Ever wondered why most people who practice meditation or in deep concentration always have mysterious strings of beads especially when praying? These tiny little beads are actually called Prayer Beads, Malas, or Japa Malas. You may not notice it but if you are a Catholic, you have a variation of these prayer bead bracelets and necklaces– the rosary.
Prayer beads are prevalent tools or accessories in most of the world’s major religions. They are commonly used in prayers and meditations that require a prayer or mantras of devotion to be repetitively spoken or used. Prayer bead bracelets and necklaces are predominantly seen in a wide array of cultures like African, Indian, Middle East, Greek, Ottoman, Anatolian, Asian, Turkish and more.
But why are repetitive devotions a common occurrence in most religions? Prayer or devotions, when repetitively spoken, are said to protect the users from bad karma. Absorbing negative vibes and energy from thoughts and intentions of other people is also one of the benefits of counting prayer. Another is the scientifically-backed stress relief effects of reciting mantras and repetitive prayers. In fact, in terms of relieving stress, any form of meditation has been used for thousands of years. Psychologists and scientists have been studying the effects of meditations and mantras to the physical and mental well-being of humans.
- Brief History of Prayer Beads
- Prayer Beads Meaning
- 31 Prayer Beads Bracelets
- 1. Oiled Rudraksha Mala Prayer Beads
- 2. Hand Carved Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 3. Holy Rosary with Engraved Saints Cross Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 4. Conch Shell Mala Prayer Beads
- 5. Handcarved Vajra Bell Charm Tibetan Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 6. Rondelle Bodhi Seed Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 7. Wood Beads Tibetan Buddha Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 8. Coral Chestnut Mala Beads Mantra Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 9. Buddhist Mala Prayer Bodhi Seed Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 10. Hand-carved Peachwood Malas Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 11. African Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads
- 12. 108 Matte Amazonite Buddhist Charm Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 13. Classic Kangyur Copper Prayer Beads
- 14. Jesus Christ Resurrection Rosary Cross Necklace Prayer Beads
- 15. Hand-carved Peachwood Malas Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 16. Hand-carved Oval Natural Peachwood Meditation Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 17. Cylindrical Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads Tibetan Buddhist Bracelet
- 18. Purple Rosewood Buddhist Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 19. Ancient Lotus Silver Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 20. Natural Wooden Beads Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelets
- 21. Classic Moon and Star Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 22. Sodalite Stone Healing Prayer Beads Tibetan Bracelet
- 24. Hand-carved Sandalwood Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 25. Multi-Colored Agate Mala Prayer Beads with Tassel
- 26. Green Sandalwood Mala Prayer Beads
- 27. 108 Beads Natural Sandalwood Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 28. Multi-layer Lucky Buddha Charm Prayer Beads Bracelets
- 28. Gold Painted 10mm Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 29. Great Mercy Mantra Scriptures Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
- 30. Red Sandalwood Tibetan Mala Prayer Beads
- 31. African Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads with Turquoise Spacers
- How To Use Prayer Beads
Brief History of Prayer Beads
Prayer beads, historically, were greatly associated with Roman Catholicism. They rose to popularity during the 600-1400 AD or the Middle Ages. However, their use is universal and actually started before the era of Christianity. In fact, among the major religions, Christianity was the last to incorporate prayer beads as a ritualistic tool. Even now, two-thirds of the World’s religions still employ some form or a variation of the prayer beads.
The use of beads to count prayers appears to have originated with the Hindus in India. Sandstone sculptures in the periods of Kushan and Sunga eras, around 185 B.C.E. to A.D. 320, showcase rosaries being held by Hindu sages. However, it is entirely possible that prayer beads were used far earlier by Siva Hindu cult. In line with this, around c. 563–483 B.C.E, Sakyamuni legends claim the same accounts. If you want to know more about the history of prayer beads and jewelry, you might want to read up on Lois Sher Dublin’s books.
Prayer Beads Meaning
Etymology-wise, bead came from the words “bidden” and “bede” which means “to pray” and “prayer” in Anglo-Saxon, respectively. The use of jewelry was greatly frowned upon by the church during the medieval period. However, rosaries were given more leeway for their convenience as portable tools that help facilitate counting of prayers. Their main purpose was assisting a worshipper in keeping an accurate count of the repeated prayers, incantations and devotions required by their religion.
Similar-sized seeds, knots, beads and sometimes rose petals were traditionally used in making prayer beads. Hence, the rose petals paved the way to the name “rosary” that is used in colloquial contemporary times. On the other hand, the word Japa is also used interchangeably with Malas and prayer beads. The term is a Sanskrit word which roughly translates to “muttering chaplet”. The phrase now, in turn, pertains to the primary function of the prayer beads in recording the number of times prayers and mantras are muttered.
Symbolizing unwavering commitment to faith and spiritual life, prayer beads aid one in keeping his place in holding structured prayers and devotions. The circular form, along with the string, of these ritualistic tools represents the inclusive connection of those who pray. Consequently, each and every bead in the necklace or bracelet is counted and considered as an individual mantra or prayer. The prayer and mantra rote repetitions are intentionally meant to help the person to fully focus on every mantra or prayer that he says.
31 Prayer Beads Bracelets
The use of prayer beads as a tool of meditation has been deeply-ingrained in most religions. It is neither a coincidence nor a fluke that prayer beads are present in transcendence cultures. The list below is consists of 2018’s best prayer beads for Buddhists, Christians, and other religious practitioners.
1. Oiled Rudraksha Mala Prayer Beads
Evergreen trees are the source of the famed Rudraksha seeds which are largely found along the foot of the majestic Himalayas. Oiled Rudraksha beads are the primary focus of this gorgeous prayer bead necklace/bracelet.
2. Hand Carved Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
This intricately engraved prayer bead bracelet is handcrafted in Tibet. Made of natural wood, this bracelet is available in different variants which differences lie in the size of the natural wood beads.
3. Holy Rosary with Engraved Saints Cross Prayer Beads Bracelet
Premium sterling silver is the material used to create this stunningly detailed bracelet. Perfect for those who love to feature their faith and devotion. this delicate bracelet is a great gift for every Catholic friend and family.
4. Conch Shell Mala Prayer Beads
Conch shells give justice to the overall appeal of this Buddhist prayer beads. Colored in pink, this is a great present for girls who love the soft glow of pastels featuring Lotus Flower Buds.
5. Handcarved Vajra Bell Charm Tibetan Prayer Beads Bracelet
Looking for a great spiritual accessory perfect for showing devotion? Then, this Handcarved Vajra Bell Charm Tibetan Bracelet is a great choice that goes with any style. The Vajra Bell charm is the final piece needed to complete this stunning bracelet. Moreover, the symbolism of the Vajra has perfected the look of this unique prayer bead.
6. Rondelle Bodhi Seed Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
The 16 cm size of this all-natural prayer beads bracelet is the perfect length for anyone who wants to add a spiritual healing vibe to their style. Also, the 22 pieces of Bodhi Seeds create a pure and gentle appeal to the already stunning bracelet. The macrame braids hold the bracelet securely on the wearer’s wrist.
7. Wood Beads Tibetan Buddha Prayer Beads Bracelet
A power silver Buddha head completes the circle of wooden of beads of this Tibet-made Wood Buddhist Mala Bracelet. The four variants of the bracelet differ in size and features.
8. Coral Chestnut Mala Beads Mantra Prayer Beads Bracelet
Om Mani Padme Hum is perfect mantra chant for this Coral Chestnut Mala Prayer Beads. This Tibetan Mantra invokes benevolence and calms the wearer.
9. Buddhist Mala Prayer Bodhi Seed Prayer Beads Bracelet
Those on the go would love this Buddhist Mala Prayer Bodhi Seed Beads Bracelet for natural beads and gemstones that complete this limited edition prayer bead bracelet.
10. Hand-carved Peachwood Malas Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
The Peach Tree is the source of these hand-polished natural wooden beads.Each bead is individually engraved with sacred Tibetan mantra chants.
11. African Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads
The African Wenge Wood Mala Beads is the best way to showcase your belief and spirituality inspired by the great Buddhist values. The precise craftsmanship of this bracelet makes it a collector’s item for all Mala Beads enthusiasts.
12. 108 Matte Amazonite Buddhist Charm Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
Rare Amazonites are primarily used in creating the unique stones of this prayer bead necklace/bracelet. Moreover, amazonites are said to balance the wearer’s sense of composure and karmic equilibrium.
13. Classic Kangyur Copper Prayer Beads
The 18 cm length of the Tibetan Kangyur bracelet only validates the rarity of beauty exuded by each copper bead in this bracelet. This is due to the fact that only the best grade of premium copper was used in handmaking these sacred beads.
14. Jesus Christ Resurrection Rosary Cross Necklace Prayer Beads
Rosaries are the Catholic variation of the prayer beads. This golden beauty is the epitome of faith and generous devotion of all Catholics. Also, the fine grade of stainless steel was used to create each bead of this intricate rosary.
15. Hand-carved Peachwood Malas Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
Boasting the hand-engraved beads made from the best Peachwood trees, this Tibetan Buddhist bracelet is a perfect addition to a person’s jewelry collection. Wooden beads are perfect for mantras of Buddhists and other religious practitioners.
16. Hand-carved Oval Natural Peachwood Meditation Prayer Beads Bracelet
The Hand-carved Oval Natural Peachwood Meditation Bracelet features a pair of handcrafted bracelets perfect for couples. Available in variants that feature different-sized beads, each bead wooden perfection resonates balance and harmonious calm.
17. Cylindrical Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads Tibetan Buddhist Bracelet
If you want to do away with the usual circular look of prayer beads, then the Cylindrical Wenge Wood Prayer Mala Beads Tibetan Buddhist Bracelet is an absolute must for you. The uniquely-shaped cylindrical beads of the bracelet/necklace add a sense of freshness and vibrancy.
18. Purple Rosewood Buddhist Mala Prayer Beads Bracelet
Genuine purple beads made from the Rosewood Tree makes this prayer bead a little closer to saturation perfection. The design balances the color of the bracelet which makes the overall appeal of this sustainable accessory more aesthetically pleasing.
19. Ancient Lotus Silver Prayer Beads Bracelet
The Ancient Lotus Silver Prayer Beads Bracelet is one of the best prayer beads anyone can own. Only the finest grade of premium silver was used in handcrafting this superbly detailed prayer bracelet. Each silver bead features letters of the Tibetan alphabet, Abugida.
20. Natural Wooden Beads Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelets
The best way to reinforce and restore the body’s natural chakra balance is by wearing the colorful Natural Wooden Beads Bracelet. Popping the natural colors of the organic materials, this bracelet is handmade by experts in Tibet. Tibetan agate bead, ivory nut, and miniature coconut shell are the primary materials used in this bracelet.
21. Classic Moon and Star Prayer Beads Bracelet
Patterned with the stunning swirls and twirls of vast galaxies, exude mystery and enigma while reaching that enlightened state with this bracelet. The luxury pattern of each bead gives justice to the secrets of the of the universe.
22. Sodalite Stone Healing Prayer Beads Tibetan Bracelet
The gemstone that balances metabolism, boosts the immune system, all the while increasing regenerating and healing properties is called sodalite. Inner peace and calmness are also amassed by wearing the Sodalite Stone Healing Prayer Tibetan Bracelet.
23. Tibetan Multi Color Wood Prayer Beads Bracelet
Aligning radiant energy and cosmic balance, the Tibetan Multi Color Wood Bracelet is an affordable way to keep track of your chants and prayers.
24. Hand-carved Sandalwood Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
Ethnic and exuding tradition, the medium-sized beads of the Hand-carved Sandalwood Buddhist Prayer Bracelet perfect the appeal needed to match all kinds of outfits for both men and women.
25. Multi-Colored Agate Mala Prayer Beads with Tassel
Lengthy and colorful, the genuine agate beads of the Multi-Colored Agate Mala Beads with Tassel makes it a perfect prayer bead jewelry for both beginners and experts in mantra-chanting and repetitive devotions.
26. Green Sandalwood Mala Prayer Beads
One hundred eight pieces of stunning and authentic green sandalwood beads make this limited edition prayer bead a must for all mala beads lovers. Each bead glistens and reflects light so beautifully, the charm of this prayer jewelry is nothing but stunning.
27. 108 Beads Natural Sandalwood Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
The scent of sandalwood affects the wearer in great ways. Stimulating sensuality, granting a better sense of awareness and all the while invoking tranquility, this 108 prayer beads bracelet is a sure hit.
28. Multi-layer Lucky Buddha Charm Prayer Beads Bracelets
Wood, Lava Stone, Turquoise, Onyx, Howlite are among the few beads of this stacked Multi-layer Lucky Buddha Charm Prayer Bracelets.
28. Gold Painted 10mm Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
The mystic symbols on the beads of this intriguing prayer bead bracelet are handpainted by the best artisans in Tibet.
29. Great Mercy Mantra Scriptures Buddhist Prayer Beads Bracelet
Perfect for travelers, this prayer bracelet is specifically blessed with safe travel chants and mantras.
30. Red Sandalwood Tibetan Mala Prayer Beads
The double-headed tassel of this symmetrical wonder redefines proportionality and equalst ratio. Desgined to be wrapped when worn as a bracelet, this prayer jewelry is a wonder perfect for all occasions.
31. African Wenge Wood Mala Prayer Beads with Turquoise Spacers
Highlighted by the bold colors, the lines of the natural grain of the Wenge wood are exquisite and leaves the wearer a sense of deep calm.
How To Use Prayer Beads
The use of prayer beads can be a bit daunting if you are a beginner. However, it is simple and extremely easy to understand. There are no hard and set rules of how you should do your prayers and chants. However, there is a universal way that most people utilize prayer beads.
Before starting any meditation or chanting ritual, always remember to align yourself with your intention. Clear your mind and take a few deep breaths to release the tension. In your right hand, hold the mala beads. Position it in a way that it is draped between the index finger and the thumb.
First, always start with the guru bead. Think of a prayer or a chant. You can do say the prayer silently or voice it out. Second, when finished with prayer while holding the first bead, touch the adjacent bead and repeat the same prayer. Do this repeatedly until you are done going around the prayer beads.