A mala, commonly refereed to as "mala beads" or as a "mala necklace" amongst other names is a type of necklace often popular with people interested in healthy living, meditation, spirituality and the following religions:
A Mala is a string of beads that are used in a meditation practice. Each of these beads helps to keep count of the mantra as you recite it 108 times (representing the 108 worldly sins in the Buddhist doctrine). Even outside of Buddhism, the number 108 has significance in many Eastern religious, representing the universe as one thing (1), nothing (0) and everything (8, or infinity).
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 different materials as wood or seeds. We only use authentic semiprecious stones in ours and we hand knot and bless each piece.
The meaning of the Tassel
In traditional Buddhist culture, tassels are a symbol for lotus blossoms, which represent and promote enlightenment. For centuries, tassels have also served as a talisman that represents power, protection and spiritual connection. For for meanings of the tassel click here.
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.
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.
For many a mala can simply be a physical reminder of positive intentions and for others it can be a meditation tool often used within religious practices. There is no one definition or correct meaning as to what a mala is, it is up to each individual to determine what meaning their mala holds for them.