Mala Beads- Made in the USA- Free Mala Bags!

About Mala Beads

108 bead mala

108 Bead Gemstone Malas

Sakura Designs hand makes all of these 108 Bead malas here in the US, by Buddhist Practitioners. We use the sturdiest bead cord, real three holed "guru, parent or mother bead" finished with a Tibetan Snake or (Blessing) Knot. See Snakeknot Closeup

tassel

108 Bead Tassel Malas

These traditional 108 bead tassel malas are also made by Sakura Designs, in the USA, unless otherwise noted. We use select natural gemstone materials, the sturdiest bead cord, real three holed "guru, parent or mother bead" finished with a well crafted cotton tassel. See Tassels Closeup

These Full sized malas, made by Sakura Designs, are offered a complimentary silk pouch and 30 day craftsmanship guarantee.

wood malas

Natural Wood and Seed Malas

Sakura Designs hand makes all of our Sandalwood, Bodhi and Lotus malas here in the US, unless otherwise noted. Tibetan Malas or Japa Malas are Buddhist, Hindu and multi-faith prayer beads or rosaries crafted from various sandalwoods and natural materials.

 

wrist malas

Wrist and Hand Malas

Imported wrist and hand malas. The most common wrist malas are known as "power beads" and have 21 beads on stretchy cord. The more formal hand malas or travel malas are imported from Japan, and are gift boxed. We are pleased to offer these select imported malas, directly crafted from Fair Trade artisans in Tibet, Nepal, Hong Kong and India. Please remember to include a mala bag to store your beads in when not in use.

imported malas

Imported Malas

We are pleased to offer select imported malas as well, directly crafted from Fair Trade artisans in Tibet, Nepal, Hong Kong and India. Proceeds directly support developing countries, and we are honored to help! These malas are economical, and lovely. They have not however, been "remade" by our designers, so the materials and design are not as precise as ones manufactured by Sakura Designs. Imported Malas are offered mala bags separately to safely store your beads in when not in use.

mala bags

Mala Bags

Protect your precious mala with a silk satin brocade mala bag! We offer Silk and Rayon Satin mala pouches and formal Japanese Obi brocaded pouches. Counters: Recite a certain number of mantras for specific Buddhist and Hindu Meditation practices. Counters are often attached to your mala or used on the side to record mantra recitations. Counters are used to count one full mala completion, and when ten (1000) mantras are completed, the second strand is used.

History

  • Buddhist prayer beads, traditionally called malas, first developed as a religious tool on the Indian continent. "The use of beads in prayer appears to have originated with Hindu religious practices in India, possibly around the 8th century," writes the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri. "B.C.E. Buddhism, which developed from a sect of Hindu culture, retained the use of prayer beads as it became established in China, Korea, Japan, and Tibet."

Identification

  • Most Buddhists normally utilize mala consisting of 108 beads, but the number may vary in different sects of Buddhism. Just like the Hindu variety, Buddhist mala consist of a strand of 108 beads (not including marker beads, decorative beads or guru bead), each a symbol of impurities and flaws that an individual must overcome.

    108 beads is said to represent the  following formula:
    6 x 3 x 2 x3 = 108
    6 senses of a human being: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought
    3 times:  past, present, future
    2 conditions of heart, mind or intention: pure or impure
    3 disturbing emotional states or "kleshia":  like, dislike, indifference

Significance

  • The Buddha himself is believed to have instructed followers to utilize mala. "There is a Sutra (Buddhist Text aka. "thread of knowledge") in which a King prays to the Buddha for a simple practice to help ease his suffering from various difficulties and the Buddha responded by telling him to string 108 soapnut seeds and recite the three part refuge prayer upon them."

Origin

  • The word mala, also referred to as jap mala, is derived from the Indian Sanskrit phrase for garland. The English word rosary, the western term for prayer beads, owes it's etymology to Roman miscommunication. "When Roman explorers came into India and encountered the mala, they heard jap mala, and jap for the Romans meant 'rose,'' according to ReligionFacts.com. The word "rosary" eventually evolved from that translation as Romans carried the prayer bead concept back to the western world. (Courtesy of EHow)