Mala beads have been used by yogis and spiritual seekers for thousands of years to help keep their minds focused during meditation. Malas were first created in India 3000 years ago and have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and yoga. The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.” Originally, mala beads were used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite.”
A mala is a string of 108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead called a ‘sumeru.’ Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions.
The mala’s beads that can be made of seeds, sandalwood or rosewood, or gemstones. The 109th stone, or the guru stone, symbolizes gratitude and our connection to the divine. It is a way to say thank-you to all the spiritual teachers who have helped us on our path to enlightenment.