Why are there 108 beads on a mala?

The number 108 is significant for so many reasons.

Some believe there are 108 stages on the journey of the human soul, while others associate the possibility of enlightenment with taking only 108 breaths a day, while in deep meditation.

No matter who you ask, the answer will most likely be different each time.

The truth is — the significance of 108 beads on your mala is open to interpretation. Which is great, because you can find a reason that resonates with you and has meaning for your practice and life 🙂

Mala beads were traditionally created to be used as a tool in meditation, which is how I like to use them. They can also be used as a beautiful medium to set intentions, manifest, and generally feel good. You don’t have to meditate on the beads, although that’s what they are made for in a practical sense.

Some of the more popular reasons behind the 108 mythology in mala beads includes:

Chakras

It has been said there there are 108 energy lines connecting to the heart, with one of them believed to be the path to self realisation.

Mantras

When using your mala beads in meditation and chanting your mantra, some have said you are complete once you have done it 100 times. The 8 extra beads are to account for errors. Or even more beautiful, are meant to be an offering to your guru.

Letters

Many choose to recite their mantra in sanskrit, the ancient script of India. Within the Saksrit alphabet there are 54 letters. Each letter has a feminine and masculine version — totalling 108.

Whether you’re looking to cultivate more authenticity, increase happiness, improve relationships, or reduce stress, all of these things are accessible to you through the practice of meditation.