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Understanding Mala Prayer Beads

Mala's are traditional garlands of 108 beads plus a 'Guru' bead worn and used by those on the path to Self-Realisation. They are commonly used for meditation, worn for protection and to harness positive energy. it is considered auspicious to see someone wear Mala Beads as they symbolise divinity. 

What do you say when using Mala beads?

Your personal mantra is given by an Enlightened Master or a Universal Mantra like Om So Ham. 

The blessing with each Shivoham Mala is the Mantra Om Namaha Shivaya which comes from our linage and you can use it with great effect. 

How do you use Mala prayer beads? 

  1. Get comfortable. Find a place (a cushion, chair, or on the floor) where you can sit tall and comfortably. Hold the Mala in your right hand resting on your thigh and draped over your third finger, let your thumb touch this finger so the mala doesn’t fall off. You'll move the Mala with your middle/second finger.
  1. Repeat your mantra. Om SoHam (I am That)
  1. Using the Mantra and Mala. To use the Mala, rest on your ring finger and move each bead with your second (middle finger) using your thumb to help. Repeat the mantra once while touching each bead, continuing until you reach the end (the guru bead). Do not cross the Guru bead, honour it and either finish your meditation by chanting OM three times or turn the Mala around and continue another round, going in the other direction. Choose to do either 1, 3 or 5 Malas each morning. 
  1. If you get distracted.Never mind. Re-focus on the mantra and mala between your fingers, even if you’ve missed a few continue on. 
  1. On the Go with it. Mala bracelet is the perfect way to slip in mantra practice during the day, while you're sitting on transport or waiting for an appointment, this will keep your mind calm and clear, you’ll find you actually achieve more.

Why does a Mala have 108 beads?

To symbolise one who is gaining mastery of their destiny, rather than inhibited by the changes around and influences of the world against the spiritual path. 

The number is of great meaning, you’ll find more info in this article including these interesting facts;

  • The distance between the Sun and Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. 
  • The distance between the Moon and Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon. 
  • The Diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of Earth. 

What is the tassel on Mala beads for?

The Mala is threaded from the Guru bead all the way around, then the tassel is made as part of the Mala. The knot keeping it all together forms part of the tassel ensuring a complete process, in Sanskrit, this is called ‘Purna’ and part of what makes an authentic Mala effective. The tassel also releases unwanted energy from the Mala, keeping it outside of the Mala. This is also why it’s good to have your Mala re-threaded every few years.

Where we use a pendant finish the process is slightly different and the Mala represents manifestation rather than spiritual evolution.

What is a good mantra for meditation?

Om So Ham or Om Namaha Shivaya with a Shivoham Mala. Simple, easy to learn and repetition becomes spontaneous - keeping the mind calm and focused all the time.

How do I choose a Mala?

Great question! It’s not as easy as it should be, and this is because a mala represents our higher self, the version we are yet to become and therefore cannot see. We often choose something we are familiar and comfortable with. Reach out - we all need some guidance at times, those with more experience are a boon we can learn from.

We’re here to help, a Shivoham consultation helps you select the right Mala for your soul path, transformation and spiritual journey.  

What does it mean if a Mala breaks?

It means a new beginning! The release of old patterns and the completion of your intention when using the Mala, it's a chance to begin again. It’s entirely normal for a Mala to break and although it can be a shock it's also a time for contemplation on the meaning of it for you. Consider it like a release of energy and contemplate what has passed in your life, how you have changed and how you can step up, choose a new intention, re-focus and ascend! 

Is it disrespectful to wear Mala beads?

    No, certainly not. It’s considered auspicious and a blessing to adorn a Mala, particularly with the sacred seed Rudraksha. Like anything, there are myths and fairytales containing certain rules and protocols one must follow to be pure.

    In truth, if your heart is seeking spiritual life, you are fortunate and should wear your Mala to enjoy its blessing. In this way you show also honour and respect while revealing your wisdom, knowing the mala is sacred and a tool for the highest purpose in life, your spiritual journey.

    Throughout India, Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayas, Mala beads are worn by all sages, saints, spiritual souls and holy people. None of them have ever said its disrespectful, rather they are happy to see another wearing one and recognise its a sign of protection for one blessed who knows its meaning, thus another blessed soul on the path.

    Where there is a pure heart and spiritual devotion one sees nothing wrong and that is all Divinity really is.

    Why is 108 a holy number?

      It’s a reflection of the sacred geometry in the human body, in the cosmos and in our ability to create and manifest the life we desire. It signifies anything we put our mind to is possible, that is the blessing of life and one we must use to experience fulfilment. Ultimately Spiritual Realisation is believed to be the greatest human achievement.  

      What do Mala bead colours mean?

        Red and Gold symbolise Shakti (pure energy). All the other colours are expresses of life and divinity, enjoy the reflections they bring into your life. Colour is beauty and expression. Each has a different meaning to different people, follow what inspires you and enjoy these gifts of nature. 

        How can you tell if Mala beads are real?

          Great question, it’s really hard! We need experts who have knowledge and experience, it’s a great blessing to find those who have the blessing to work with genuine beads and they are often wise souls. We find those with authentic Rudraksha and crystals feel incredibly fortunate, are happy and enjoy sharing with you.

          Follow your heart and intuition on this one. At the very least it’s always better to make a decision with confidence.

          Can I use the same Mala for different mantras?

            Absolutely. As long as you use your Mala every day :) and maintain your main sadhana (spiritual practice) with the same mantra, you can then use other mantras and affirmations as you wish. Disciple and consistency are very important principles on the spiritual path so no need to change too much.

            How do you energize Mala beads?

            Continue using your Mala for mantra practice. Wear it with love against your heart and evolve, as you grow your Mala will become more charged and its energy will radiate back into you, creating a magical cycle you’ll never want to break. 

            Chant the Mahamritunjaya Mantra enclosed with each Shivoham Mala on every full moon or every Monday at least five times. 

            Did you know that your intuition develops as you wear high-grade crystals and all Shivoham Malas will naturally help you develop your awareness, intuition and self-knowledge?

            Wear your Mala all the time, receive its energy and protection, offering you the blessing to concentrate on your spiritual growth, health, wellbeing and life in alignment with your true self and highest purpose.

            OM Namaha Shivaya