What are mala beads?

A mala is simply a string of beads that are used in a meditation practice. It is a tool to help you count mantras, and acts as a tactile guide as you sit in silence. Malas can be made of many materials — we only use authentic gemstones, rudraksha seeds and sandalwood. Even more, we hand knot and bless each piece in Bali.

Whether you’re just starting a meditation practice, or you're an advanced practitioner, Mala beads are a great tool to help focus your attention. They provide something tactile to come back to when your mind starts to wander.

Anatomy of a mala

OVERHAND KNOTTING
A true sign of a traditionally crafted mala, overhand knotting not only makes the mala stronger, it also provides the perfect space for Japa Meditation – a meditation that uses each bead to count a repetition of a mantra.

THE GURU BEAD
The Guru Bead is the bead that the tassel attaches directly to. When strung on a necklace, the Guru Bead is often the 109th necklace. The Guru Bead is said to symbolize the Guru from who the student has received a mantra being used or recited, and pay homage to the student-guru relationship.

THE TASSEL
The tassel’s significance has multiple meanings. One that resonates with us is that as the strings come together as one to form the tassel, it represents our connection to the divine and to each other. We love the concept of it representing oneness.

History of a mala

Mala beads have been used by yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years to help keep their minds focused during meditation. Malas were first created in India 3000 years ago (with roots in Hinduism & Buddhism) and were used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite”. The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.”

why 108 beads?

Some believe there are 108 stages on the journey of the human soul, while others associate the possibility of enlightenment with taking only 108 breaths a day, while in deep meditation.

108 Beads

The truth is — the significance of 108 beads on your mala is open to interpretation. Which we love.

As mala beads were traditionally created to be used as a tool in meditation, we like to associate it with the ideals of meditation. However — we believe mala beads are also beautiful mediums to set intentions, manifest, and generally feel good.

You don't have to meditate on the beads, although that's what they are made for in a practical sense. Our malas are handknotted between each seed and gemstone, allowing one to chant their mantra — a sound or string of words — and keep track of were they are. Our mala necklaces all reflect the number 108. Almost all of our malas have 108 beads, while some have 216 (double), or 54 (half)

Reasons behind the 108 mythology

Chakras
One of our favourite explanations for having 108 beads on a mala is related to the chakras (the seven energy points in our body).
It has been said there there are 108 energy lines connecting to the heart, with one of them believed to be the path to self realization.

Mantras
When using your mala beads in meditation and chanting your mantra, some have said you are complete once you have done it 100 times. The 8 extra beads are to account for errors. Or even more beautiful, are meant to be an offering to your guru.

Letters
Many choose to recite their mantra in sanskrit, the ancient script of India. Within the Saksrit alphabet there are 54 letters. Each letter has a feminine and masculine version — totalling 108.

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