The Anatomy of a Mala - Get to know your Mala Beads

Mala beads or a Mala as is commonly referred to, have grown in popularity over the years. If you have a yogi friend or are even remotely aware about meditation, then you might have noticed a unique accessory that Buddhists and Yoga practitioners carry with them. It’s a tasseled necklace or a bracelet, usually made of beads, and is called a Mala. Mala is a beautiful accessory commonly used in meditation practices and in guided meditations like the transcendental meditation, and gratitude meditation, mala is used as a tool which helps you keep track of your chants or breaths. 

 Types of Mala Beads

There are three types of Malas. There’s the full Mala with 108 beads, a half mala with 54 beads, and third kind of mala with 27 beads. The 108 beads and 54 beads malas are usually worn as necklaces while the 27 beads mala is worn as a bracelet.

Gemstone or Crystal Beads

A Mala can be made from any beads or material, but a mala crafted from gemstone or crystal beads can hold a special significance for those who are meditating with a purpose. Crystals and Gemstones have special healing and protective powers and when combined with your intentions and thought processes, they can help accentuate the manifestations of your goals. Choosing a mala for your meditation practice, especially crafted from those crystals or stones, which offer healing or protective benefits that you're manifesting for, can aid greatly in achieving those intentions.

Reason for 108 Beads

The number 108 has a deep significance in eastern spirituality, and in extension is also considered important in Vedic astrology, science and mathematics. There are 108 holy texts in ancient Hindu holy scripture, the Upanishads and there are 108 alphabets in the Sanskrit language. There are 108 Chakras in a human body and 108 nadis or energy lines which are connected to the heart. This number also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the sun and the moon to earth is 108 times their respective diameters. For spiritual as well as astrologically scientific reasons, number 108 is considered as a number which defines the wholeness of existence and hence is used in Mala Beads to help us connect with the energy of this Universe.

The Guru Bead

In Sanskrit, Guru implies a bestower of light or a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation. A Guru is essential in any meditation or yoga practice as it highlights the spiritual relationship between the teacher and the student. "Gu" translates to darkness and "Ru" translates to movement towards light. i.e. A Guru  is someone who guides you away from a path of darkness towards a life of knowledge and light. A Guru bead in a mala is a larger bead at the end of the necklace symbolizes the bond between the teacher and the student pays homage to this literal or symbolic bond. The Guru bead is often the 109th bead that is connected to the tassel, is not to be crossed over during practice and it represents the state of transcendental consciousness, the central goal of meditation practice.

The Thread

The thread or "Sutra" which runs through each bead is the common factor holding all of the mala - the beads, tassel and the Guru bead together. Sutra in Sanskrit translates to thread or line which holds everything together. Effectively it represents the Cosmic Creative Force that supports and sustains every part and, every being in this Universe. 

 The Knots 

The hand-tied knots in a mala represent life's challenges and how overcoming them makes us stronger. They also signify the divine link connecting all beings to the energy of this universe. Though challenging, these knots remind us that all aspects of life are connected and supported in the universal mantra of life.

The Tassel

The tassel is an extension of the string that binds the garland together. It represents our connection to the Divine and the interconnectedness of all beings. It is a reminder of oneness and of unity of all and represents the thousand petal lotus of enlightenment.


A mala is much more than a necklace of beads, instead it is a metaphor symbolizing your journey towards pure consciousness, a tool at your finger tips, which helps connect you to the entire energy of this Universe. At Sivalya we offer high energy 108 beads malas crafted from genuine crystals and gemstones, designed to be your are a wearable, beautiful companions on journey towards spirituality.

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