Mala beads are commonly used
in Buddhist practice for meditation. Many prayer beads malas have 108
or 109 beads. Here are some reasons why the number 108 is an important
number in Buddhism. Because much of Buddhism comes from Hinduism, the
number 108 (and prayer beads), both come from Hinduism. Therefore, some
of the important aspects of the number 108 will relate to Hinduism as
well as Buddhism.
9 x 12= 108. Both 9 and 12
are significant numbers in Buddhism.
There are 108 earthly desires.
Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math:
1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2x2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3).
There are 108 energy lines
leading to the heart chakra.
There are 54 letters in the
Sanskrit Alphabet, and 54 x 2=108
There are 108 evils one must
overcome in order to find enlightenment.
Some say that there are 108
beads to allow for the mantra to be repeated 100 times, with room for
There are 108 Upanishads (ancient
There are 12 constellations,
and 9 arc segments.
There are 12 houses and 9 planets.
There are 108 names of Indian
Lord Krishna had 108 gopis.
The diameter of the sun is
108 times the diameter of the earth.
108- 1 plus 8 equals 9
It is said that there are 108
paths to God.
Some Buddhists ring a bell
108 times to ring in the New Year.
Many Buddhist temples have
108 signifies the wholeness
of the divinity, perfect totality.
Many of our wrist malas have
18 or 19 beads. This is because 9 x 2 equals 18, and some beads have
an extra bead, called the guru bead. This bead marks the starting place
and is extra. 108 bead malas often have 109 beads so there is one guru
Tibetan Mantra Prayers
There are many popular Tibetan
prayers. Here are a few Tibetan prayers and there translations. When
using Tibetan Buddhist prayer bead malas, the mantra is said one time
for each bead on the mala.
Om Mani Padme Hum (Sanskrit)
or Om Mani Peme Hung (Tibetan)
This prayer is the most common
Tibetan Buddhist mantra. This mantra is associated with Avalokitesvara.
It is often found on Tibetan jewelry, on prayer wheels, wood carvings,
and other forms of Tibetan Buddhist art. This mantra literally means,
"hail to the jewel in the lotus."
Om- This syllable is made up
of three sounds- a, u, m. So, it sounds like , Aum. These three syllables
stand for the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind. They also
symbolize the pure and perfect body, speech, and mind of the Buddha.
Mani- These syllables symbolizes
the desire to be enlightened, to remove the impurities from ourselves
and become pure like the Buddha.
Padme- These two syllables
mean lotus. The lotus symbolizes wisdom.
Hum- This is the seed syllable
of Akshobhya, who is immovable.
So, the mantra all together,
means that when you seek purity of the mind, body, and spirit, using
wisdom and fortitude on your journey, you will achieve it.
Sabbe satta sukhi hontu
This mantra means, "May all beings be happy."
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om- The past, present, and
future- all of it is om. The world was created with the word 'om,'
and it is believed that the first sound ever heard was the word, 'om.'
Shanti- Shanti means peace.
Buddhist Prayer Beads Materials
||Aids Digestion, Relieves Negative
Feelings, Heals thyroid, throat, ears, neck, and respiratory system,
allergies, and heart problems
||Coral gathers heat and helps
the bloodstream, lighter shades bring harmony to the heart, helps aid
depression or nutrition deficits
||Jade reduces fear, helps alleviate
stress, helps with the ability to give and receive love, encourages
mental peace and tolerance for others
||Represent spiritual promise
and possibility, enrich the mind
||Symbolizes the radiance of
our essential nature, blocks negative energy
||Enriches the mind and promotes
assists immune system
||Sooths nerves, assists immune
||Focuses energy, appeases anger,
protects against harm, protects from addiction
||Favorite mala of the Dalai
Lama, healing from physical and mental ailments, calming
||Clears thoughts and enhances
energy, healing stone, protects from evil
||Cleansing, healing, cleanses
||Helps heal depression, thoughts
of suicide, cleanses organs