Microfilm for Stupas and Prayer Wheels
- Information About Mani Microfilm (see Below)
- Information About How To Fill A Prayer Wheel
- Benefits Of Making Prayer Wheels, By Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- How This Latest Mani Microfilm Was Developed
INFORMATION ABOUT MANI MICROFILM
The information here relates to the master microfilm files developed by FPMT Education Services.
We are currently providing certain mantra files as well as prayers and sutras specifically for replication on microfilm. This film is designed for the purpose of filling prayer wheels, stupas and statues with the maximum number of mantras, prayers, sutras possible.
Currently we have OM MANI PADME HUM as well as other mantras available for replication on microfilm. Each file has a different number of mantras on it. Microfilm is ordered in 2000 foot rolls. For the number of mantras per 2000 foot roll please see the best of mantras available and the numbers for each below. For example, 2000 Feet of OM MANI PADME HUM on microfilm contains 685,809,230 mantras. The master file for this microfilm took several months to complete, using the best technology available in order to create the clearest images possible. This master roll has the most mantras that can be put onto microfilm while maintaining the best quality - Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises that the mantras must be legible for the microfilm to be suitable to be used to fill prayer wheels and stupas.
What Is Microfilm?
Microfilm is actual film, like the film you put in a regular camera. The microfilm we use for the purpose of Mani mantras is 16mm wide (5 / 8ths of an inch) and thinner than camera film. Microfilm cameras have the ability to take an original document as large as legal size (11"x14") and reduce the image to 16mm by 10 mm on the microfilm. Then when the microfilm is processed (in the same manner as black and white film is processed), the images come out clearly in black and white and microscopic on the film. A microfilm reader is used to read the images on the microfilm. The film is placed into a certain slot and fed through a light and magnifier that produces the image onto a screen in front of the viewer, but in the case of mantras our images are so small that a microscope is needed to read the mantras. Microfilm is primarily used by libraries and government to store and archive documents and periodicals.
How Do I Order Mani Microfilm?
Microfilm comes in 2000 foot rolls and is 10" in diameter by 5/8". The film weighs approximately 10 lbs a roll. Microfilm of any of the mantras, prayers or sutras listed below can be ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Using Mani Film For Prayer Wheels
It is important to determine the correct direction of the film so that the mantras can be wound going clockwise around the central shaft, meaning the OM should be going first and the HUM last. We are currently working to get a better indicator on our Mani film. All our film will have readable indication in the beginning of the film itself that says BEGINNING. This will be legible to the naked eye.
What Is The Life Span Of Microfilm?
Microfilm can last over 100 years before any deterioration is detected. This is under optimal conditions, which means keeping the microfilm in a cool, dry, dark place. For prayer wheels, it is very important to consider what the conditions in the interior of the prayer wheel will be like. Microfilm will melt under extremely hot conditions (if the film is touching the hot metal on the inside walls of a prayer wheel that is standing in direct sun). If metal prayer wheels are constructed with the intention to hold microfilm they need to be insulated and ideally have a shelter over them to protect them from heat. You can use fiberglass or foam insulation, even wool or newspaper will work.
If a prayer wheel is going to be constructed in very humid conditions, make sure to wind the film tight so that moisture does not get in between the layers of film. If there is space in between the film layers as it is being wound then moisture will seep into the gaps and could form mold. To prevent this, the film must be wound tightly around itself and a layer of absorbent material should insulate the prayer wheel interior. With these precautions your film should be fine.
If these problems are avoided, the film should last a minimum of 100 years.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche Asked Me To Put Mantras And Prayers Onto Microfilm - How Do I Do That??
If you are working at an FPMT center and Lama Zopa Rinpoche has requested you to put certain mantras and texts onto film for your prayer wheel or stupa, you may email your request to Education Services at FPMT International Office: email@example.com. Education Services will provide the mantras and texts you need to the microfilm company who will then make the film. Any mantra or text you have been requested to put in your stupa or prayer wheel needs to be reduced and altered in order to fit as many images as possible onto the film while maintaining perfect clarity. Education Services will work with Tai Vautier to create the new mantra files for microfilm.
The following mantras are available for replication on microfilm:
Chenrezig Mani Mantra: 685,809,230 per 2000 foot roll
Longest Chenrezig Mantra 425,397 per 2000 foot roll
Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras 185,089 per 2000 foot roll, with individual mantra numbers as follows:
Stainless Pinnacle: 185,089
Zung of the Exhalted Completely Pure Stainless Light: 185,089
Secret Relic: 185,089
100,000 Ornaments: 185,089
Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche): 28,966,617 per 2000 foot roll
Five Powerful Deity Mantras: 1,849,807 per 2000 foot roll, with individual mantra numbers as follows:
Stainless Pinnacle: 246,641
Lotus Pinnacle of Amogapasha: 616,602
Amityus Long Life Sutra: 53,352 per 2000 foot roll
Namgyalma Mantra: approximately 1,116,000 per 2000 foot roll
Zung of the Exalted Completely Pure Stainless Light: approximately 2,170,000 per 2000 foot roll
Kunrig Mantra: TBD
Stainless Pinnacle, Tsugtor Drime: 3,038,000 per 2000 foot roll
Kurukulla Mantra: 44,909,235 per 2000 foot roll
Dependent Related Heart Mantra: 12,303,900 per 2000 foot roll
For a complete list of microfilm available, please contact Tai Vautier at: firstname.lastname@example.org
With very grateful thanks to Tai Vautier for all her work on this project!