Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, and Judaism are some of the leading religions that use prayer beads. Among these, the Soka Gakkai prayer beads are particularly well-known and widely used by Buddhist practitioners.
These traditional beads are commonly used during prayer and meditation. Additionally, juzu prayer beads are considered to be one of the three essential items possessed by practitioners of Nichiren Shoshu.
The other two items are a copy of the Gohonzon, a sacred mandala inscribed by
Nichiren Shonin, and a carrying case for the Gohonzon.
Soka Gakkai Prayer Beads Guide
The Soka Gakkai juzu prayer beads are also known as
“nenju.” They consist of 108 beads of varying sizes, which is a characteristic shared by many traditional Buddhist rosaries.
These beads symbolize the numerous earthly desires that practitioners aim to transcend.
Juzu beads may be made from various materials, with agate, crystal, and coral being the most common choices. However, almost any type of stone or wood can be used.
The beads are usually strung together with threads.
In addition to the 108 beads, Soka Gakkai prayer beads feature a third dangle on the side of the “mother” bead.
This dangle consists of 10 beads and a
“Kosen-Rufu” bead, which is a symbol of world peace in Japanese.
The dangle represents the desire for a world where all people can live in harmony and without conflict.
Prior to the emergence of Nichiren Buddhism, juzu beads had only two dangles on each end.
The third dangle was added to the “mother” bead to distinguish Nichiren Buddhism from other sects of Buddhism.
In addition to these three dangles, there are four more dangles with a differently shaped bead at various points along the string.
The beads are used in a number of different ways. Normally they are used as a tool and a spiritual focal point.
Many people even use prayer beads to help them through stressful times in their lives, such as the death of a loved one or a time when the person wants to find their own way in the world.
It is common for a person to repeat a mantra, or a prayer, as they count their prayer beads. As the person repeats the mantra, they may rotate the beads between each repetition.
Although they are called prayer beads, they are used for much more than just praying.
Soka Gakkai juzu prayer beads are used as a method to set the mind to concentrate and encourage positive thinking, recitation of Buddhist mantras and the counting of breath.
These beads serve to center our minds and help us focus our thoughts on the inner self as we mindfully count each bead.
This is a great exercise because counting one bead at time closes up your awareness field so that you are concentrating with all your senses on the next bead.
Today most Buddhists use juzu beads more similarly to prayer charms as an aid for meditation and reflection on Buddha’s teachings whenever they feel their mind become restless or unfocused.
These counting accessories can help you both ground yourself spiritually and meditationally and calm your senses.
7 Best Soka Gakkai Prayer Beads
DIY Soka Gakkai Prayer Beads Mala
Playing with the beads is a great way to relax and let go of the stress of the day.
You can make Soka Gakkai Beads at home by getting the necessary ingredients from Amazon at a very affordable price.
There are many videos on YouTube with instructions to make prayer beads. I am attaching a video below:
Best Bead Bags (Cheap Bulk Beads)
The Soka Gakkai beads, also known as juzu or nenju, serve as a reminder of our shared humanity during prayer sessions.
They emphasize the idea that all people, regardless of differences, are connected on this planet and share a common experience.
Founded in 1930 by Japanese educator
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Soka Gakkai is based on the teachings of Nichiren, a 13th century Japanese priest.
Makiguchi believed Buddhism could drive social change and the Gakkai movement gained popularity post-World War II in Japan.
Soka Gakkai International (SGI), established in 1975 by Daisaku Ikeda, is a global Nichiren Buddhist organization with the goal of promoting peace, culture, and education.
SGI holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and its members come from diverse nationalities and beliefs.
The name Soka Gakkai means
“Society for the Creation of Value.”