MALA AND THE MANTRA
Introduction of Mala
Traditionally a “Mala” in the Hindu context denotes a garland; whereas the same when used in a prayer session is called a “Japa Mala”. As in many religions, be it Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam the usage of rosary, threngwa, japa mala or subha are an integral part for keeping a count and following the prescribed procedure of the prayer undertaken by the devotee. In the Hindu context the word “Mala” is loosely used to indicate both a garland and a rosary, and its meaning is connoted from the context of its usage in speech or text.
The word “Japa Mala” comprises of two words “Japa” meaning devotional repetitions and “Mala” meaning garland. This virtually means a garland for the devotional repetition of prayers. The usage of mala in a prayer session may be for varied purposes like chanting, counting, mentally repeating a prayer or a deity name. The use of mala in prayers appears to have originated in India around 8th century B.C. Mala was an ancient tool to keep the devotees mind focused while practicing meditation. Hindu deities adorn themselves with the mala which forms a part of their attire or personality. The constitution, procedure of repetition, and benefits of the mala have preset rules and regulations.…show more content… The spherical concept of the bead springs from the Hindu philosophy that the “Atma” or soul is immortal and life is cyclical. The selection of a bead type basically depicts the purpose of the