108 beads is the most traditional amount of prayer beads, originating from the Hindu faith. Malas can range in any number of beads. We have found a connection to the number 108 here at Intentional Beads.
To us "108"represents the infinite (the number 8) harmony between beginning (the number 1) and end (the number 0).
The Guru bead. The bead that brings you to the light.
For us at Intentional beads, the Guru bead is the centering stone where you set in your intention. This piece is our grounding element and the element that charges up your mala. Great care is taken when we pick this piece for your mala.
Your spacers are away for us to infuse the properties of semiprecious stones and their medicine into your mala. Traditional Malas are knotted to separate each bead, but we have been inspired to
use these beautiful stones to fill this purpose and feel so grateful for the inspiration.
When choosing you mala, keep in mind the stones in between and how they make you feel.
Prayer beads have been used for centuries in many different spiritual practices. The earliest recordings find Prayer Beads/Malas in the Hindu faith, then leading into Buddhist practices and unto modern day religion of Catholicism in the Rosary.
My theory on how the Rosary entered into the Christian faith has been inspired from Paramahansa Yogananda's book "The Yoga of Jesus" where he mentions a time period where Jesus left at the age of thirteen and returned home at the age of thirty. During this period there is no mention as to where Jesus went. In the Hindu texts it mentions a young boy coming to be taught by the Yogis of that time. He then left to teach the people where he was from those same teachings. If this is true, then I believe it is very possible that Jesus brought the practice of the Mala with him and is why the Rosary is incorporated in the Catholic faith. Something to think about, at the very least.
Because of Prayer beads' longevity and use across borders and boundaries, I feel there is a deep importance here. There may not be science yet to explain why they help us have a deeper connection with ourselves yet, but there is something to be said about a deeper "knowing" that has been in us for centuries.
I invite you to research and find the answers you may be needing regarding the origins and uses of malas and prayer beads. I feel like this is a world that is still to be explored.