Japamala – The Spiritual String of Beads

- March 1, 2021

By Srinidhi Murthy A japamala, referred to as a rosary in English, is a string of beads used to keep the mind focused and clear while reciting the divine name.  The word comes from two separate words; japa meaning recitation (of the divine name) and mala meaning garland. A japamala is used in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism and many other traditions for the spiritual practice referred to as japa. The use of a japamala while praying is a widespread practice since ancient times and it is not known exactly when this started. Materials used Japamalas are made using a variety of materials depending on the tenets of the faith of the practitioner, the kind of prayers and also the geographical availability of materials. Shaivas, the devotees of Shiva use the seeds of the Rudraksha tree and Vaishanavas, the devotees of Vishnu use the beads from the wood of the Tulsi plant in their japamalas. These plants are especially dear to the deities they revere. Buddhists prefer seeds or wood from various species of the Bodhi Tree as it represents the place of Siddhartha Gautham’s enlightenment.  ...

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