Wle.com Logo
Wing Lam Enterprises
Providing Quality Martial Art Supplies for Over 40 Years
Mala Beads

Mala Beads

In all Buddhist cultures, monks and lay practitioners use Mala Beads in prayer or rosaries. In Sanskrit they are known as mala or Japa mala beads. The beads are usually round, but in some cases, they are carved in the form of human skulls, a reminder of the impermanence of life. Traditionally, Buddhist rosaries have 108 beads, representing the 108 human passions, or one mala counts as 100 mantras, and the 8 extra are meant to be dedicated to all sentient beings (the practice as a whole is dedicated at its end as well). Some smaller Chinese rosaries have 18 beads, one for each lohan. In Pure Land Buddhism, for instance, 27 bead malas are common In China such malas are named "Shu-Zhu" (ӓ in Japan, "Juzu". These shorter malas are sometimes called 'prostration rosaries', because they are easier to hold when enumerating repeated prostrations.

» Read more

Mala Beads Bracelet Sandal Wood Bracelet
$2.95
M081
M082.gif Sandal Wood Bracelet
$3.95
M082
Mala Beads Black Peach Wood Black Peach Wood Bracelet
$2.95
M083
Mala Bead Black Peach Wood Black Peach Wood Bracelet
$3.95
M084
Mala Beads Black Sandal Wood Black Sandal Wood Bracelet
$4.95
M085
M086.gif Green Sandal Wood Bracelet
$4.95
M086
Mala Beads Green Green Sandal Wood Bracelet with Buddha Character
$5.95
M087
Mala Beads Taming Dragon Taming Dragon Wood Bracelet
$5.95
M088
Mala Bead Avoiding Evil Avoiding Evil Wooden Bracelet
$6.75
M089
M095.gif Mala Bead Bracelet-Tiger-Eye Agate
$6.95
M095
Agate Bracelet Gold-Speckled Golden-Speckled Agate Bracelet
$4.95
M096
M103.gif Large Natural Wood Bracelet
$5.95
M103
Mala Beads Purple Avoiding Evil Avoiding Evil Purple Sandal Wood Bracelet
$4.95
M102
m112.gif Fu Lu Shou Bracelet
$3.55
M112
M150.gif Grape Seed Bracelet
$4.95
M150
M151.gif Grape Root Bracelet
$3.95
M151
Mala Beads Phoenix Eye Phoenix Eye Wooden Necklace with Chinese Characters
$21.95
M090
Mala Beads Purple Sandal Wood Purple Sandal Wood Necklace
$19.95
M091
Mala Beads Avoiding Evil Avoiding Evil Wooden Necklace
$19.95
M092
M093.gif Buddhist Bead Necklace
$19.95
M093
Mala Beads Big Head Big Head Necklace
$29.95
M094
M100.gif Black Sandalwood Necklace
$21.95
M100
M111.gif Fu Lu Shou Necklace
$19.95
M111
M152.gif Natural Wood Hand Beads
$9.95
M152
M153.gif Natural Nut Hand Beads
$9.95
M153
Mala Beads Large Green Large Green Sandalwood Bracelet
$5.95
M099
Mala Beads Large Black Large Black Sandalwood Bracelet
Plain Bead
$5.95
M098
Mala Beads Large Purple Large Purple Sandalwood Bracelet
$5.95
M101

Even the beads that fasten the string together have a meaning: they symbolize the three jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the dharma (his teachings), and the Buddhist community. The string passing through the beads stands for the power of all the Buddhas that runs through everything

Usage of Beads

Mantras are often repeated hundreds or even thousands of times. The mala is used so that one can think about the meaning of the mantra as it is chanted rather than thinking about counting the repetitions. One mantra is usually said for every bead, turning the thumb clockwise around each bead, though some traditions or practices may call for counterclockwise or specific finger usage. When arriving at the head bead, one turns the mala around and then goes back in the same direction. This makes using the mala easier as the beads will not be so tight on the string when you use them. Many believe that when one uses a mala many times in this way, it takes on the energy of the mantra that is being chanted. For this reason it is common to chant only one particular mantra with a particular mala.

Monks often give bead necklaces as gifts. In Chinese, they are called gfozhu.h The Shaolin Monks prefer the larger size beads.

Bead Materials

A wide variety of materials are used to make mala beads. In Hinduism, Vaishnavas generally use the Japamaala of Tulsi beads. The Shaivites use that of Rudraksha beads. Some Tibetan Buddhist traditions call for the use of bone (animal, most commonly yak) or sometimes human, the bones of past Lamas being the most valuable. Others use wood or seeds from the Bodhi tree (Buddha was enlightened under a Bodhi tree) or seeds of the Lotus plant. Semi-precious stones such as carnelian and amethyst may be used, as well. In Buddhist Tantra or Vajrayana, materials and colors of the beads can relate to a specific practice.

The most common material for making beads is sandalwood. For those who believe in therapeutic herbs, sandlewood is reputed to have the following qualities. Effects: Warming, Relaxing, Aroma: Base note, Scent: Woody, Sweet, Exotic. Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Diuretic, Sedative