What Is A Mala?
In Sanskrit, the word “mala” means garland, which evokes the image of a continuous, circular form. Malas are tools developed centuries ago to assist in keeping the mind clear and focused. In other cultures, malas are known by different names such as rosaries and prayer beads. They can assist the wearer to carry a sense of calm and peace with them throughout their day. Malas are used for counting as you repeat a mantra or affirmation. A full mala has 108 counting beads and a guru bead. Some malas have additional marker beads. Malas can be strung as a half mala, with 54 beads or worn as a wrist mala with 27 beads.
Why 108 Beads?
The number 108 is considered to be a sacred number in many spiritual philosophies. In yoga, 108 is said to represent spiritual completion, the Universe and Higher Truth. There are said to be 108 sacred sites in India. In Ayurvedic tradition, 108 refers to the number of sacred points in the body that can awaken vital energy. In Buddhism and Hinduism, 108 beads are used for prayer & meditation. In the Sanskrit alphabet there are 54 characters, each with a masculine and feminine, 54 x 2 = 108. The number 108 can even be found the structure of Stonehenge. The four station stones from the rectangle measure 108 feet. The number is also connected to the Sun, Moon and the Earth. The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to the Earth is approximately 108 timestheir respective diameters. Chakras are the convergence of energy lines in the body. There are 108 energy lines, which converge to form the Heart Chakra.