Mala Prayer beads are a string of 108 beads used for healing, chanting and meditation. The beads can be used to count your breaths, or can be used to keep track of the number of Sanskrit or Tibetan mantras you chant.
Traditionally mala beads were not shown to the public due to the belief that someone can cast an evil eye and curse the prayer beads. If you do use mala beads as jewelry it is recommended that you have a different mala to use for your primary meditation and chanting practice.
A mantra—Sanskrit for sound, syllable, word or group of words—is a sacred formula that is repeated during meditation to create focus, concentration and self-transformation. Traditionally a mala mantra was given to a student by her guru or teacher.
Nobody knows exactly why but the number 108 has a strong mystical and spiritual association in India and Tibet.
The different materials used in mala prayer beads all have different properties and meanings. The gemstones have been associated with many different physical, mental and emotional properties for hundreds of years now.
No. Prayer beads are found in almost every spiritual tradition and culture so they are not limited by any one belief system. Please do be respectful of how and where you wear these beads as they are considered spiritual artifacts.