Mala Beads

What are Mala Beads?

Mala Beads

Mala Beads are a set of strung beads for meditation, mindfulness, counting mantra, prayer, yoga & reflection.
Buddhist mala beads are traditionally made of wood, bone or seeds but can be made of any material. We use a selection of materials to make malas including sandalwood, bodhi beads, rudraksha and genuine gemstones.
We hand knot our malas and individually bless each one with the multiplying mantra OM RUCHIRA MANI PRAVARTAYA HUM
Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning garland. The Tibetan word for mala is threngwa.
Mala beads are sometimes referred to as prayer beads, rosary beads or Japa mala, japa is a Sanskrit word meaning “repeat internally”.

Tibetan Buddhist Mala Beads

108 Beads

A mala necklace has 108 beads; this is an auspicious number as the Buddha taught the 108 defilements (also known as afflictions or impure thoughts).
Chant 100 mantras, then chant the extra 8 to allow for lapses in concentration.

Guru Bead

The guru bead, or mother bead, is often larger or more decorative and usually has 3 holes with a collar bead next to it. The guru bead is the 109th bead and is not counted during mantra recitation.

Counter Beads

108 Tibetan prayer beads often have 3 extra beads, known as “counter” beads or “marker” beads. They feature at 27 bead intervals to help with mantra counting. This is why some of our malas have 111 beads… 108 beads + 3 counter beads = 111 beads.
A mala counter is a clip on, or looped, marker to assist with mantra counting, we offer 2 types of counter –

  1. a clip on counter
  2. a counter that loops between the beads

May you be filled with loving kindness

108 Mala with End Beads or Tassel

108 bead mala necklaces with a choice of end beads or tassel.
Jade Buddhist Mala Beads

~ End Beads ~
The 3 end beads is our signature style mala inspired by the Buddhist teachings –
~ the 3 Jewels (the Buddha, the Dharma & the Sangha)
~ the 6 Perfections (generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiastic perseverance, concentration & wisdom)
A snake knot or slide knot completes the end bead mala design.
~ Tassel ~
We hand make all tassels with 100% cotton or pure silk thread, available in a range of colours.

May you be filled with loving kindness

How to use Mala Beads

Hold the mala beads in the left hand and use with gentleness and respect; they are sacred beads intended for spiritual practice.

Count one bead for each recitation of the mantra, starting with the first bead next to the “guru” bead. The guru bead, or mother bead, is often larger and usually has 3 holes.

1. Start with the first bead next to the guru bead, recite the first mantra whilst holding the first bead between thumb and finger.
2. Pull the next bead towards you with your thumb and chant the mantra again; then repeat.
3. Tibetan mala beads often have 3 counter beads at 27 bead intervals. The counter bead is a good place to stop during chanting and resume later. A mala counter clips neatly between the beads to indicate where you stopped chanting. (Or a tassel mala counter can be used too).
4. Complete a full circuit of the mala, then flip the mala round 180 degrees and resume chanting in the opposite direction so as not to pass over the guru bead.

Mala Knots

108 mala necklaces feature a choice of 2 knots: an adjustable slide knot or a traditional snake knot.

    Mala Beads adjustable slide knot

  1. Adjustable slide knot

    The slide knot moves up and down to adjust the tension of the mala beads.
    All mala bracelets feature an adjustable slide knot.

  2. Tibetan snake knot

  3. Traditional Tibetan snake knot

    The tension of the mala beads is fixed. There is a 1cm+ gap in the thread to move the beads along whilst reciting mantra.

If you have a knot preference please let us know at the time of ordering.

Mala Bracelet

Wrist malas are available in 4 sizes and feature an auspicious number of beads; these are divisions of 108 (18 beads and 27 beads) or 21 beads for 21 mantra practice.

History of Mala Beads

The ancient tradition of using a string of beads for practicing meditative principles originates from India during the time of Shakyamuni Buddha (c. 563–483 B.C.).
Different cultures & religions use rosary beads for prayer & mantra, meditation, yoga and for calming & balancing the mind.
Hold the mala beads, set the motivation or intention, then one at a time use the beads to chant, pray or say an affirmation.
Prayer beads help to focus concentration and keep the mind from wandering. Visualise a positive image, or deity, at the same time as feeling the beads & chanting – involving body, speech & mind.

History of Mala Beads

May you be filled with loving kindness

May you be filled with loving kindness