Mala Beads: A Tool for Meditation

Friday, November 1, 2019 Spiritual  No comments

Mala Beads: A Tool for Meditation

Source: Flickr

The concept of meditation has been around for thousands of years. It has been practiced by millions of people from different walks of life, from different religion. In fact, groups and individuals have already established certain rules and concepts that may support meditation. They have built meditation as a tradition, and of the rules set by these people, the use of mala beads is deemed one of the most important.

The mala beads are in the first place a form of rosary beads. It is a string of usually 108 beads with one of those considered as the summit bead or the sumeru. The mala beads are popular in India and parts of Tibet, with hundreds of people using them for the chanting and reciting of a mantra. The word “mala” originated from Sanskrit and means “necklace” or “garland”.


The mala beads are designed in varying styles, sizes, and colors. They also differ according to what materials are used. For instance, most of the mala beads are crafted from sandal wood, tulsi or basil wood, crystals, and rudraksh seeds. Each of these materials has their own properties that make the mala beads worth possessing. The properties of these materials, according to many users, can pose certain effects to the subconscious mind of the meditation practitioners.

The Usage

The mala beads are designed for one particular use – to aid individuals in doing the mantras. The mantras, as you may know, are performed in repetitions. The repetitions may take for about thousands of times, and during the process, the mind may wander off without your control. If the level of energy present on your system is low during the meditation, chances are you will fall into deep slumber, and if the energy is too high, mental distractions like fantasies may occur and become the hassles. So to control your mind and your whole being during the meditation process, the mala beads should be used. Simply put, the beads help to track the repetitions involve in the mantras.

How the mala beads are handled? Well, typically there are two ways of handling these beads for meditation. Traditionally, it is held in the right, hanging between the ring finger and the thumb. The one used to rotate the beads one by one is the middle finger. On the other hand, the mala beads are handled hanging on the middle finger. The thumb is what basically used to rotate the beads, one at a time. In both of these ways, the index finger is not used to touch the beads.

It is important to note that in doing the mantras, the mala beads are rotated in particular rhythm that goes with every breath. The counting begins at the sumeru and continues until the sumeru is touched again. It basically goes in loop.

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