The origin of the mysterious Tibetan beads Dzi is filled with myths and legends. These stories differ in different areas of Tibet. Most myths speak of the divine origin of Dzi. And most Tibetans believe that Dzi beads are either descended from the gods or are of heavenly origin. But there are legends about the completely terrestrial origin of these Tibetan amulets.
Due to the antiquity of the artifacts, it is difficult to identify the true origin of Dzi. Consider the most famous of the current legends and myths about Dzi beads.
Legends telling about the divine and heavenly origin of Dzi beads.
Some legends are discussed in this article. Here we take a closer look at the stories that have come down to us about the origin of Tibetan talismans. Dzi beads are gems from jewelry of divine essences.
Almost all the ancient Dzi found have some defects. Probably, this circumstance became the basis of this legend. The stones previously belonged to gods or demigods, and when the precious stones cracked or deteriorated, the deities simply threw them to the ground.
Since these jewelries belonged to the gods, they possessed strong magnetic energy and magical properties. And even after lying in the earth for thousands of years, they have not lost their properties and regularly serve the people who found them.
Dzi is bestowed on people to protect against an epidemic.
A terrible epidemic erupted in Tibet. Many people were dying. Tibetans were haunted by misfortune and a terrible disease. The goddess Vajravahari, having seen this, decided to help people. She scattered Dzi’s healing beads from heaven that stopped the epidemic and restored health and a better life to many Tibetans. According to other sources, it was the goddess Vajrayogini. But both the one and the other goddess are different aspects of the incarnations of the goddess Tara.
A similar legend says that the healing beads to save from a severe epidemic that erupted about 3,000 years ago brought the Bodhisattva Manjushri to the world of people. His heart was full of compassion when he saw the plight of many people.
Manjushri scattered Dzi beads that provide health and help in many life situations. People found and picked them up. As a result, they gained good health and protection from trouble.
In these legends, Tibetan talismans are presented as saving amulets that protected people from a terrible disease. Until now, Dzi’s healing powers have been used in Tibetan medicine by grinding beads and adding them to various medicines.
Dzi brought the Beads to Tibet Padmasambhava – Guru Rinpoche.
Guru Rinpoche is considered the second incarnation of the Buddha. His coming after his parinirvana (final release and departure from the physical body) was predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni.
According to legend, Padmasambhava (born in a lotus) was the one who actively spread Buddhism in Tibet. But then the Bon religion reigned supreme. And the fearsome Bon demons opposed the spread of Buddhism. Then Guru Rinpoche went to fight the terrible demons, who had destroyed by that time the first Buddhist monastery in Samye.
After he demonstrated his magic, the demons admitted defeat and even began to help rebuild Samye Monastery. For this victory, divine beings blessed Guru Rinpoche and gifted him with Dzi beads, which he buried in the ground throughout Tibet.
Each of these beads had either some kind of blessing, or helped to gain spiritual insight. Tibetans believe that only people with good karma can find these beads, use the divine blessing and become the owner of this talisman.
Dzi as a weapon against the gods
The next legend says that Dzi’s beads somehow helped the Asuras in their confrontation with the gods. Asuras are some divine beings endowed with great power. They often quarreled with the gods. This confrontation resembles a similar confrontation between the titans and the gods of Olympus in Greek mythology.
Other legends of Dzi origin
In addition to legends about the apparent divine origin of Dzi beads, in Tibet there are legends about the natural and even version of the human origin of Tibetan talismans. Consider these myths and legends.
The cosmic version of the origin – meteorites.
This legend says that meteorites fell from the sky. They were chosen by yogis who used these heavenly stones in their many years of practice. After cleansing through spiritual practices, these celestial stones turned into Dzi beads.
Shells of ancient mollusks.
In those days when the ancient sea existed in the Tibet region, creatures resembling modern mollusks inhabited it. They had a rather thick shell protecting their body. These mollusks moved along the ancient sea.
About 50-55 million years ago, instead of this sea, mountains began to form due to the collision of two lithospheric plates – Indian and Eurasian. The sea receded, and all the creatures that inhabited it either left with the water or perished. All the accumulated remains of creatures at the bottom of this sea rose to a great height. And the shells of ancient mollusks later turned into Dzi beads.
The emergence of a mountain stream.
From one mountain, not far from Rutoga (a county in Ngari district in Tibet) there was a stream in which, along with water, Dzi beads poured in a continuous stream. This was not liked by some evil sorceress. She used her spell and stopped the flow of Dzi. From this moment, Dzi beads ceased to be born in this creek.
Painted stones of Indian craftsmen.
One married Indian couple lived in the Himalayas. They were masters of coloring natural stones. They took gems from India and applied a unique pattern to them. It was their family secret for coloring stones. Their art was very difficult to reproduce.
After this Indian couple passed away, no one else could repeat what they were doing. The manufacturing technology of Dzi beads has been lost.
Creatures resembling snakes.
Dzi are small living creatures resembling snakes. They move fast and their movements resemble those of a snake. When they are discovered and touched by people, they stop moving and turn into a thread with Dzi beads.
Creatures resembling insects.
Dzi are creatures that can fly, crawl and run and resemble small insects. These creatures can live in nests, because when they are found, there can be several at once. And they can continue to move until they are touched by a person’s hand (or something belonging to a person). After that, they freeze and turn into Dzi beads.
It should be noted that not every person can touch these creatures in Dzi when touched. Only a person with good karma or a clergyman, a lama can do this. According to legend, it is better to sprinkle crawling creatures with sand, otherwise they may disappear. People with good karma and luck can see Dzi flying over the meadows. And if they manage to catch them, then they will turn into motionless beads.
This legend intersects with the legend of the divine origin of Dzi. When the gods scattered beads they did not need, they turned into living beings. And then, when touched by people, they turned into Dzi beads.
Occurrence in the earth.
Dzi’s beads were hidden deep underground in ancient times. And after a long time, tectonic processes carried them close to the surface. Therefore, they are found in the fields by farmers during field work. They can be swallowed by animals and later found in their dung and even horns.
Dzi beads are the treasures of Shambhala.
King Geser – the son of a heavenly lord who rules in the kingdom of Lin, defeated the kingdom of Tagzig (the land of Tagzig Olmo of the Moon Ring, known as Shambhala). There he found many precious objects, including Dzi beads.
King Geser awarded his victorious soldiers with Dzi beads, which then returned them to Tibet. After this, Dzi beads became known and spread throughout the Himalayan region.