There these long beaded necklaces, often on string or wire that people wear during spiritual practice, and often they're getting popularized using during yoga and meditation. You have probably seen then and are curious about what these mala prayer beads really are for where they come from and what's the purpose behind wearing them.
What are mala prayer beads?
Mala beads are part of the yogic tradition they date back 7000 plus years ago to use by Yogi's reissues sages in India and around India thousands and thousands of years ago, as used for in spiritual practice. They're originally called japamalas and what japa mala means is, it's an object which helps you repeat mantras or do a practice we call as japa, which is a repetition of a mantra over and over again.
What is a mantra?
Repetition of a sacred syllable or a holy phrase in Sanskrit, which helps energize brings specific divine connection protection and other different purposes along the spiritual path. Japa mala beads have been used across eastern traditions, including within the Buddhist tradition, Hindu tradition, Sikh tradition, and Jain tradition. And the purpose of them is to integrate into the spiritual practice of the wearer.
Why 108 beads?
Traditionally all japa malas would have 108 beads and the reason for this is 108 is an extremely auspicious number in eastern tradition. There would be 108 beads and then the final bead which is considered the glue bead, the bead that brings the light to darkness and it's it kind of completes the circle so to speak. Within Eastern tradition, there is a huge significance of the number 108. The reason for this is that it's it is a cosmic number and a cosmic understanding of the universe. Within yoga tradition, there are 108 different marma points or energy points of the body. The sun is also 108 times the diameter of Earth. There's even 12 Zodiac houses times nine planets, which equals 108. So you get my Gist, I could, I could continue to give you examples of this if you're interested, definitely look it up, but it is a very auspicious number.
How to use a japa mala
Where the spiritual practitioner would use a japa mala is to count their spiritual practices and the repetition of mantras by going bead to bead by bead. And it really is huge guidance in meditation, especially when you're practicing alone. But of course, nowadays they are used for much more than just Joppa just mantra chanting. They're also incorporated in many spiritual practices like yoga and meditation as a way to bring intention and purpose into the practice that we're doing.
There are a wide variety of intentions and purposes behind wearing specific malas or specific stones within the malas, and every single stone or seed or crystal has a different intention and a different purpose. And going even deeper what you'll see is that they incorporate divine beings or what we call deities, Gods and Goddesses that represent certain energies, such as Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance, or Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. So, as you can see, I wear ganache around my neck on my mala. The reason for this is to always manifest that ease of life of you know, overcoming hurdles and not facing so many obstacles and what I want to manifest or create in my day to day life, so exactly like that.
What kind of you were should depend on your intention, do your research and find an authentic source that's going to tell you the details of the quality of what that mala is made out of the stones that you're wearing and why those stones are useful to you to towards your end. Now, most traditionally, what japa malas are made out of is sandalwood, tulsi, or rudraksha seeds. Now, these are all sourced in and around India, but they are considered extremely sacred carriers of divine energy. Rudraksha malas specifically, is something which you'll see heavily in the yogic tradition because they directly tied to Shiva.
How to wear a mala
You most definitely want to integrate into your practice of wearing a mala once you purchase one or find the one that's right for you, is going through a specific intention process with it. This process is truly a gift and something you should incorporate into anything that you wear for spiritual purpose. It is a 41-day intention process to energize and unite your soul your consciousness with that piece of jewelry so that it's infused with your lifeforce energy, and it strengthens its Shakti or divine power.
So the first part of the intention process is to create a quiet sacred space, maybe light a candle or some incense and get your Mahler ready for this process have your mala with you have your jewelry piece with you, then you're going to meditate deeply in your inner space about why it is you're wearing this object and what is your personal intention with it.
So I sit with that intention for just a few minutes holding the jewelry. Then I put my mala or my jewelry piece on for the very first time. And the last step is to then do a nine-minute meditation, where I chant one of the most sacred mantras of all Yogi's which is to continuously chant Ohm Namah Shiva in my inner space for nine minutes, which energizes the the the divine creator energy of Shiva into that into the smaller into the piece that I'm wearing. And then the 41 days commence where every single day for as for every day possible that you can you want to wear that piece of jewelry because it's going to create a bond or a connection and energetic connection between you and that piece. So it will infuse a conscious intention into it, and it's going to radiate that energy even more powerful.
Mala beads are not just a beauty statement or a fashion item or a fashion accessory, they are very much a part of a spiritual tradition, the eastern tradition, one of intention of meditation of yoga, of spiritual dedication and connection to consciousness or energy. So when you're out there looking for your A mala, or you don't know what to get or where to start, do your research on the materials that you're doing, or the materials that you're purchasing.
I think it's essential to look for quality when we're getting products. A part of minimal and integrated living is not to be wasteful and to buy things which are well made and which have intention.