Japa is the ancient practice of repeating prayers, sacred mantras or devotions on prayer beads by spiritual seekers who follow different paths of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Bahaism. In Sanskrit, the practice is called Japa Yoga and the circular string of beads is called a mala, and there is much more to this concentration exercise than first appears. It is one of the classic paths to spiritual liberation, or moksha.
“Japa is a type of communication between here and beyond, between the part and the Whole. As in all types of communication, it cannot be the mumbling of empty words, it cannot be a mechanical or robotic repetition, but it must express an authentic and sincere intention. The mantra should be recited with highest attention and deeply interiorized.”
- Prabhuji, H.H. Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja
Mala beads are made up of different types of wood and stone, with each material energetically compatible with specific mantras. Mantras, which are abundant in number, are sounds that contain tremendously powerful mystical energy, the vibrations of which are capable of liberating one’s mind from the material world as they can penetrate through the physical body and reach the astral body.
In some spiritual traditions such as Hinduism, this mantra is given to a disciple by one’s guru, a self-realized soul who opens the energetic potential of the mantra for the disciple. A mala is typically made from 108 beads plus a distinctly larger one called a Sumeru. Each round that the practitioner conducts, which involves holding one bead at a time between the right thumb and middle finger while repeating a mantra, begins and ends at the Sumeru. The practice is both an important type of meditation and an authentic invocation of God.
At Prabhuji’s Gifts, we offer malas made of sacred Tulasi wood, crystal, sandalwood, rosewood, tiger eye, moonstone, rudraksha seeds and amethyst, ideal for your spiritual practice. They are beautiful as well, with some possessing eye-catching and unique textures seemingly from a past era, while others reflect the light in a magical way. So let’s chant, feel the distinguished grooves of each individual bead between our fingers and elevate!