be useful for politicians and businessmen. If we take into consideration the fact that this is also a mystic animal which has the hidden power and magic opportunities, this bead will help those who look for wisdom and secret knowledge.
This is a powerful men’s bead with Yang energy. However it can help women too, especially to those who want to be successful with men.
This is one of the types of three-eye bead/Dragon Eyes bead. Besides the features of Dragon dZi bead (the description is above), it carries the power of one-, two- and three-eye dZi beads. It helps to attract prosperity and love, to achieve the desired aims, to attract luck with triple power.
One more variant of this bead is six-eye bead/Dragon Eye bead. This dragon never sleeps, it symbolizes great six-syllable mantra “Om mani padme hum”. Such bead has not only the properties of dZi-Dragon, but also the properties of six-eye dZi bead which brings health and long life.
Guan Yin – Goddess of kindness and mercy.
This goddess, honored in all East Asia, initially associated with bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, her name in Chinese means “hearing the sounds of the world”. She replies to every prayer and always helps people especially women and children. The bead devoted to this goddess helps to bring peace and reconciliation to a person, grants protection and promotes prosperity. It attracts love to a person and eliminates obstacles at the same time – illness, problems, career obstacles. This bead is also called “a vessel of long life” for its capability to prolong the person’s life in wealth and harmony. Its mantra is: “Om Mani Padme Hum”.
Guan Yin is often depicted on the Dragon or on the Lotus.
Kubera (Dzambala, Tsai Shen).
Kubera is the deity of wealth, which is honored by the Buddhists as Dzambala, and in China it is known as Tsai Shen. It helps its owner to achieve prosperity, to become successful in business, to acquire luck. One more Chinese name of this God is Chen Loban, “money keeper”. And it keeps it indeed. It helps not to waste money but to save it within a short time. The bead also attracts financial opportunities and the people who will share with you both finances and the advices how to increase them. Special patronage is extended to businessmen.
It is more often met as a traditional pictogram on the wrist dZi beads. In the beads-pendants carving is usually used. If the pictogram has the common meaning of the deity then the carving reflects one or another shape of the deity. It can be White Dzambala on a dragon, for example, Yellow Dzambala with a mongoose in his hands, which is eructing coins. Or it can be merry Chinese Tsai Shen in a recognizable hat with something like pattern needles sticking out in all directions. The carved dZi beads with the god of wealth as a rule can be added with additional pictograms. These can be Money Hook, Ruya Rod and any other symbols.
Tara is one more embodiment of bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, whose female and male figures (Chenrezik) have a special honor in the Buddhist world. Tara peculiarity is its seven eyes, by means of which she sees each showing of compassion in the world and races to rescue. This is the bodhisattva of mercy and unfailing love, which grants to its protégées help and protection. Tara has many embodiments: White Tara (fulfills wishes), Green Tara (fulfills wishes and protects), Golden Tara (prosperity and protection), Red Tara (love and healing). There are 21 Tara embodiments in total. The dZi bead with Tara image on it has the power of all Tara embodiments. The bead can help to avoid misfortune, to protect against enemies and jinx and to get justice. It will give a chance to reach new frontiers in science to those who study. The bead mantra is “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha”.
There are a lot of legends about miracles associated with Tara. One of them is about Chinese goddess Yatou from Xian. She read mantra to Green Tara one hundred thousand times telling her crystal beads. Suddenly her crystal beads became green, they became of emerald shade perceptible to the eye.
By the way, there are two more dZi beads connected with Tara. These are Ruyas of Green Tara, Ruya Rod, which resembles a twisted branch. As you can understand, this bead is connected with Green Tara. See the picture on the right hand.
In modern China there is one more image which is identified with a forest embodiment of Tara. This is the image of a bear, who is keeping a gold bar in his paws (see the picture on the left hand).
It refers to Golden Tara which brings prosperity and protection.
Kuan Kung (Huang Di).
This god is often depicted sitting on a tiger or on a throne, sometimes standing but always keeping Tibetan hatchet in hands. This is simultaneously the God of wealth and justice. In his angry embodiment this deity protects home and the owner against damage and theft, it doesn’t allow evil spirits to penetrate inside the house.
It is a powerful guardian of the people who have hazardous occupation, for example, policemen and firemen. It is a protector of businessmen, politicians, managers and leaders. It is considered that this God helps to find necessary decisions to attract benefit or to find the way out of crisis situation. It also protects those who were undeservingly offended. If it is in the house, it can protect not only the owner but also the home – against disasters, bad people, thieves, liars, evil spirits, jinx and devilry. Simultaneously it gives wealth, prosperity and abundance. The peoples of East Asia consider that all the energetic powers will be centered in the dZi bead with Kuan Kung image. This deity is often met in dZi beads together with skillful carving and stone etching.
The interesting fact is that none of Chinese family dispenses without the figure of this deity. Kuan Kung is in every house. When starting business the Chinese make Kuan Kung altar in their office or in one of outlets. They put this deity figure there, bring offerings, light fragrances, ask for help and protection.
Zhong Kui. Master of demons and spirits.
This is a powerful amulet for a dwelling and a man. According to legend of the peoples of East Asia Zhong Kui is a master of demons and evil spirits.
If you make friends with it and ask it to drive out demons, to eliminate evil and negative energy, not to let envy and intrigue come into your house, it will do it immediately.
If you put Zhong Kui at the doors of your house, it will perform duties of door guard.
The image of Zhong Kui is often carved and is of two variants. One is in human shape, the other one is in beast shape. See the pictures on the left hand and on the right hand.
It is the name of Chinese deity of long life and at the same time it is the name of the star. In the ancient times when this star appeared in the dome of the sky, it presaged abundance and amenities of the Celestial Empire. This old man is depicted with a staff with crook-neck pumpkin (the symbol family prosperity), tied to it, and with a roll of paper (the symbol of long life) in one hand and with a peach of immortality in the other hand. Shou Hsing can often be met on the carved dZi beads. Such dZi bead with Shou Hsing image promotes health and long life, good relations in the family, family harmony and home prosperity.
Cicada is the symbol of long life, youth and even immortality. Besides, it is considered to be the amulet against enemies, the protector against betrayers. Cicadae have a “good nose”. They feel danger from far off and take measures for protection.
They help to return the lost luck and to become the source of inexhaustible life energy. Cicada promises “Great return”, as people in East Asia think. It doesn’t matter how much the life beats you, cicada helps you to feel happy moments of life again. It gives new hope, powers and ideas. The interesting fact is that in the Celestial Empire the persons of title wore the images of cicadae to protect themselves against the court intrigues.
It means calm, judiciousness in aim achievement and on the way to financial stability.
This is the modern variant of the carved dZi bead for women happiness. More often it is the cameo-dZi. There is the image of a woman on one side of the bead and a pictogram on the other side.
Pi Yao, Pi Xio, Pi Ran (dragon-like dog).
Pi Yao is the ninth son of Long Wang, Dragon King, his darling child, whom he doesn’t refuse anything. The bead with Dragon King symbol is a multi-purpose amulet, which can help everybody regardless of birth date, sex and personal striving. At any time and in any case this dragon’s darling son will bring you the power, authority, protection and prosperity from his father. It represents an animal with features of a dog and a dragon, that is a dragon-like dog inherently. In Europe they are simply called Piyao. However, such dogs can be of three types (depending on dwelling). Piyao with wings dwells on the heavens), a common Pixio dwells on the earth, Pikan with fins lives in water.
Pixio (a dragon-like dog without wings and fins, dwelling on the earth) is more commonly depicted on Tibetan dZi bead.
People believe that the dragon-like dogs can protect them against evil powers, help to preserve property and increase wealth.
Fudo (Mask of spirits).
It means protection against evil and demons. It is also called Mask of spirits and Shaman’s mask. Together with Zhong Kui it is a powerful protection against any evil, negative energy and demons including bad expressions of a man, such as jealousness, anger, revenge, intrigues etc.
On its own Fudo dZi-mask is met not very often. More commonly it is the 3D carved bead.
This bead is called Mask of spirits because it is considered to be an active conductor between the worlds, protection against demons and evil, sometimes it can help to communicate with ancestor spirits. It is often used by bonpo shamans that is why it is also called Shaman’s Mask.
But the main Asian name of such dZi bead is Fudo. In Sanscrit it is called Achala. Fudo is angry deity-protector. It is mainly honored in China and Japan. The function of such dZi bead is to protect everybody against demons by burning everything “unholy”. Angry glare symbolizes elimination of blindness because of unbelief.
It is the power of the word, sacral sound, primary mantra, power of the Heavens, support of Higher Forces, mystic power and protection.
It is one of seven Gods of happiness. The prototype of Hotey was the Chinese monk who wandered around China and earned money by forecasting weather. He had only a staff and a bag for alms called hotey, the name of which the monk got. People loved the monk for his cheerful disposition and good temper. According to legend people got luck, health and wealth in the places where this monk appeared. If anybody asked him what in the bag was, he answered: “I have the entire world in it”…
The image of Hotey on the beads is commonly made by carving. On the other side of this bead there is a pictogram etched in the stone. This bead carries positive, luck and good opportunities.
Chinese cabbage is the symbol of prosperity and abundance, money success and magnet in China. This very energy is carried by the dZi bead with Chinese cabbage depicted on it.
By the way, people began depicting this vegetable on the beads not long time ago. Earlier only statuettes and talismans as well as figures for tea board were made in the shape of Chinese cabbage. It is considered that if during tea ceremony to pour such figure with tea, the man increases his wealth as if he pours money sprouts.
Golden fish, Tai-fish.
It is the symbol of luck, purpose achievement and wish fulfillment. Nowadays the dZi beads with carved fishes are met more often. But the etching with such symbol is exceedingly rare. You can get such magic fish and let it fulfill your devout wishes. But your wishes shall be good, kind and fair.
P.S. I would like to remind that the patterns have just symbolic meaning of dZi beads. However, as I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t endue all Tibetan amulets having the same symbols with the same power. One and the same dZi bead belonging to different people can work differently regardless of the symbol depicted on it. Some beads became active immediately, the other ones can stay inactive for a long time. In any case you should remember that any amulet is not panacea, it is just an assistant in purpose achievements. I wish prosperity and abundance to everyone!
About the meaning of the dZi bead eyes number read HERE.
About the meaning of symbols-pictograms read HERE.
7 thoughts on “DZi-beads: the meaning of the patterns. Part III.”
Delight! Professor- dr DZi! Very interesting, thank you!
Thank you for your appreciation, it’s really nice. 🙂
Hi, there is a dzi pattern i’d like to inquire about. How can I send the pic? Thanks!
I am so impressed with your work.
I am reading and rereading all you have written, and this work will become part of a permanent, printed reference on Dzi that I will refer to often as I collect and gift dzi.
Will you do any more on the symbols found on Tibetan dzi?
Please let me know.
With Kindly Regards
Tom Bates aka blitzenjaeger
blitzenjaeger means lightening master in German
Dear Tom! Thank you for such a high appreciation of my work. And I will definitely inform you about the continuation …
Hi Natalia, I have been collecting Dzi beads for a long time, but have not come across Dzi beads with more than 21 eyes. Where could I search for Dzi beads with more eyes than what I have? Your collection of Dzi beads and their info is quite impressive, you obviously have done a lot of research for a long time. Thank you.
Hello dear Mariana! Thanks for your feedback. Yes, I have been studying dZi beads for a long time. I have some dZi beads with more than 21 eyes. You can see it in my store. Sincerely. Natalia