What is a Mala?
A Mala is a rosary made out of beads, wooden, seeds or gemstones. Malas help us keep track of the number of repetitions in Japa Mantra.
A Mala has 108 beads, for that is the number we should repaire a Mantra. It also has a “guru” or “Meru” bead, and a tassel or in more modern malas, a pendant. Some malas also include spacers beads.
Why 108 repetitions?
Among the 72,000 nadis in the subtle body, there are 108 ones, that distribute the energy to the rest of them (see “concepts” page). When we repeat the mantra for each one of thos 108 main nadis, it reaches the entire subtle body. When we decide to repeat a long mantra only 54 times, we dedicate each repetition to two of those main nadis.
Also, the number 108 the 9 planets of Vedic astrology, times the 12 zodiac signs. 108 is a multiple of 9, which is a sacred number, and in numerology, it represents the completion of a cycle.
How to hold a Mala
We should place the mala over our middle finger, and start counting the beads from the meru or guru bead with the thumb, towards us, leaving the index finger out, for it represents the ego, and we sure want that out of the equation! When we complete the 108 repetitions, or 54 if we are using a half mala, we can go back counting the beads away from us, or simply turn the mala around and starting over. It is not recommended to cross over the main bead.
Our Malas become very personal objects, and once we start chanting on them they carry the energy all the mantras we’ve chanted on them, as well as our intention and devotion. So when we wear them, is like wearing the effects of our own chanting. For this reason we should treat them with respect and handle with care, avoiding letting them fall, brak or get wet or dirty. We should not sleep wearing them. If we’d like to benefit of their energy while we sleep we can place them under our pillow.
We can wear them as necklaces, or more privately under our garments, and in direct contact with our skin. Most malas are made of sacred seeds or gemstone, which have healing and metaphysical properties.
When we purchase a Mala, we should tune it to our own energy by reciting the sound HRIM on each bead. This sound is also used to clear them energetically.
We can also clean them with lukewarm water and mild soap, making sure they dry completely afterwords, so that the thread won’t rot. It is not recommended to let them in salty water. They can be also exposed to the sun rays or moonlight for thorough cleanse and energizing.
For more information visit my website: http://shaktimalas.com/
¡TaTha-Stu! (So be it)