Also known as japamala, mala beads are commonly used for japa or repitition. Japa or repetition of a mantra or a divine name is a common practice in Hinduism. The practitioner recites the mantra or divine name very softly or just in their mind. For years, these mala beads are being used for prayers and meditation.

These mala beads are traditionally 108 in number along with an additional guru bead which is larger than the size of the other beads and usually has a tassel attached to it.

The beads used in a japa mala are 108 in number because it is believed that when a person completes a full cycle of 108 repetitions, he/she manages to focus on the meaning of the mantras. 

A lot of people who don't practice the japa mala have questions like how and when to use the japa mala. So, we talked to Astrologer Sonia Malik and asked her to share the right guide to use mala beads for meditation/prayer. Read on. 

Why 108 Beads?

 beads of japa mala

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The expert shared that according to astrology, a person should chant the name of God 10,800 times in a day. However, it is not practically possible for a person to do the same. This is why the number was reduced to 108 times and a japa mala has 108 beads. Not only do the 108 beads help count the number of japas (repetitions) but also ensures that you are able to focus on the sound and vibration of the mantra that you are chanting. 

Astrologically, we have 27 Nakshartras and each of them has 4 charanas which translates to 108.

The Correct Way To Use Mala Beads

ways to use mala beads

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1. Always wash the japa mala with some gangajal or holy water everytime before you start to use it for prayer or meditation. If holy water is not available, you can use plain, clean water to wash the mala beads. 

2. While reciting a mantra using a japa mala, make sure you never let the index finger touch it. Always the middle finger and thumb should be used while using a japa mala

3. After practicing the mala 108 times, spritz some holy water on it again. Always keep the japa mala in a small pouch or bag. You can place it in your home temple. Never keep the pouch in your handbag. 

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When To Use Japa Mala?

One can practice the japa mala anytime of the day. Place a woolen mat on the floor and sit on it while chanting on the mala beads. One can also sit on a chair and use the mala beads. 

 

Popular Japa Mantras

japa mantra mala

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One can recite the name of any God while using the japa mala or chant a mantra. Some common mantras used for japa are Om, Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, Hare Krishna, Om Namah Shivay, Gayatri Mantra among others. All these mantras have their own benefits for your overall well-being.

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Lastly, the expert shared that to get the maximum benefits of chanting the japa mala, one should use it 108 times. This can be done twice a day too. 

There are a variety of japa malas available in the market including tulsi, rudraksh, and anyone can be opted for according to preference. 

 

Do you have any more questions related to using the japa mala? Write to us on our Facebook page and we will try to get them answered for you. For more such stories, stay tuned!