Most traditional Malas have a larger bead at the end of the necklace that is called the Guru Bead. Traditionally, the Guru Bead signifies the end of prayer that have been recited – although today’s modern take on the traditional jewelry typically means the end of one recited mantra for the modernists in meditation practice.
It is said that the Guru bead is used to symbolize the bond between the influence from who the student has received their recited mantra and pay homage to this either literal or symbolic bond. When the Guru Bead is reached through meditation, it should remind the wearer of the awareness achieved through mantra practice and that such awareness should be elevated to be used in everyday life. This larger bead is never counted during repetition and rather is a moment of reflection before continuing to another round of meditation. The Guru Bead is used to create intention within the wearer and to be a reminder of the motives for sitting in meditation.
There is also a Tassel at the end of most traditional Mala necklaces that lay below the Guru Bead. The tassel is said to represent one-thousand petals of a Lotus Flower. A Lotus flower blooms in muddy waters and it is believed to symbolize one’s transformation for murky waters to an idyllic version of ourselves. The tassel also is believed to represent enlightenment and depict the Mala in its most basic and universal form. Along with representing enlightenment through meditation, the tassel also aids in understanding significance in energy that flows through consciousness. Some touch the tassel to their third-eye chakra to symbolize their oneness with divinity. Each Mala has beautiful Guru Beads filled with intention and meaning – each one signifying something different for each person.