"Mala" means "garland" in Sanskrit. A simple strand of 108 beads, they are created with intention, and each part has its own spiritual & functional attribute.
1. Tassel/ Pendant:
I use many types of pendants to end my malas, each with their own unique symbolism. A tassel, however, symbolizes the interconnectedness of all humanity.
2. Guru Bead:
Depending on the style of Mala, and your own personal beliefs the Guru bead can have many meanings. To me, the Guru bead acts as an energy receptacle, which then charges the mala with your intentions.
Most Malas are created using rudraksha seeds, sandalwood or semi-precious beads. These beads help you to track your progress as you recite your mantras.
4. Station Beads:
Some malas contain stations beads, depending on the style. Their job is to bring you back into focus.
Knots strengthen the cord and create space between the beads for ease of counting during meditation.