The mala, or traditional prayer necklace of 108 beads, means “meditation garland” in Sanskrit. Originating in India 3000 years ago, gemstone malas have roots in Hinduism and Buddhism and have been used by yogis and other seekers to help focus the mind during meditation by moving their fingers over the beads to recite affirmations. The symbolism behind mala jewelry is rich and can be seen as metaphors for life: Each bead represents a truth; the small knot between each bead a challenge between the smoother, more beautiful aspects of life. The number of beads in a mala—108—is considered sacred in Vedic culture, representing the wholeness of existence. A variation of the mala, such as a bracelet mala, will have a number of beads in any variation of the number 9— another sacred number in Yoga that corresponds to 108. Shop for symbolic gemstone malas to guide your mind toward enlightenment and the divine.
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