Anatomy of a Mala
A "Mala" means "garland" in Sanskrit. Strung with 108 beads, they are built in an intentional way, with each part having its own spiritual and functional representation.
Mala beads have been used by ancient yogis for thousands of years to focus their minds during meditation. The use of these prayer (rosary) beads, called "Japa", means "to recite" or "to repeat" a mantra.
Our Malas are made of 108 (plus one for the "guru bead," around which the other 108 beads turn like the planets around the sun) semi-precious crystals, authentic Rudraksh, Tulsi and Sandalwood seeds and gemstones.
Malas are typically strung with cotton or silk thread for strength and support. The thread is then knotted to maintain a consistent space between each bead - a true sign of a traditionally crafted Mala. Knotting not only makes the mala stronger, it also provides the perfect space for Japa Meditation. The knot represents the Divine link between all beings.
The Guru Bead
The Guru Bead is the bead that the Tassel attaches directly to. It signals the end of one full round of the Japa meditation cycle - a meditation that uses each bead to count a repetition of a mantra. The Guru Bead is also known to represent the summer and winter solstices – using a Mala is a symbolic way of connecting ourselves with the elements and natural cycles of the universe.
Renowned mathematicians of Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: the average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters. There are said to be 108 energy lines in the body that connect and converge to form the heart chakra, and one of those lines is said to be the path to self-realisation.
The Tassel is the cluster of strings that sit at the bottom of the Mala. Each strand of string in the Tassel is an extension of the string that binds the Mala together. The individual strands are continually moving and flowing in constant change, representing change within the changeless, the illusion of separateness, and the reminder of non-attachment and impermanence. The Tassel represents our connection to the Divine and to each other – oneness. Symbolic of the thousand petals of Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra, epitomises energy created from meditation signifying spiritual illumination.