Carnelian Mala Beads
~ Metaphysical Properties ~
Mala Beads can help you with different aspects of meditationwhich is linked to a range of health benifits. Meditation helps reduce stress levels, improve sleep and lower blood pressure.
~ History of Japamala (Mala) Beads ~
A japamala, jaap maala, or simply mala is a loop of prayer beads commonly used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism for counting recitations when performing japa (reciting a mantra or other sacred sound) or for counting some other sadhana (spiritual practice) such as prostrating before a holy icon. They are similar to other forms of prayer beads used in various world religions and are sometimes referred to in English as a "rosary".
The main body of a mala is usually 108 beads of roughly the same size and material as each other though smaller versions, often factors of 108 such as 54 or 27, exist. A distinctive 109th "guru bead", not used for counting, is very common. Mala beads have traditionally been made of a variety of materials such as wood, stone, seeds, bone and precious metals—with various religions often favouring certain materials—and strung with natural fibres such as cotton, silk, or animal hair. Mala can nowadays be found which are made from synthetic materials (such as plastic or glass beads, and nylon cords whether braided string or monofilament).
Malas may appear in early Brahmanic Hindu art as part of the garb of deities or worshippers, but are difficult to distinguish from decorative necklaces or garlands. The earliest clear depiction of a mala being used as a tool for recitation, rather than possibly being a necklace or decoration, comes from a bodhisattva image created during the 4th - 6th century Northern Wei dynasty in China; the mala is held in the hand, rather than worn.
The first literary reference to the use of a mala for the recitation of mantras comes from the Mu Huanzi Jing, a Mahayana text purported to have been translated into Chinese during the Eastern Jin era, some time in the 4th - 5th century CE. No mention of this text occurs in standard bibliographies before the 6th century, but an independent translation in the 8th century suggests an origin as a Sanskrit text transmitted from Central Asia, rather than a Chinese composition. According to this text, the Buddha instructed a king to make a mala from the seeds of the aristaka plant and recite the Triratana while passing the mala through his fingers in order to calm his mind and relieve his anxiety.
A wide variety of materials are used to make mala beads. Religious groups—notably Hindu Tantra and Vajrayana Buddhism—may favour certain materials in general or may favour certain materials dependent upon the desired effect of the spiritual practice for which the mala is being used.
Common materials wood from the sandalwood tree or the bodhi tree, and seeds of the lotus plant.
Strings may be made from practically any fibre, traditionally silk or wool or cotton though synthetic monofilaments or cords such as nylon can now be found and are favoured for their low cost and good wear resistance. Elastic cords, such as milliner's elastic, may be used and have the advantage that they can stretch to fit over the wearer's hand if worn on the wrist whereas other material may not wrap a sufficient number of times to prevent the mala from slipping off. Beads may also be joined by metal chains.
Mala may also have a tassel hanging from the guru bead. This tassel need not be made from the same fibre as the string.
Carnelian Mala Beads
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