A mala is a string of 108 beads with one bead as the summit or head bead called a ‘sumeru.’ Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions. A Japa mala is a set of prayer beads. It is used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or names of a particular deity.
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