Malas are a type of meditation tool that has been used for centuries in different spiritual practices. They are typically made of 108 beads and a larger bead or tassel at the end. The use of malas is common in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and other spiritual practices. One question that often arises is why malas have exactly 108 beads. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons behind this number.
The number 108 has a deep spiritual significance in many cultures and spiritual practices. In Hinduism, for example, there are 108 Upanishads, which are ancient texts that describe the nature of reality and the self. Similarly, there are 108 names for different Hindu deities. In Buddhism, there are also 108 prostrations that are performed as part of some meditation practices. In Jainism, there are 108 virtues that one must cultivate in order to achieve liberation.
There are many other spiritual and cultural references to the number 108, which is why it is believed to have such a powerful spiritual significance. Some people also believe that there are 108 energy lines or nadis that converge at the heart chakra in the human body. By using a mala with 108 beads, one can activate and balance these energy lines and bring about a state of harmony and balance.
Another explanation for the number 108 is that it is a multiple of nine, which is considered to be a sacred number in many spiritual practices. Nine represents completeness and wholeness, and when multiplied by 12, which is the number of zodiac signs, it results in 108. Some people also believe that the number 108 represents the ratio of the sun's diameter to the distance between the sun and the earth.
In addition to the spiritual significance of the number 108, the use of malas can also have practical benefits. The repetitive motion of moving from one bead to the next can help to calm the mind and bring about a state of focused awareness. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with meditation or who find it difficult to quiet the mind.
In conclusion, the use of malas with 108 beads has a deep spiritual significance in many cultures and spiritual practices. Whether you believe that it represents the number of Upanishads or the ratio of the sun's diameter to the distance between the sun and the earth, the number 108 has a powerful energy and symbolism. Using a mala with 108 beads can help to activate and balance the energy lines in the body, bring about a state of calm and focus, and connect us to the deeper spiritual dimensions of life.