It is a beautiful combination of words “Ma” & “La” where “Ma” means MOTHER, unconditional love and “La” means Garland. When we put those words together, it means the “garland of unconditional love”. In other words, MALA is a mother’s love tied together in a garland.
Japa Malas are used in different religious practices. In Hinduism and Buddhism, they are usually used to count the recitation while meditating or performing Japa (praying). Mala is an ancient tool that helps us stay focused and are the constant reminder of what we are supposed to be doing; meditating. Mala helps us stay aware. We can chant our mantra while meditating with the Mala or we can say whatever affirmation we are working with at the time. This ancient tool helps you bring back your center, strengthen your connection to yourself, and help you get clear about what you're trying to manifest. Whether it's a new job, a new relationship, or simply finding peace within yourself, these stones can be worn as a reminder that whatever you desire is already within reach.
Malas are also garland of Intention. We can set an intention on the day we get our Mala and work on in for the next 40 days. We can simply just wear the Mala after setting an intention. The Mala will then act as a reminder for whatever intention we have set. Then you can carry the intent you wish in your heart, wherever life takes you.
Japa Malas have 108 beads, a guru bead and a tassel.
Guru Bead: This is the bigger bead at the end of the Mala which signifies the completion of Japa or practice. We start from the bead above it and when we make a full round, we can either stop chanting or go one more time.
Tassel: This is the thread part that hangs at the end of the Mala. Tassel is a symbol of eternity or blooming lotus, enlightenment. When we start the chanting or Japa, we usually start with the tassel towards us.