Malas are beautifully hand-crafted pieces made with organic stones, beads, crystals and seeds that are threaded together by vibrant colored thread, but there is more to this piece of jewelry than expected. Malas are traditionally used as meditation beads and have 108 beads connecting to one larger bead – the Guru Bead.
The significance of the number 108 predates Buddhism and is the long-established number of the Hindu names that is assigned to a Hindu Deity. As Malas began to form into mediation mantras practiced in today’s modern yoga application, the number 108 began to take on new meaning. The Hindu religion uses the 108-beaded necklace to count prayers and to signify one full prayer circle completed; yoga and meditation practices have adopted the 108-count circle and adapted it into meditation with the use of modern-day mantras (see our recent article about today’s most common mantras!) Many people use the Mala necklace during yoga and meditation to count their modern-day mantras. Yoga enthusiasts have also established that the meaning of 108 has come to identify with the 108 marma points – or sacred places of the human body. The sacred points of the body align with the body’s chakras. Chakras are studied in the practice of Yoga and meditation and can be understood in relation to the body’s healing nature.
The number 108 is also said to connect the Sun, Moon, and Earth together: 108 times their appropriated diameter is the average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth. Such mathematical phenomena has generated the belief in the number 108 to yoga lovers and meditation-gurus around the world – because as you know, yoga-lovers never shy from the solar power of connectivity and intention! Below you can find a chart of each finger that represents solar connectivity when used with a Mala:
- Index Finger ( Jupiter ): Prosperity, wisdom, knowledge
- Middle Finger ( Saturn ): Patience
- Ring Finger ( Sun ): Promotes vitality and health, and strengthens the nerve system
- Little Finger ( Mercury ): Helps to improve communication skills and intelligence
The number 108 has taken on many meanings over time and each meaning is fully connected to the wearer of the Mala. Find your perfect Mala that balances your inner mantra and connects you to the solar-alignment meant for you.