Showing posts with label Malas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malas. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Mala? When And How Are Malas Used By Hindus?

 


 (“garland”) This term refers to any kind of necklace.

Flowers garlands are common in India, and are presented as presents to deities (who wear them around their necks as decoration) or as a symbol of welcome and respect to any valued visitor.

Garlands or necklaces constructed of more durable materials are essential elements of religious adornment, and in certain instances, they have strong sectarian associations.

Many Shaivas use rudraksha beads in their malas, which are an aniconic version of Shiva, their patron god.

In the same manner, many Vaishnavas would wear a mala fashioned from the wood of the Tulsi plant, which is thought to be a manifestation of the goddess Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort.

Malas used for ceremonial reasons may be fashioned from nearly any material, despite the fact that these materials function as sectarian markers.

Materials like amber, rock crystal, coral, semiprecious stones, and gemstones—materials that are durable, expensive, and not produced by human hands—are the most popular.

Malas are used to maintain track during mantra recitation (japa) by passing one bead between the finger and thumb with each recitation for ceremonial reasons.

Typically, 108 pieces are strung on such malas.

One bead on each mala is distinguished from the rest, and mantra recitation always starts with this bead.

Mount Meru, the mythological mountain that serves as the cosmic pivot for the whole created order, is represented by this bead.

When one reaches the end of the mala and returns to the Meru bead, one should change ways, according to tradition.

By never passing over the Meru bead, the wearer is metaphorically circling Mount Meru as the universe's center.

Malas are potent religious artifacts that are said to be charged by their owners' spiritual energy because of their connection to regular religious practice.

As a result, malas are practically never traded, with the exception of a guru's gift to a follower.

The majority of malas are only touched by the owner.

As a barrier against potentially corrupting outside influences, those doing recitation would typically cover their hand and mala in a fabric bag (known as a gomukh or "cow's mouth").

The ban against fixing and reusing a damaged mala stems from the belief that a mala absorbs its owner's spiritual vitality.

A mala is said to shatter because it gradually pulls out its owner's bad spiritual powers, according to popular belief.

A mala should be abandoned after it has been shattered to avoid the owner coming into touch with this potentially harmful energy again.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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