The beads are usually between 7 – 10mm in size and their round shape allows them to glide easily through your fingers. During a meditation, you hold the mala and work your way around it, saying a mantra for each bead while rolling it between your fingers. Finishing the circuit means you’ve completed 100 recitations.
More than just jewelry, malas are powerful and culturally-rich tools for meditation. We don’t believe you need to be religious or have a spiritual practice to wear mala beads —you can simply wear them as a reminder of personal intention you’ve set, or when seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How do I use them? 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.
It’s most beneficial to keep the mala in a sanctified space and never put it on the floor, touch it to your feet, or let others wear it. It’s best also to not wear in the shower or swimming regularly as that could eventually break down the cotton knotting.
One of the major factors you will want to consider when selecting your mala beads is authenticity. Most authentic malas have knots in between the beads to make counting them easier. The ones that are made to be worn around the wrist, however, normally do not have these knots.
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 ).
In Buddhism , there are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions. In Yoga, 108 Sun Salutations are often practiced to honor change. For example, to bring peace, respect and understanding at a time of tragedy or to honor the change of seasons.
The Glory Be to the Father (Gloria Patri) is generally said after each decade. There are not 108 beads on a rosary . Fifty of these beads are set apart in 5 groups of 10 called decades. Rosary , Rosary Beads General Information A rosary is a circular string of beads used by Roman Catholics for counting prayers.
If you are a Buddhist , and you wear a cross as a meaningless decoration, you are certainly within your rights, but others are within their rights not to appreciate your choices.
Malas always have 108 Beads . There are also variations of malas like pocket malas or mala bracelets and they may have 27 beads or 54 beads , or any multiple of 9, as 9 is a sacred number in Yoga.
Myanma Buddhism 108 beads are strung on a garland, with the beads typically made of fragrant wood like sandalwood, and series of brightly coloured strings at the end of the garland. It is commonly used in samatha meditation , to keep track of the number of mantras chanted during meditation .