Buddhist Tingshas - 04/30/2003

I received two bell-type items connected to one another with a thin piece of leather. I was told that I can ring these (from left to right) and acquire a soft meditating sound. I was also told that these are rung when someone dies. I would like to know the name of this item or be referred to websites that might educate me about the practice of focusing on sin, apology and the use of these bell-type items.



Hi Suzanne. Thanks for contacting Contender Ministries. Without actually seeing what you have, it sounds like you've been given a "tingsha." Tingshas are two cymbal-shaped bells connected by a strap. A site that sells tingshas provided the following information:

Tingshas have long been used for ritual purposes by Buddhist monks, nuns, yogis and yoginis. When the two cymbal-shaped metal disks are struck together each produces a ringing sound of very slightly differing pitch. The combined effect gives rise to the unique 'shimmering' quality to the sound.

In Tibetan Buddhist practice tingshas are struck together at right-angles; this produces a loud penetrating sound. Outside Tibetan Buddhism, shamanic use of tingshas also includes clearing space of negative energies and healing or balancing auric fields. They are also used to define the beginning and the end of a period of meditation.

Tingshas are made from an alloy of 5 or 7 metals which originally included meteorite. Today, iron is used as a substitute for this due to meteors being rather scarce! The alloy is cast and turned to obtain their true shape and pure sound. The casting may include decoration of the upper surfaces - usually depicting dragons or the eight auspicious symbols (see section Aspects of Tibetan Buddhism). The undersurfaces will often be imprinted with Tibetan characters for Om Ah Hung which represents enlightened body, speech and mind..

As for sin and repentence, all I can tell you is that humans are inherently sinful, and true forgiveness of sins comes only through God. Through His inimitable grace and love, he offers us all a full and complete pardon for our sins. All we have to do is confess our sins to Him and repent of them, and accept the free gift of salvation He offers through Jesus Christ. Tingshas and the worship of false gods or goddesses will do nothing to cleanse us of sins, but God has made us a wonderful promise to hold on to. A good web page for more information on sin and forgiveness is: http://www.contenderministries.org/romanroad.php. May God richly bless you.

In Christ,

Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries