A mala is simply a string of beads that are used in a meditation or prayer practice. It is a tool to help you count mantras, and acts as a tactile guide as you sit in silence. Malas can be made of many materials.
The tassel’s significance has multiple meanings. The strings come together as one to form the tassel, which can represent our connection to the divine and to each other. The 109th stone, or the guru stone, symbolizes gratitude and our connection to the divine. It is a way to say thank-you to all the spiritual teachers in one's life who have helped on our path to enlightenment.
Mala beads have been used by spiritual seekers and yogis for thousands of years to help keep their minds focused during meditation. Malas were first created in India 3000 years ago and were used for a special style of meditation called Japa, which means, “to recite”. The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland.”