Mala beads are trending in the fashion world, especially among celebrities who are into yoga, meditation, and healthy lifestyles. Japa mala beads are a kind of a rosary or prayer beads. The purpose of a Mala is when you’re reciting a prayer, whether you’re in the Buddhist tradition, Hindu tradition, the Christian tradition and the Christian tradition and the Catholic Church was called the rosary, and in the Hindu tradition, it’s called a japa mala or yoga beads. There are many, many names from the Hindu tradition in the Muslim culture, they have their own names for it, but pretty much every tradition uses some sort of a way of staying in touch, being present with your prayers and also counting them, so you have a sense for how many you’ve done and you just, it’s just a way of staying in touch with what you’re doing.
There is a great benefit to wearing and using a Mala. Many people believe that the mala absorbs energy from your practice, the sort of electromagnetic energy and the blessings and the prayer. So over the years your mala beads will change and become very special. Many times I’ve picked them all up, and I can feel something about the practitioner, and I can feel their, good nature and their kind heart and it’s a beautiful thing.
Malas are a beautiful tool, and generally, the Buddhist mala has 108 counting beads. Buddhist malas also have the guru bead at the top of the tassel, which is usually a little bigger, and not used for chanting. The guru bead gives you a place to stop and pick up where you left off, and you can remember where you were.
There are different kinds of mala jewelry. Many are made of semi-precious stone, but you can also find them made with sandalwood, Ebony, tulsi or Rosewood beads. It’s a very personal choice, and you should choose a mala based on what feels comfortable to you. And there are different meanings to different malas regarding what the beads are used for, and it is helpful to know it and use it.
And the most important is choose the Mala if it’s that you feel connected to. If you look at it and the color or the texture, you have to hold it, just chose it because it appeals to you not because someone tells you to or because you should choose one over another. Most monks and nuns use a would be mala, and they’ll have a special semiprecious stone one for other uses.
When you use a Mala, generally you start at the top right next to the guru bead, and you after repeat each prayer mantra you move one. But as you probably know, some people wonder if it should be used in the right hand of the left. Generally, they use it in most traditions in the right hand. I think that’s probably because, in many parts of the world, the right hand is sort of like your public hand. In Asia, it’s the hand you touch people with you shake with your left hand, your sort of, your personal hand. That’s because in many countries they don’t even have toilet paper and things like that. So it’s kind of like using your own personal grooming, so like your public self and your private self. It’s not that there’s any particular need to use only your right hand. It’s nice to have your mala beads of blessed by a Lama or a sacred teacher or practitioner that you know of that really helps give us some specialness. This is something I teaches everyone; don’t wrap it up too tight because it’ll break really quickly. Instead wrap the mala loosely— like three loops which give you a nice coil to fit it over your hands. It doesn’t dangle too much that way, but if you coil it too tight or you cram it in your pocket or you cram it in your jacket, or it will eventually break. So, if you treated gently and with kindness, it will last far longer and so treat it well.
I recommend people using a Mala bag, which you can put it into keeps it clean and keeps it safe. And then when you’re putting it in your pocket, your purse, your jacket, your briefcase or whatever your suitcase, it just keeps it clean and protects it from getting snagged and broken on things. When you are done with your recitation mantra, sometimes it’s nice to, close with dedicating the merit or the positive karmic activity to the welfare of all beings. That’s something I always encourage people to do.