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Our guide to mala bead bracelets

February 4, 2018

Mala beads have become a necessary accessory and a vital adornment for the practice of yoga, meditation, and self-reflection. Used in many different spiritual religions, malas are a string of counting beads worn around the neck or wrist. Mala is a Sanskrit word, which translates to “garland.” Mala beads are also known as Buddhist beads, prayer beads, monk beads, mantra beads, meditation beads, Buddha beads, japa malas, Tibetan worry beads, yoga beads, or Hindu prayer beads. 

Malas date back to around the 8th century BCE, when they were in the Indian subcontinent by yogi meditators. Malas were typically made of fragrant woods such as sandalwood or rosewood. Malas were also created thousands of years ago from the sacred seeds of the Rudraksha tree. In the Hindu traditions, the garlands were used as a method of tracking the repetition of mantras. Mantras are used as a form of practicing concentration, and some mantras are used as a prayer to specific Hindu deities. This is why malas are sometimes called Buddhist prayer beads. The use of these strung beads became very popular, traveling throughout the continent and eventually taking hold with the Buddha’s followers as well.

Similarly, as with a significant number of the Buddhist practices we know today, malas traversed the world, experienced new places, and changed with the way of life of the land. Malas became popular in China, Japan, Burma, Nepal, India, and Tibet. With each new culture, the outline and utilization of malas changed marginally. Malas from various nations are frequently recognizable from each other in their material, tuft, master or meru bead, spacers, and symbology. Despite the fact that they are customarily utilized for tallying mantras, individuals wear mala pieces of jewelry and yoga wristbands so as to convey their training with them. Although they are traditionally used for counting mantras, people wear mala necklaces and yoga bracelets in order to carry their practice with them. As people wear them, they eventually began to be made from more valuable and rare gemstones. 

In the past, Mala Beads were strictly comprised of 108 beads and were primarily used only by Master Yogis, or famous Monks in order to count their prayers, breaths or prostrations. One of a malas primary purposes is counting mantras or sacred Sanskrit prayers. Mantra recitation is a common practice in many Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Practitioners choose a mantra and then chant the mantra 108 times (or a multiple of 108) as a form of meditation, focus, reflection, intention-setting and concentration practice.

Like yoga, meditation and Buddhism grew, a more convenient method of carrying these beads was born in the shape of a 27 or 18 bead Mala Bracelet. With this mobile development, even more, people began using and wearing mala beads. At first formed as an accommodating other alternative to the 108 malas, wrist malas have now made their stamp and end up being to a great degree well known in the far eastern locale. Mala bracelets have many names. You may see these called wrist malas, zen bead bracelet, yoga bracelet, Tibetan bracelet, prayer beads bracelet, meditation beads bracelet, Buddhist rosary bracelet, and many other similar variants.

Mala bracelets have grown to become a staple of Buddhist and Tibetan culture due to the conviction that they pass on exceptional power and imperativeness depending upon what's it made of. The consisting gemstone, seed or bead are believed to have individual strengths and properties that aid one to live a balanced life and a healthy lifestyle. From protection, healing, to cleansing and creativity it is believed to bring the wearer a vast variety of benefits. It additionally can be utilized as a gift and blessing to remain balanced, adjusted, humble and grounded as one crosses the capricious way of life. 

It is prescribed that you wear your mala for no less than 40 back to back days to frame a bond with it.  Because mala beads are believed to absorb energy, they need to be regularly cleansed and energized. You can expose your mala to sun or moonlight for a few hours, sprinkle it with holy water, or burn incense or sage near your mala.

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