A mala (or Japa Mala) is a Buddhist or Hindu rosary used to count prayers and mantras.
It is traditionally composed of 108 pearls and a central ball called a Guru (or Meru), which represents the Master. Some malas contain fewer beads, in which case there will always be a multiple of 9.
The manufacturing of a mala is done with conscience in mind, in the calm, the letting go and the present moment. A precise intention can also be thought of.
Why 108 Beads?
The number 108 is sacred in the Indian tradition, as well as in many other spiritual traditions in the world. Its symbolism is very vast, it is found in sacred architecture, cosmic cycles, myths and legends, philosophy.
The seeds of Rudraksha are traditionally used for the making of malas. They come from a tree that grows in India and are also called “tears of Shiva”. The legend tells that during a meditation session, Shiva would have visualized the sufferings of the world and that he would have cried. One of his tears fell to the ground and a tree was born, the seeds of which are called Rudraksha.
According to Ayurveda, wearing seeds of Rudraksha would be beneficial to calm the nerves and help with concentration. They would also have electromagnetic properties that would help reduce hypertension and depression.
Beyond the aesthetic aspect, the presence of semi-precious stones allows to incorporate the mineral energy in the malas.
The stones are chosen to offer the malas a specific vibration that will come to work on different aspects of the body, the emotion and the mind. For example the pink quartz directs us towards the softness and the opening of the heart, the amethyst calms the mind, lapis lazuli brings wisdom and lucidity.
Reciting mantras with a mala is a beautiful way to send a prayer or to put energy into a project or a process (change, healing …). It is also an effective way to calm the mind at night and facilitate sleep.
The person who recites a mantra will at the same time emit harmonizing sound vibrations and receive the subtle vibrations of the mala that it has in hands. According to tradition, our first mala is offered to us as a gift. He then becomes our companion of meditation and he takes charge of our energy and our prayers.
Where to buy Malas?
To get some malas you can just head down to your local yoga or meditation center. If you happen to own a yoga center then you would buy from a wholesale supplier like this one. You can also buy from larger eCommerce suppliers like alibaba.