What Are Mala Beads? Where Did Mala Beads Originate?

What Are Mala Beads? Where Did Mala Beads Originate?

Mala beads, also known as prayer beads or meditation beads, are a string of beads traditionally used to perform "japa" or mantra meditation in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. They are often made from materials such as wood, seed, or semi-precious stones and can have anywhere from 108 to 21 beads on a strand.

The use of mala beads can be traced back to ancient India, where they were used in Hinduism as a tool for counting mantras during meditation. In Buddhism, mala beads are used as a tool for keeping track of recitations of the Buddhist mantra, "Om mani padme hum." They are also used in Jainism for reciting mantras and counting prayers.

The beads are typically held in the right hand and are used to recite a mantra or prayer while moving the thumb or fingers from one bead to the next. This repetitive motion is said to help focus the mind and bring a sense of peace and calm to the individual.


person holding rudraksha mala beads reciting prayer


Mala beads can be worn as a necklace or bracelet and are often chosen for their specific healing properties based on the materials used to make them. For example, beads made from rosewood are said to promote peace and calm, while beads made from turquoise are said to promote healing and protection.

In recent years, mala beads have become popular as a tool for mindfulness and meditation in Western cultures, as well. They are often used to help with stress and anxiety and are sometimes incorporated into yoga practice.

Overall, mala beads are a beautiful and meaningful tool for meditation and spiritual practice. Whether used for traditional religious reasons or simply as a personal tool for mindfulness, they can bring a sense of peace and calm to the wearer.

If you are looking to purchase mala beads, visit our Meditation & Mindfulness collection here.

Do you use Mala beads? Which ones do you prefer? Leave us a comment below if you have anything you would like to share!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.