Have you ever wondered why does a mala have 108 beads only? Is there a spiritual connected? Well the answer is yes. In Tibetan Buddhism, the mala, or prayer beads, hold deep spiritual significance as a tool for meditation and mindfulness practice. One of the most intriguing aspects of the mala is the presence of 108 beads, which holds profound symbolism in Buddhist philosophy. In this article, we’ll talk about why 108 beads in a mala.

why 108 beads in a mala

The Significance of 108 in Tibetan Buddhism:

In Tibetan Buddhism, the 108 beads are typically arranged in a circular pattern, symbolizing the cyclical nature of existence and the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The number 108 holds great significance in various spiritual traditions, including Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered a sacred and auspicious number, representing completeness, harmony, and spiritual awakening. In Tibetan Buddhist cosmology, 108 is believed to encompass the entire universe, including the realms of existence and the subtle energies that permeate all beings. 

For more guidance, you can find additional insights in our related blogs what is the significance of 108 beads, where we delve deeper into specific aspects of meditation, mindfulness, and spiritual practices.

Origins of the 108 Beads:

The use of 108 beads in a mala can be traced back to ancient Indian spiritual practices, where the number held symbolic significance across various disciplines, including yoga, astrology, and meditation. In Tibetan Buddhism, the 108 beads are typically arranged in a circular pattern, symbolizing the cyclical nature of existence and the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

108 beads in a mala

Symbolism and Meaning of 108 Mala Beads:

The symbolism associated with the number 108 is multifaceted and deeply rooted in Buddhist philosophy. Here are some key interpretations:

Cosmic Harmony: According to Tibetan Buddhist teachings, there are said to be 108 earthly desires or passions that one must overcome to attain enlightenment. Each bead on the mala represents an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and overcome these desires, ultimately leading to spiritual liberation.

Sacred Geometry: The number 108 is closely associated with sacred geometry and mathematical patterns found in nature. For example, the diameter of the sun is said to be 108 times the diameter of the Earth, and the distance between the Earth and the sun is approximately 108 times the diameter of the sun.

Chanting Mantras: During meditation and prayer practice, practitioners often recite mantras while counting the beads on the mala. The repetition of a mantra 108 times is believed to enhance its potency and effectiveness, helping to focus the mind and deepen one's spiritual connection.

Energy Centers: In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are said to be 108 energy channels, or nadis, that converge at the heart chakra. The use of a mala with 108 beads helps to stimulate and balance these energy centers, promoting spiritual healing and transformation.

tibetan 108 mala beads

Read on to find more about it:  What Are Mala Beads Use For and Why Are There 108 Beads on a Mala


In Tibetan Buddhism, the mala serves as a powerful tool for cultivating mindfulness, concentration, and spiritual awakening. The presence of 108 beads in a mala symbolizes the interconnectedness of all beings and the infinite potential for spiritual growth and enlightenment. By understanding the significance of the 108 beads in a mala, practitioners can deepen their meditation practice and embark on a spiritual journey of self-discovery.



Related Articles: 

Types and Identification of Bodhi Seed Mala Bracelets

Embark on Spiritual Journey with the Power of Rudraksha

Explore the Rich Diversity of Tibetan Bracelets

Men's Bracelets and Mala Beads - Perfect 2024 Gifts For Him

Explore The Tibetan Nine-Eye Dzi Beads


Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published