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Mala Prayer Beads [Multiple Options] [108 – 8mm beads]


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What are mala beads?

A mala is a simple string of beads used in japa meditation to count mantras, prayers, or intentions. Malas can also be used to count breaths or used in a gratitude meditation. Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning garland or rosary. Malas are a type of meditation or prayer beads and are ancient tools that were developed to keep the mind focused and clear from thoughts.

How many beads are in a mala?

A full mala contains 108 counting beads plus one guru or meru bead. Usually, a 108 bead mala

is long enough to wear as a necklace. A mala can also be strung as a half mala containing 54 beads, or as a wrist mala with 27 counting beads to be worn as a bracelet. The guru (teacher) or meru (mountain) bead is often larger than the other counting mantra beads and it provides a starting and ending point for counting the repetitions of the mantra. A tassel is connected to the end of the guru/meru to finish the mala with a final knot. Malas are also referred to as mantra beads, meditation beads, Hindu rosaries or Buddhist prayer beads.

Why do malas have 108 beads?

The number 108 has a very powerful significancein the science and spirituality of India. There are 108 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet! Vedic mathematicians measured the Sun’s diameter to be 108 times larger than the diameter of the Earth, measured the distance between the Sun and Earth to be 108 times the Sun’s diameter. In the yogic tradition, we find 108 sacred texts of the Upanishads, 108 sacred holy sites in India, and 108 marma (acupressure-like) points on the body. In the bhakti yoga tradition, stories are told of 108 gopis dancing with Krishna in Vrindavan, and there are 108 names of the goddess. In tantric yoga, 108 energy lines are described throughout the body and they all converge and connect at the heart chakra.

The 109th bead

The largest bead in a mala necklace is called the guru (teacher) or meru (mountain) bead. It is located at the center of the mala and serves as a marker for the start and end of the 108 beads. It is typically made from the same type of material as the counting beads, but it can be different in size, shape, or material than the other beads in the mala.

The guru bead is considered the most important part of the mala and symbolizes the relationship between the student and the teacher or guru in the spiritual traditions of India and Asia. The student can use this bead as a point of focus during their meditation practice and seek guidance and blessings from their guru or spiritual mentor.

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