A mala is a string of beads used in spiritual practice or dharma for doing mantra. They can be made from wood, beads or gems. The Ma’s India Mala Collection gives you many choices. The full size malas are made of 108 stones or beads. The number 108 is sacred in Hindu religious tradition. This number comes from multiplying the 12 astrological houses by the 9 planets. The malas also have a guru bead, or a tassle, to remind us of the teachers in our lives. Traditionally the mala is held between the thumb and middle finger, and as each bead is passed, the mantra, or a name of god is said quietly or out loud. This is done until the guru bead is reached, then the mala is reversed and the process goes on until the guru bead is reached again. Repeating mantra is an excellent way of calming the mind and keeping the thought of god in our everyday lives.