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A Mala is an instrument to focus your awareness and concentration during your spiritual practice of meditation, prayer or reflection. Each aspect of the Mala you now hold has significant meaning.
The Thread: "Sutra" is the Sanskrit word for thread or line that holds everything together. The cotton thread running through the Mala holds and supports the beads. Consequently, it represents the Cosmic Creative Force that supports or sustains every part and every being in the universe.
The Beads: The 108 beads, a number that is significant in the science and spirituality of India, collectively represents the universe itself, but individually, represents the beautiful aspects of life--the good times--beautiful sunsets, picnics in the park, a good book on a rainy day, loyal and supportive friends, family. These beads are arranged on a never-ending circle, creating a circuit of positive energy that drives life forward into hope and gratitude.
The Knots: The double knots between the beads make the Mala stronger and represent life's challenges—a flat tire, an uncertain medical diagnosis, the loss of a job or a loved one. These knots fall between the smoother, more beautiful aspects of life. Though challenging, these knots remind us that all aspects of life are connected and supported in the universal sutra of life. They also signify the Divine link present among all beings in the universe and, as the strands of cotton cord are tied between each bead, the complementary nature of masculine and feminine energies area also joined with three knots tied at the Guru bead – symbolizing the joining of the masculine, feminine and Universal energy.
The Guru Bead: "Guru" means teacher and is the 109th bead that is connected to the tassel, and it represents the state of transcendental consciousness or awareness, the central goal of meditation practice. In order to reach this supreme state of understanding, one must be brave and courageous enough to stay the course--perhaps completing many cycles, many repetitions along the sutra of life--encountering both blessings and challenges along the way. These blessings and challenges lead us to find our ultimate teacher and climb that intimidating peak of awareness one step, one bead at a time.
The Tassel: On a Mala, the tassel is an extension of the string or sutra that binds the garland together. It represents our connection to the Divine (whatever that means to you) and the interconnectedness of all beings. It is a reminder of oneness and unity--that we are all connected--and regardless of the challenges that we face or the rewards that we reap, we are all traveling together, and have something beautiful to look forward to at the end of our journey.
Consequently, a Mala is much more than a collection of beads strung together. A Mala connects you to all other beings who are finding their path, in their own way, one moment, one circumstance, one bead at a time.
Using a mala is simple, easy, and powerful. Follow these steps to get started:
Each handcrafted Mala contains:
Sterling Silver Guru Bead / Gemstone Guru
Hand Tied Tassel
Mala Explanation / Instruction