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108 Beads Mala

Buddhist prayer beads are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating. They are similar to other forms of prayer beads used in various world religions; thus some call this tool the Buddhist rosary. On a mala,or set of mantra counting beads, there are generally 108 beads, or some fraction of that number. it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras, the mantra be remembered with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.

There are numerous explanations why there are 108 beads, with the number 108 bearing special religious significance in a number of Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Ananda Coomaraswamy holds that the numerology of the decimal numeric system was key to its inception. 108 is therefore founded in Dharmic metaphysical numerology. One for bindu zero for shunyata and eight for ananta.

In traditional Buddhist thought, people are said to have 108 afflictions or kleshas. There are six senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and consciousness) multiplied by three reactions (positive, negative, or indifference) making 18 "feelings." Each of these feelings can be either "attached to pleasure or detached from pleasure" making 36 "passions", each of which may be manifested in the past, present, or future. All the combinations of all these things makes a total of 108, which are represented by the beads in the ojuzu.This same number is also used in Japanese New Year services where a bell is rung 108 times.

In addition, practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism, use the number 108 for a different purpose. After reciting 100 mantras, eight extra mantras are done to compensate for any errors.[

Japa Malas or Hindu prayer beads have been used by ancient Hindus for millenniums. The earliest mention of the japa mala comes from the Vedas. Japa malas are made out of many natural things such as Bodhi seeds, lotus seeds, tulsi wood, sandalwood, rose wood, sunstione, coral stone, or gemstones.

A traditional Yoga japa mala is a set of 108 beads, used to focus and center oneself during meditation. Each bead of the japa mala may represents a mantra, prayer or intention.