The aim of this article is to provide the reader with information about Ghao (Gau) boxes (prayer boxes) which are often found in the form of a handcrafted silver locket.
Where do Ghao boxes originate from?
Although used by many religions and faiths, it is believed that Gau boxes originate from the Buddhist or Hindu faith. However, many people wear them today not for religious purposes but as a silver locket purely for their aesthetic appeal.
What are Ghao boxes commonly used for?
In religious circles, Ghao boxes are used to aid the wearer in focussing his/her mind in prayer. This is done by having a prayer written on a small piece of paper and then put and sealed inside the prayer box. The Ghao box is sometimes also used to hold small religious objects.
The images of important religious teachers or deities are often crafted into the Ghao box, for example, Buddha in Buddhist Gau boxes. Important religious symbols are often incorporated into the Ghao box. In Buddhism the Om symbol, or the Tibetan prayer wheel are commonly found on the prayer box.
Ghao boxes as a non religious silver locket
Ghao boxes are being increasingly worn by people who don’t hold any particular religious beliefs and who use them as jewelry pendants. The prayer box is often added to a necklace or bracelet and makes for an attractive centre piece to these types of jewelry.
Many non religious users of Ghao boxes hold inspirational quotes or poems within their prayer box. Others use them to hold pictures of loved ones which can be passed down from generation to generation and often hold huge sentimental value for the recipient.
Many prayer boxes have some form of gemstone incorporated into the design, a common one being a turquoise gemstone. The gemstone doesn’t have any particular religious significance but can add colour and beauty to the Ghao box. Often someone will buy a silver locket which contains the gemstone associated with the month of their birth to personalise the prayer box.
However, often the prayer box will contain no gemstone at all and will be simply handcrafted as a plain silver locket inscribed with meaningful words or symbols.
What are Ghao boxes usually made of?
Ghao boxes can be made from a range of different materials and can be found in a range of prices. They are most commonly made from sterling silver, silver, gold, brass, copper or lightweight materials. Sterling silver is certainly the most common and, as mentioned above, this can often include a gemstone such as turquoise.
Prayer boxes are generally considered to be sacred by their wearers and, therefore, tend to be made from a precious metal like silver (or sometimes gold).
Whether you are after something to wear as a symbol of your religious beliefs, a source of inspiration or just a beautiful piece of jewelry, a Ghao box may be just what you are looking for.