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What Are Mala Beads

Traditional interpretation

A mala is simply a string of beads that are used in meditation practice. Sacred Buddhist mala beads have been used for centuries by many spiritual traditions as a tool to help to calm the mind, center oneself, and connect the best that is within us.


"Mala" means "meditation garland" in Sanskrit, "Japa" means to repeat a mantra or prayer. Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54, 81, 99, or 108 beads. But mostly they are a strand of 108 beads, which are traditionally used in Buddhist and Hindu practices of meditation and prayer.


These necklaces, sometimes called “Buddhist rosary,” are traditional tools used to count the number of times a mantra is recited or breaths we've done, it is a tool that acts as a tactile guide as you sit in silence...

Benefits Of MALA BEADS

Mala beads have been used in so many different spiritual traditions for so long because these beads have many powerful benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Some of the below eight benefits are universal for all types of prayer or counting beads but several of these benefits are specific to mala beads.

1. Increases focus during mantra meditation.

2. An efficient and practical tool to count mantras.

3. An easy way to keep track of the number of mantras recited.

4. Physical contact with prayer beads transmits their inherent healing powers.

5. Once mala is empowered it can be used for even more powerful healing of yourself and others.

6. Choosing a mala to purchase can help in process of determining goals and intentions and spiritual pursuits.

7. Seeing or wearing a mala can serve as a reminder of one’s intention and goals. It can also be used as a reward or symbol for accomplishing a difficult task.


In Modern Yoogi Time

Malas are growing in popularity and can be used not only for your meditation practice but also as decorations or jewelry. You may see malas adorning the wrists, necks, and altars of meditation devotees and at the top of mats of yoga practitioners. These beautiful necklaces often hold special significance for the bearer based on where they got it, why they chose the stones, and the energy resonance they feel with the beads.

People more and more love malas because they can combine fashion and function.  Malas can be made out of any number of materials including rudraksha tree, the wood of the tulsi plant, lotus seeds, sandalwood, or precious gemstones.

In these days people choose to wear Mala Beads for a number of reasons: as part of meditation practice; to benefit from the energy of the crystals and gemstones; as a reminder of intentions they've set; because of a meaning they've associated with them; or simply because they're beautiful... 

The History Of Mala Beads

Mala beads are used in other cultures and religions but are known by different names, such as prayer beads, rosary beads, and worry beads. Over two-thirds of the world’s population employ some type of counting beads as part of their spiritual practice. The use of beads in prayer appears to have originated around the 8th century B.C.E. in India.

Beads by themselves have had a powerful influence and importance in human history. The oldest beads found to date are approximately 42,0000 years old. Beads have been used throughout our history as talismans for protection, amulets for luck, status symbols for wealth and authority, spiritual and religious tools, and as a form of barter. The meanings and use of beads have changed significantly over time—they have been used to symbolize personal and cultural relationships, physical, magical and supernatural power, and common cultural world-views.

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