Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hindu Prayer Beads (Part 3)

Rudraksha Mala
Photo Credit: San Marga
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Types of Hindu Malas
Different types of beads are believed to invoke the power of certain gods, thereby releasing different forms of healing into the supplicant’s body. Coral, believed to restore health to those with anemic conditions, is used in worship of Lord Ganesh, Hanuman, Lakshmi, and the planet arms. {S, Anamika}

The favored rudraksha beads seem to be a universal material that brings honor to many of the gods and to all nine planets. Amber beads are used by those suffering from blood disorders, including issues of menstruation. White sandalwood malas are believed to bring peace and empowerment and are most often used to worship ram or Vishnu. {S, Anamika} These are just a few of the many materials Hindu mala beads are made from.

It is believed by Hindus that the seeds from the rudraksha tree symbolize God’s compassion for all life and that it vibrates at a frequency that releases peace and health to the body. It is believed that these seeds decrease body temperature and blood pressure, thereby relieving stress and strain from the body. {San Marga}

Hindu malas closely resemble Buddhist malas, and many scholars believe that Buddhists adopted the practice of using them directly from their Hindu ancestors. However, there are some very distinctive mala practices in the Buddhist faith.

Read more about Buddhist Prayer Beads.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Adams, Tom. “Prayer Beads—Tibetan Mala.” Eastern Healing Arts (website). Copyright 2004-2010. Accessed October 26, 2012. http://easternhealingarts.com/Articles/prayerbeads_tibetanmalas.html.
2. Khalsa, Dayakaur. “Mala Beads.” Mala-beads (website). Accessed October 29, 2012. http://mala-beads.50webs.com/aboutmalas.html.
3. Paul, LoriAnn V. “How to Pray With Muslim Prayer Beads: Thikr, Dhikr, Zikr, Tasbih, Tespihi, Subha, Misbaha.” Hearts to Heaven (website). Accessed October 26, 2012. http://heartstoheaven.com/waystopray.html.
4. Rosary Workshop. “Journaling the Bead: A History of the Rosary.” Accessed October 20, 2012.http://www.rosaryworkshop.com/HISTORYjournalingBead.htm.
5. S, Anamika. “Hindu Prayer Beads for chanting Mantras.” HubPages. Last updated June 17, 2012.
6. San Marga Iraivan Temple. “Rudrakshas.” Himalayan Academy (website). Accessed October 29, 2012. http://www.himalayanacademy.com/ssc/hawaii/iraivan/donate/.

7. Winston, Kimberly. Bead One, Pray Too. New York: Moorehouse Publishing, 2008.

*Clip-art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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