Mala beads also go by prayer beads, yoga beads, affirmation beads, and for others, the Japa Malas.
The mala beads are 108-beaded necklaces that have been used for centuries by Buddhists and other religions to improve mental focus during prayer and other spiritual practices.
It’s worth noting Mala is a Sanskrit word for garland, which is an ancient meditation tool that is rooted in Buddhism and Hinduism.
The mala beads are also used during and for affirmations, Japa meditation, and reflections.
Why 108 beads?
In Yogic traditions, the mala beads are used often in the Japamala practices and mantra recitations during meditation. They date back to the ancient Buddhist cultures from the Han Dynasty, although the mala beads may have come much earlier.
The earliest mentions of the beads date back to the 7th century, but they only became popular 3000 years ago. Despite having been around for this long, the design of the mala beads remains unchanged, with the standard 108 beads consisting of one larger center bead, the guru.
The guru is considered the most important bead as it is believed to hold the energy that you generate during meditation. So, why 108 beads?
108 represents the numerical equivalent of the sound ‘Om,’ which is one of the religion’s most important spiritual sounds.
It is also believed that a relationship exists between the wearer’s inner and outer environment of the mala beads user, and the mala beads’ 108 beads describe these environments.
108 is also used because the Sanskrit alphabet is made of 108 letters. And according to Vedic mathematicians, the sun’s diameter is 108 times larger than the earth’s diameter.
Then in Yogic tradition, 108 is incorporated in the Upanishad’s sacred texts, 108 marma or acupuncture-like spots in the body, and 108 sacred and holy sites across India.
And according to the Bhakti yoga traditional beliefs, there are stories of 108 gopis that danced alongside Krishna in the Vrindavan.
And lastly, in tantric yoga, there exist 108 energy lines running throughout the body, and these lines converge and are all connected at the center, at the heart chakra.
The other notable thing about the mala beads is that you can string them either as a half necklace consisting of 54 beads or can also be worn as a bracelet when it’s made of 27 counting beads.
As mentioned above, the guru bead is the most important part of the mala beads, and it’s not only larger than the rest of the beads but also serves as the start and end point whenever you use the mala bead to count meditation mantras and affirmations.
Then you have the tassel connected to the end of the guru, and its role is to complete the mala as the final knot.
Over the years, mala beads have evolved, not in terms of the design but the materials used and the colors of the beads, which also give the beads different meanings and significance.
But before we look at the different colors of mala beads, it’s also important to note that the mala beads are often made of different materials.
The most common materials used to make the mala beads are semi-precious gemstones and woods, although there are several varieties of mala beads made of seeds, as has been the case with mala beads made from the start of time.
In India, for instance, the authentic mala beads are made from the seeds of the rudaskra, tulsi, and sandalwood, while in Nepal and Tibet, mala beads are made of lotus and bodhi seeds, and also bone.
The mala beads are also made of natural stones in other parts of the world, including amethyst, rose quartz, tiger’s eye, and jade.
These are just some of the common materials used to make the mala beads and the stones used to determine the energetic powers offered by the mala beads.
Size of mala beads
Mala beads come in different types and sizes, and the most common ones range in size from 6mm to 10mm, but the most common mala beads are 8mm because the larger beads are much easier to count and to practice Japa on.
That said, some males are often decorated, but this is not often the case. In addition to the size of the beads, the other notable thing about the mala beads is the mala tassel that is usually made of silk or cotton, and in other cases, eco-friendlier options such as hemp.
And for maximum feel and durability, some beads are made of braided wires that the beads are strung on.
Now that we have the basics about the mala beads laid out let’s take a look at the different-colored mala beads and what they mean.
1. Purple Mala Beads
Purple is regarded as a spiritual color that is linked to the third eye chakra, and it has the power to enhance one’s intuition, especially during meditations.
- A common purple mala bead is the Amethyst Mal Its benefits range from a balance in high energy, eliminating chaos in your life, and more importantly, it enhances and supports wisdom. Amethyst is also very important during and for meditations as it provides a sense of healing, spiritual balance, and enlightenment.
- Other purple mala beads are made of the crazy lace agatethat fosters self-confidence, acceptance, and focus and get rid of emotional pain. It also clears energy blockages.
- There also are purple sugilite malabeads that offer protection and aid in the removal of negative attachments. These beads also bring calm, eliminate stress, and enhance emotional healing, allowing you to live your best life. It will also balance your crown chakra.
2. Blue Mala Beads
The color blue is associated with relaxation, peace, and calm, and the most common blue mala beads are the Amazonite and the Lapis Lazuli mala beads.
- The Amazonitemala beads are believed to work with the heart and throat chakras, which help to maintain the balance between what you are saying and what you feel. This mala also calms and soothes the mind, creates balance, and invites confidence in the user’s life.
- On the other hand, the Lapis LazuliMala beads are associated with wisdom and royalty, strength, courage, truth, and intellect.
- Other blue mala beads are made of blue aventurinethat enhances self-awareness and self-intuition and makes you fearless and more creative. There also are blue tiger eye mala beads that offer stress relief, protection, and improved levels of motivation and confidence levels. The Indian bloodstone mala beads are also blue and boast detoxification powers, healing, and the ability to revitalize the wearer while protecting them from negativity and evil.
- The blue sky jaspermala beads offer ease in case of emotional stress and balance and also encourage a sense of independence.
3. Green Mala Beads
The green mala beads are important and essential to personal growth, prosperity, and opportunity. The color green has connected with the heart chakra. There are two main types of green mala beads, jade and agate mala beads.
- The jademala beads have, for the longest time, been considered protective talismans, and so, jade has always been celebrated and worn as a stone that is believed to bring prosperity and good luck to the wearer or the user of these mala beads.
- There also are the agatemala beads that are believed to enhance self-esteem and attract abundance.
Other green-colored mala beads are moss agate, green aventurine, and malachite.
4. Pink Mala Beads
Pink is a color that represents connection, compassion, and love, and the most common pink mala beads are made of Rhodonite and Rose Quartz.
- Rose QuartzMalas are helpful to individuals searching for the best level of resonance with compassion and love frequencies. And wearing the rose quartz mala beads will ensure the release of any and all emotional patterns that could hold that person back. Rose quartz encourages unconditional love, opens and purifies the heart, and offers comfort in times of grief while dispelling negativity.
- On the other hand, Rhodonitemala beads are believed to bring healing, unconditional love, calm, and compassion, and the crystals can also bring to the surface an individual’s hidden talents. Rhodonite effectively balances your emotional well-being and will also heal your emotional pain while encouraging feelings of self-love and forgiveness. This stone will come in handy when dealing with emotional issues or abuse. It also stimulates your heart chakra.
- Unakiteis the other crystal used to create pink mala beads and boasts unique pink and green elements. Unakite is balancing and grounding, and it also inspires rebirthing. It also helps you realize the things that may be inhibiting spiritual growth. And if you are dealing with significant changes in your life or need to be able to let go of any events you suffered in the past, then these mala beads would be excellent for you. The Unakite mala beads are also great for anger/ pain release, and the blend of blue and green elements creates a beautiful set of complementary colors.
5. Black Mala Beads
The color black is associated with success, power, and protection, and you can experience these benefits by wearing black mala beads made of black tourmaline and black onyx.
- The black Tourmalinemala beads are regarded as some of the most powerful stones that offer protection. They also carry an incredible purifying effect while inspiring a sense of personal power and self-confidence.
- The black onyxmala beads are also great, and wearing the beads made of the black onyx is considered helpful in transforming and getting rid of negative energies, attracting good fortune, and promoting good health.
- The other black mala beads are made of lava rock. Lava Rock Mala beads carry the earthly qualities of lava, and the stone is grounding. It is also associated with enhancing the wearer’s focus and balance while improving fertility.
- Other black mala beads are made of smoky quartz, a detoxifier, and a grounding crystal that stimulates your base chakra. These crystals relieve stress, bring serenity and strength, and neutralize negative energies.
- Obsidianprotects negative energies; it will clear confusion, enhance clarity, and boost compassion and strength while also dissolving the emotional pain from past traumas. Black agarwood eaglewood mala beads also enhance calmness and purification of the body and mind and invigorate the wearer. It’s also great for individuals suffering from hyperactivity or insomnia.
6. Red Mala Beads
The color red is associated with power, productivity, and courage. And red mala beads are often made of stones like red jasper and garnet.
- Red Jasper mala beads boast grounding effects, enhance self-esteem, and they also make the wearer courageous. The red jasper mala beads also make the wearer more empathetic, boosting creativity and rejuvenating. It also boosts focus and mental clarity. And if you are allergic to animals or get overwhelmed too easily, then the Red Jasper mala beads would be handy for you. These red mala beads also promote healing in case you fall ill.
- Red Tiger Eye Mala beads are also common. These beads protect the wearer, make them more motivated and perceptive, and it is also humbling. If you struggle with a low sex drive or don’t feel confident, these mala beads will help you greatly. These mala beads would also be ideal for you if you have been setting big goals for yourself and wish to have a little more energy to accomplish them. It’s also helpful to individuals with commitment issues.
- The Garnet mala beads, on the other hand, inspire devotion and love while also balancing your sex drive/ libido. Garnet crystals are also energizing and cleansing. They make you self-confident, and these crystals would also make you more courageous. The stones also sharpen perceptions while getting rid of inhibitions, including taboos.
7. Brown Mala Beads
Brown is a color associated with warmth, stability, and reliability. In Mala beads, these colors appear in wooden and tiger eye mala beads.
- The Tiger-eyemala beads carry grounding and protective energy. The beads also enhance confidence and inspire individuals to accomplish their goals.
- The woodenmala beads are also associated with stability, and wearing brown mala beads will physically, mentally, and spiritually ground the person wearing these mala beads.
- The third type of brown mala beads is the Rudaskramala beads which protect against negative energies while also cleansing the aura around you. These beads also bring you happiness and prosperity.
- Brown mala beds made of tulsiclear your aura and balance the Kapha and Vata doshas while protecting the wearer.
- Rosewoodis the other brown mala bead material with a reddish hue. It is considered effective in banishing negative energies and protecting from negative energy while getting rid of obstacles in the path to your success. It also promotes healing.
8. White or Transparent Mala Beads
White is a color that is associated with peace and purity, and it’s also associated with creating a connection to angels and the spiritual world. These mala beads are often made of stones like clear quartz and howlite.
- Howlitestone used in mala beads is associated with awareness, calm, emotional expression, and focus.
- Clear quartzmala beads, on the other hand, enhance a high level of self=awareness and positivism and improve the wearer’s energy levels.
- Other clear or white mala beads are made of pearlsor mother of pearls that carry healing and protective energies while also dispelling negativity and bringing balance and harmony. Pearls soothe the nervous system, enhance self-esteem, and increase a sense of emotional balance.
9. Orange Mala Beads
Orange mala beads are made of stones like carnelian, goldstone, and amber.
- Carnelianmala beads enhance motivation, creativity, vitality, courage, and positivity, and the heads also sharpen your concentration. It also helps to overcome abuse, to dispel negativity, and to treat depression. The orange mala beads also improve sexual energy while boasting compassion and passion.
- Ambermala beads carry cleansing and healing energies, offer stress relief, happiness, emotional healing, pleasure, and love, and it’s also a great color mala for individuals coming from long illnesses. They are also associated with bringing good luck to the wearer.
- Goldstoneis the other important orange-colored mala beads that stabilize the wearer’s emotional state while promoting calmness. It also protects and generates energy, making you more focused on attaining your goals.
10. Yellow Mala Beads
There are also yellow-colored mala beads made of different stones or crystals like yellow jade, citrine, and honey calcite.
These yellow mala beads carry uplifting energies, wisdom, strength, persistence, vitality, and confidence.
It also promotes empathy and compassion. Citrine and honey calcite also help balance chakras, the solar plexus, and heart crown chakras.
Mala beads come in different colors, depending on the materials they are made of, and as seen above, you have many options to choose from based on the benefits you seek.
For more fashion jewelry, please visit this page for more or visit our latest published posts!
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.