Buddhists do not always wear their beads , some actually prefer to keep them to themselves and use them only for meditation and prayer . Some Buddhists actually prefer to wear their Mala and see other people wearing them as a good thing, as it all draws more attention to Buddhism and helps people to remain aware.
Why the number 108 ? The number 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism and yogic tradition. Malas or Japa beads come in a string of 108 and are used for devotional meditation , mantra and prayer . This is the guiding bead and marks the beginning and end of the mala /chant/ prayer / mantra .
Mala beads , also sometimes known as Buddhist prayer beads , are long necklace-type tools traditionally used for mantra practice and meditation. Mala beads typically have 108 beads on them (a sacred number which represents spiritual completion) plus a single “guru” bead to signify the beginning and end of a count cycle.
In the yogic tradition the beads are used in japamala practice to recite mantras in meditation (hence the name). A full cycle of 108 repetitions is counted on the mala so the practitioner can focus on the sounds, vibration and meaning of what is being said.
Beads , whether sewn on apparel or worn on strings, have symbolic meanings that are far removed from the simplistic empiricism of the Western anthropologist. They, or pendants, may for instance be protective, warding off evil spirits or spells, or they can be good luck charms.
Besides being totally disrespectful , it’s bad luck to place Buddha in a bathroom. Also the statue should never face one. Dust accumulating on or around the statue is disrespectful . It will bring filth into your own life.
But 108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga. Renowned mathematicians of Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.
A traditional mantra for activating and sealing in the energy in your new rudraksha mala is “Om Hrim Namah Shivaya Om.” Chant this mantra at least three times. Sit for at least five minutes to seal the energetic bond. Once you have activated your mala beads , you may want to cleanse and clean them from time to time.
In yoga, the number 108 refers to spiritual completion. It is why japa malas are composed of 108 beads, why pranayama is often completed in cycles of 108 , and why sun salutations are often performed in nine rounds of the 12 postures (totaling 108 ).
Traditional malas are almost always worn on the right hand, wrapped around the wrist like a bracelet. If you are going to wear Mala beads , there are a few rules you should know about. For example, it is not appropriate for your beads , either necklaces or bracelets, to ever touch the ground.
Black beads also symbolize death and evil. The black color is a very bold and heavy color. Black beads are also considered as Holy, elegant, powerful, and Heavy. These beads represent seriousness, expensiveness, and death.
Most traditional advise says your right wrist is the best wrist to wear your mala on. If your mala necklace is too long or too short for that last “wrap” you can use a small safety pin or hook the tassel around one of your fingers so you can feel the power or your mala on the back of your hand.
The term ‘ mala ‘ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.” Originally, mala beads were used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite.” ‘ Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions.
To use mala beads for controlling your breath: Hold your mala with one hand. Let it drape across your fingers so you can move it easily. Complete one full breath (inhale and exhale). Move your fingers to the next bead , breathing in and out once per bead . Finish at the guru bead to complete 108 breaths.
Prayer beads can consist of just a few beads, usually worn around the wrist, or longer strands, often of 108 beads , worn around the neck.