Mala ~ Prayer Beads – A little background info

If you’re following my Facebook and/or Instagram page, you’ve probably noticed some Mala-Prayer Beads lately.
Here are some examples so you know what I’m talking about…

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A Mala is an amazing Meditation tool – if you’ve tried to meditate, but your mind keeps going from shopping list, to replaying last nights episode of {insert your favorite show here}, to the song you just heard on the radio….well, you get my drift, then a Mala can help you in your spiritual journey. I was introduced to this wonderful aid a few months ago…and became curious as to it’s origin and history.
I’d like to share with you what I learned…
Even way back when, people had problems concentrating  – everyday life is, and has always been, prominent in the mind . Ancient Indian seers recognized the problem, and created the first Malas. That was during the 8th century BC (yep, you read that right!) 😊
A statue of a Holy Hindu man holding beads dates back to the 3rd century BC (again, no typo!) πŸ˜‰

In Hinduism the correct name is Japa Mala. ‘Japa’ is the repeating of the name of a deity or a mantra. ‘Mala’ translates to “garland” or “wreath”.
The number of beads (btw – the word ‘bead’ derives from the Old English Noun ‘bede’ which means ‘Prayer’….pretty nifty, huh?) …anyway -sorry about that – the number of beads on a Mala is 108, or a divisor of 108 (27 being the most common, then counted 4 times).
Each name/mantra is repeated at least 108 times. Why 108? πŸ€— Good question!
The number 108 has a long history, a special meaning in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition.
There are
*108 sacred texts (Upanishads)
*108 sacred sites in India
*108 sacred sites of the body (marma points)
*108 Gopis (female cowherds) dancing with Krishna at the time of the autumn moon
*27 Constellations x 4 Padas = 108
*12 Zodiac Houses x 9 Planets = 108
Especially with the last 2, the entire universe is remembered, and awakens the memory that the universal self is omnipresent.

When you looked at the pictures of my Malas, you probably noticed an extra bead (the 109th, or 28th). This extra bead is the Guru Bead or Sumeru. This bead marks the beginning/the end of the mantra. Reciting, praying should always start with the bead next to the Sumeru.

The use of “Malas” or ‘Prayer Beads’ was adopted by other religions and cultures. Almost 80% of the world uses some form of ‘Prayer Beads’ to aid in their spiritual practice.

How can a Mala help you?
It is definitely a wonderful tool if you have trouble meditating. By fingering the beads your mind will stop wandering and concentrate on the motion. Since this motion is very repetitive it becomes automatic, and you will achieve what you set out to do, reach the meditative state you’re seeking.
Keep it with you to surround yourself with an aura of protection. Hang it in your car, keep it on your desk, in your kitchen – so it’s always there when you need a reminder that you are a spiritual person.
I hope you’ll enjoy your Mala and the experiences it can bring!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little bit of Mala history!
Now….Pictures!      Here are a few Malas I created for my shop. Enjoy!


Oh, one more thing….What do you think of these Moonface pendants? I just started creating with them – you saw them first in the picture at the top! I love them …I think I’m a bit obsessed! 😍
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Okay – now that’s really it! Thanks again for sticking with me all the way to the end!

~Tina xoxo