What is a Mala? A Mala is a string of 108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead called a 'sumeru.' Mala's are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions. What is a mantra? In Sanskrit, mantra roughly translates to “vehicle of the mind.” It’s a personal motto or spoken invocation used to set an intention and focus the mind to access higher states of consciousness. You can recite your mantra out loud or silently to yourself. However, when you keep the sound inward and silent, it is typically more effective in moving you through the higher states of consciousness. Mantras can be completely of your own choosing and recited in their ancient Sanskrit form, or you could simply choose one word or phrase that represents what you would like to manifest in your life. Each Mala and Mantra piece also comes with a suggested mantra that you can use for meditation with a particular mala. The choice of mantra is completely yours, however, and there is no right or wrong mantra to choose. The mantra that you choose for a particular mala is going be the energy the beads become spiritually enlivened with, and you will continue to use the same mantra for the same set of beads.
Why 108 beads? *As for the number 108, the individual numbers 1, 0, and 8 represent one thing, nothing, and everything (infinity). 108 represents the ultimate reality of the universe as being simultaneously one, emptiness, and infinite. *108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga. Malas, or prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads. A mala is used for counting as you repeat a mantra, similar to the Catholic rosary. *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. *According to yogic tradition, there are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India. And there are also 108 Upanishads and 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body. Some other interesting 108 references: * In India, 108 is the toll-free emergency telephone number, our version of 911. * 108 degrees Fahrenheit is also the internal temperature at which the human body's vital organs begin to fail from overheating. An official Major League Baseball baseball has 108 stitches.