What is a Mala?

Malas are most commonly associated with Buddhist and Hindu traditions and used in a meditation practice known as Japa Meditation or Japa Practice. Today you’ll find many people wear malas around their neck or wrists to connect with the energy of a particular prayer or mantra that they want to attract into their lives.

The most traditional of all mala sizes is 108 beads, though you can find smaller malas made of 27 or 56 beads. There is a significance to the number 108, but the actual meaning varies depending on the tradition or source you look at.

Here are some mantras you can try working with. Search for them on YouTube to hear how they are said or sung.

Om Shanti Om - “Peace for all.”

Om Namaha Shivaya - “I honor the Divinity within me.”

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah - “I bow to Ganesh, who can remove all obstacles. I pray for blessing and protection.”

Om Hreem Sri Lakshmi Bhyo Namaha - “Goddess Lakshmi reside in me and bestow thy abundance on all aspects of my existence.”

Aham Brahmasmi - “I am Divine” or “I am the Universe”

Aham Prema - “I am Divine Love.”

When you’re ready to pick out a mala, remember that the purpose of your mala is to both be a tool for creating and raising energy while also being a reminder of the work you’re doing. The materials it is made up of is important but so is making sure you personally find it beautiful.