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What is a mala?
A mala, which is Sanskrit for garland, is a string of beads—typically 108, in addition to one guru bead—which are used as a meditation tool while chanting, reciting or silently repeating a mantra.
What is a mantra?
A mantra—Sanskrit for sound, syllable, word or group of words—is a personal “motto” of sorts that is repeated during meditation to help create focus and self-transformation.
What is the significance of the 108 beads?
Malas allow the wearer to keep count of mantra recitation, allowing her to stay focused, calm and relaxed while repeating a mantra 108 times. In traditional Tibetan Buddhism, mala beads are often created using 108 beads, as a 108-bead mantra repetition represents the 108 worldly sins in the Buddhist doctrine.
What is the significance of the numbers 3 and 6?
The numbers 3 and 6 are significant in relation to mala beads, with Buddhist malas coming in three forms: 108, 54 and 27 beads. On a traditional Buddhist mala, the three beads above the guru bead represent the Three Refuges: Homage to the Buddha, Homage to the Dharma and Homage to the Sangha.
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