The Asian cultural tradition has saved the Buddha’s teaching that “If we want to eliminate suffering, we should string 108 beads, always carry them, or walk, stand, lie down, recite the rosary and recite the Buddha’s name, recite the Dharma, recite the Sangha, recite the Buddha’s name over and over as much as possible…”. And the Mala Bead in Hinduism also symbolizes the tears of Shiva mourning for suffering sentient beings. Which are especially loved by meditation masters and Yogis – yoga practitioners around the world. That’s the reason be Mala Beads is the expression of reverence. And also the source for achieving higher self-realization of human be. So let’s find out the meaning and how to make mala beads at some point below.
Table of Contents
- I. What is mala beads mean?
- II. The Significance of 108 mala beads
- III. Where to buy raw materials of mala beads?
- IV. How to make mala beads?
I. What is mala beads mean?
Malas are found throughout Indian traditions. The Sanskrit word mālā means garland: flowers were traditionally strung together on a continuous loop or thread. According to the correct number, one mala contains 108 beads. So, when we count one hundred beads is the number of recitations, and then we add eight additional beads to make up for the next mantras. That is also the reason when talking about Buddhist beads, we often refer to beads. That is why Buddhist practitioners use them to count mantras and prayers in the temple or at home.
Besides it, for Tibetan Buddhism, the meaning of mala is an orderly arrangement, or sequence of strung beads together to form a rosary or garland. They represent a Samaya used to store the number of mantras which as a tool of Wisdom Lord for his spiritual practising. Its purpose is uncountable. With the function to help Buddhists achieve the power of perfect recall and quickly complete pacifying, increasing, magnetizing, and subduing operations. Thereby, we can consider two causes here to clarify what is the meaning of mala beads?
To know exactly about this 108 mala bead, you can find out at How many beads in mala beads?
1.1. Base on Samyeinstitute
Above are a few profiles and origins of mala nuts. So what is the specific meaning of each mala bead? Let’s continue the same explanation below. It is taught by Samyeinstitute..
As a symbol of the Three Vajras, it is customary for the head bead to have three layers. A blue bead on top represents enlightened mind, the unchanging wisdom of Dharmadhatu. A red bead in the middle represents Vajra speech, and a white bead on the bottom represents Vajra body. Head beads of the three kayas, the seal of an enlightened mind, should be used to embellish a mala for varied activities. White, red, and blue beads should be used. They can also be described as indicators of the three kayas that are beyond meeting and parting: the empty essence, dharmakaya on top; the illuminating nature, sambhogakaya in the centre; and the all-pervasive compassion, nirmanakaya at the bottom.
Those also are a commitment on the path to spiritual fulfilment. The root commitment is “diligently and persistently continuously chanting mantras with overflowing mala beads”, and subsidiary commitment is “respect and preserves the sacred values of the mala bead”.
1.2. Base on the community tradition
Mala is traditionally held in the right hand, with the word mala on the middle finger. And, the thumb pulls the next count bead on the middle finger after each repetition. The index finger does not touch the mala as it represents one’s ego (arguably the biggest obstacle in attaining enlightenment). So, when the last count is reached, one can end the meditation or continue by turning around and going in another step direction.
However, it should be emphasized that mala beads using are especially relevant when practising the sixth and seventh limbs of yoga: Dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). Holding a counting bead between your fingers brings about a single perception, Dharana, which becomes the repetition of the mantra. Normally for each bead helps keep the mind free from outside thoughts and distractions. And, when we practice that the Dharana will last for two beads, three beads, then the whole mala. This leads to a steady, continuous stream of focus – dhyana. At this stage, dhyana allows the mind to become calm and still with ease.
II. The Significance of 108 mala beads
Although both Hinduism and Buddhism use the same number of 108 beads on a mala, the meaning for that number differs. In Hinduism, the number itself has cosmic importance, but in Buddhism, the number of emotions to which one is attempting to “put an end” is referred to.
2.1. Hindu Meaning of 108
Hindu Vedic cosmology mathematicians think 108 is the foundation of creation, a number that reflects the world and the totality of existence, and the ultimate consciousness is that we are all the same. The number 108 indicates the distance between our bodies and the God inside us in Hinduism. There are 108 sacred sites around India, 108 old Vedic scriptures, and 108 sacred life force centers in the body, according to yogic practice.
2.2 Buddhist Meaning of 108
The six senses and sensations: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and the mind are all used in Buddhist mathematics. The three categories of sensations are multiplied: neutral, pleasant, and painful. Take the eighteen senses and sensations and apply them to the past, present, and future timelines in which we get them. (18 x 3 = 54). There are two ways to handle sensations across the timeframe. (2 x 54 = 108).
2.3. In Yoga
Yogis execute a sequence of 108 Sun Salutations at various times throughout the year to embrace change, such as the changing of seasons from spring to summer, the beginning of a new year, or at a time of adversity for introspection, respect, and harmony.
2.4. Astrological Meaning of 108
In Astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. The result of multiplying 12 by 9 is 108. The Sun, Moon, and Earth are also linked by the number 108, as their average distance from Earth are 108 times their respective diameters.
2.5. A Phenomenal Number
Monks and other types of mediators use mala beads to keep track of how many mantras or prayers they say. It’s no wonder that such a phenomenon centered on a single number has given birth to a wide range of spiritual meanings.
III. Where to buy raw materials of mala beads?
Be able to buy this raw material to make mala beads that we can make by hand (DIY mala beads), or process them by machine depending on the needs of the buyer. Mostly scattered on the market today, raw mala seeds are distributed in most primary forest areas. Mostly in Asia and South Asian countries like India, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia… Besides a little bit of handful of precious woods are also suitable as raw materials for this beaded bracelet. However, we can quickly lookup a few reputable e-commerce websites to easily find out them.
Beside, Agarwood is the most famous and the highest quality material to make mala beads. Currently, there are also a number of stores that sell this material, Thien Moc Huong store is a similar example that is highly appreciated by users of products made with agarwood, along with a few other products made from agarwood within the main material.
IV. How to make mala beads?
As the reference by some experts, especial like Chopra, we have a few steps to make DIY mala beads as below.
4.1 The composition of a mala bead
Beads – Normally, a mala includes 108 beads, however, you may build a shorter mala that can be worn as a bracelet by using factors of 108, such as 18, 27, 36, or 54. Malas are traditionally made of sandalwood, rudraksha, or tulsi beads. However, any gemstone with the energetic characteristics you want to boost (rose quartz for love energy) is highly recommended.
Bead of the Guru – The guru bead is the one to which the tassel will be attached directly. The guru bead represents the student-guru connection and should be revered. You will never skip over the guru bead when using a mala for mantra recitation.
Tassel – The tassel is the cluster of threads at the mala’s base. Each strand of the tassel is an extension of the cords that connect the necklace to the divine and one another.
Knotting by Hand – A simple hand knot in between each bead is a sure hallmark of a traditionally produced mala. Overhand knotting not only strengthens the mala but also offers the ideal amount of space between beads.
4.2. Making DIY mala beads
When we begin making DIY mala beads, it is critical to select the list of materials below. So, before you start making your mala, make sure you have the necessary materials on hand:
- 108 beads in 6 mm or 8 mm size
- 5 feet of 1 mm waxed cotton or hemp cord
- 1 guru bead (A guru bead can be a large bead, charm, or anything with a hole large enough so that two pieces of your cord can fit through successfully)
- 1 tassel (Be creative with your tassel; it can be made of a variety of different materials including silk, cotton, horsehair, or even leather)
- Scissors (Nail polish or glue to coat the ends of the string)
For our easy review is the illustration here.
Finally step 7
If you’re interested in mala beads and want to learn how to make them on your own. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thien Moc Huong store is willing to help and appreciates it.
For more product of 108 mala beads, you can find it out now at: 108 Mala beads – Buddha collections by Thien Moc Huong