MALAS – By Kayla Baboolal
The following is an excerpt from my “Pagan Paths Workshop”
Yantras & Mantras, the Devine Connection” and is copyright protected.
It is believed that the effects of mantras increase with repetition. It is also believed that the vibrations can be ‘stored’ in a mala. As with many spiritual practices, the general belief is that energy can be transferred from you to an object, transmuted within that object with the vibration of sound, and returned to you for healing and guidance. This is the principle belief behind the use of Malas.
The Vedas of India have cited that there are 108 Nadis, or channels, which radiate out from the major Chakra system of our subtle body. This mirrors the system of veins, which move nutrients through out our physical body. As we chant each repetition of the mantra, the goal is to provide spiritual nourishment to each of these channels. As a result, Mantras are repeated 108 times, and full Malas contain 108 beads, plus the Meru bead.
TO HOLD THE POWER:
There are strict guidelines on how to use a Mala. It should be held in the right hand. The beads should be draped over your Middle, Ring and Baby fingers, which represent Positive, Negative and Neutral forces. The index finger remain extended and never comes in contact with the Mala, as it represents the ego. Your thumb would rest on the first bead North of the Meru and would be used to slide each bead South/down until you reach the last bead before the Meru. If you are using a wrist Mala at this point you begin to slide the beads up, you never ‘cross’ over the Meru. Wrist Malas are generally made up of 27 beads and would be rotated 3 times. The thumb represents the Divine, and is used to move the beads, or ‘work’ the Mala.
Traditionally, a Mantra is repeated a minimum of 108 times each day for a consecutive 40 days. At this point the dedication or ‘programming’ is complete, however regular devotion is required to keep the malas ‘charged’. I recommend separate Malas for each Mantra you wish to work with. Keep them stored in separate bags (silk or organic material is most respectful) or in small soapstone, or natural wood boxes.
THE MERU BEAD:
As noted above, the Meru Bead is sacred, it is never crossed and avoid touching if at all possible. It is believed by practitioners that the energy generated during the Mantra practice is stored within the Meru. At times of distress, or illness it can be placed on the third eye to ‘absorb’ the energy to add the receive. You can share this energy with someone in need of it. You can also wear full length malas around your neck, resting the Meru at the base of the neck to aid in meditation or astral/shamanic travels.
The materials used to construct the Mala can vary by tradition: Shaivists of Hinduism, who worship Shiva, use Rudraksha seeds. Vaishnavists of Hinduism, who worship Vishnu, like the Tulsi beads. Buddhist’s often like the seeds from the Bodhi tree or semi-precious stones like Lapis Lazuli or Carnelian and sometimes bone. As I work extensively with the resonant energy in crystals, I tend to match crystals for the Mantras I will be using. If you are new to both Mantras, Crystal work and Malas, I recommend YogaBascis.com. If you have experience with crystals, always go by your own instinct rather than the traditional uses found in books or online stores. We all resonate at different frequencies, and these can affect how any given elemental response to you and works with you.
This is the first set of posts in a new section under the Akashic Record Category titled “Devine Connection” and will include various ways of connecting with the Devine, Creator, Ancestors, Elementals (whom ever you wish to connect with) as well as totems and symbols as vehicles for communion. In time it will include information on: Yantras, Rangolas, Veves, Medicine Wheels and other ‘physically created portals’. Methods on Meditation, Astral Travel and Divination. I will limit this section to the basics and my own interpretation of these methods. If it varies from what you do, I mean no disrespect, but ask that you remember I am a hereditary eclectic, with 8 nationalities and as many spiritual paths in my background. My heritage is about adapting, and including, it is our way. ~ Namaste, Shakti-Shaman