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How do you use and wear mala beads?

+2 votes


I was wondering how mala beads should really be worn and if you can wear them around your neck. Also, how exactly do you use them?

Thank You


asked Apr 6, 2012 in Buddhism by me22 (74 points)  

4 Answers

+5 votes

We do not use or wear them. A person who undertakes the 8 precepts or more is not supposed to wear a mala, as the 7th precept includes 'mala'.

Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the training rule to refrain from dancing, singing, listening to music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.

mala is commonly translated as garlands but the pali text clearly says mala.

They can be useful throughout at a certain time in your course of vipassana meditation to count certain arisings, but are by far not necessary for this purpose.

answered Apr 7, 2012 by phalanyani (3,394 points)  
+3 votes

Mala beads aren't used in the Theravada tradition really. They are used by Mahayana Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists, and Hindus to count mantras during chanting.

For example, a practitioner might be told by their teacher to chant the mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" 108 times, and they would use the beads to keep the count.

answered Apr 10, 2012 by bakmoon (1,614 points)  
+1 vote

You can wear them around your wrist or your neck... There used for counting mantras or prayers.. Typical mala has 108 beads.. Usually count each bead going one way never crossing the head bead (guru bead).. They are typical in mantra meditations.. They are pretty big in the Tibetan tradition of buddhism and in hinduism.

answered Apr 7, 2012 by billymac (740 points)  
0 votes

i have one and am not using it but -

i did hear that the beads represents 108 good qualitys of a buddhist - i tryed to google for an answer on what this quality are but didnt find anything - does anyone have an idea about what qualities the beads represent ?

answered Jan 7 by yuvyuv (604 points)  
edited Jan 7 by yuvyuv