You may have undoubtedly come across Japa Malas or malas with beads and wondered about what they signify.
A Japa Mala or a Rosary string is essentially a string of prayer beads.
They have been around for thousands of years and originate from India. They have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Yoga and were later adapted by other religions like Sikhism, Jainism, and even Christianity for spiritual practices.
Why do Japa Malas have 108 beads?
Using 108 beads in a Japa Mala dates back to the ancient Vedic Culture. 108 is considered the number of existence in several traditions.
Be it 108 marma points (the sacred sites in a human body), 108 Pithas and Upanishads (holy texts), or the 108 energy lines converging at the heart chakra, the number 108 has a huge significance and is considered auspicious by many.
Usually, a 108 bead mala is long enough to be worn as a necklace, but a mala can also be strung as a half mala that contains 54 beads or a wrist mala (bracelet) with 27 beads.
More often than not, the Japa Mala contains an extra bead called a guru or a meru bead. This additional bead acts as a starting and ending point and is usually present to provide a way to keep track of the repetitions of a mantra.
Types of Japa mala
Tulsi beads are widely known for the purification of the mind, body, and soul. A Tulsi Mala wards off all kinds of negative energy and only radiates positive vibes from the wearer.
A Tulsi Mala, when worn as a necklace, is excellent for curing any throat illnesses. All in all, it brings profound peace and health to the wearer.
The Rudraksha Mala is one of the most famous Japa Malas all over the world. And why shouldn’t it be?
It acts as a shield against negative energies and provides you with stability in your life. It is known to bring calmness and reduce stress and is therefore extensively used while reciting prayers or meditation. Well, they have been used by gurus and monks for ages, so this shouldn't really come across as a surprise.
Also, it helps increase focus and concentration for children.
While it may seem scary for a few, bone malas are actually made of bones. Bone malas are widely used in Nepal and Tibetian and are made from the bones of yaks, water buffalo, and oxen.
The livelihood of the people in these regions is very dependent on livestock. Bone Malas upholds their tradition and lifestyle and reminds them of their roots.
Plus, bone beads symbolize the impermanence of life. That life goes on no matter what, and it is essential to live in the moment with mindfulness and compassion.
Sandalwood is considered sacred in various traditions. Meditating with sandalwood mala brings inner peace and enhances the spiritual inclination of the individual.
It has exceptional healing powers. It works to eliminate all negative thoughts and is especially helpful if you have any symptoms of depression.
It has a natural aroma, and this fragrance is one of its most distinguishing factors.
In Ayurveda, Turmeric is considered to be one of the most purifying herbs. Therefore, Turmeric Malas have several medicinal properties.
It is believed that Turmeric malas help people in lawsuits, or even just in life, to solve differences and keep away enemies.
If you are trying to become a more compassionate person, then a Rosewood Mala would be excellent for you.
Rosewood beads have been used for Buddhist Japa Malas for years. They are dark and aesthetically beautiful. If you want a Japa mala that is lightweight and artistic, Rosewood Malas is an excellent choice.
Lava Stone Mala
Lava Stone Malas are made using volcanic rocks, and are used as a grounding symbol. A Lava Stone Mala is known for enhancing an individual’s connection to Mother Earth.
The only thing written on stone is change. A lava stone gives the wearer the courage, strength, and stability to weather anything life throws at them.
If you are struggling with any personal issues or just working through self-judgment, lava stone mala is right for you.
Lotus Seed Mala
A lotus is known to grow in mud, and the very fact that something so beautiful can emerge from something so inherently impure symbolizes its purity.
A Lotus Seed Mala helps you work through your obstacles in life and emerge wealthy and prosperous. It primarily focuses on helping you realize your inner strength and beauty.
Bodhi Seed Mala
You must have heard Siddhartha Gautama's story, the spiritual teacher who was later known as the Buddha. Buddha attained enlightenment after sitting for 49 days under a Bodhi Fig Tree located in Bodh Gaya.
Bodhi Seed Malas symbolize patience and commitment to attain enlightenment in life.
Crystal Mala or better known as Quartz Crystal, symbolizes clarity.
Crystal Mala helps you improve your mental clarity and connect deeply to the world around you. It instills a deep sense of harmony with your surroundings and balances the energy around you.
It is known as a power stone; it is cool to touch and calms the mind.
There are several other types of malas if you get down to research, but the malas mentioned above are the most widely known Japa Malas.
If you would like to know whether or not a Japa Mala is real or fake, it depends entirely on identifying the type of bead used.
One common factor to help you distinguish between a real and a fake Japa Mala regardless of the type of bead used is the number of beads in the Japa Mala.
But if you’re still insecure about getting the right authentic japa malas, what better way to do it than getting it right from the people who live through this culture?
Japa malas like Tulsi, Rudhraksha, Sandalwood, and Turmeric have deep roots in the indian culture, especially the cultural heritage of India, that is Vrindavan.
The devotees of Lord Krishna who live in this holy land spend their entire life as one with spirituality. It is these devotees who make authentic Japa malas that you can get for yourself if you ever visit this sacred place.
However, if this may not be feasible for you, don’t worry. You can purchase authentic japa malas from KarigarOfficial because all the malas on our site are directly from the land of Vrindavan.
Remember, there may not be one Japa Mala that may be right for you as a person, but you can choose the right Japa mala for you depending on where you stand in your life at the moment.