In the modern, fast-paced world, finding a sense of calm and inner peace is very important. Because of this, many people turn to meditation and mindfulness practice to achieve this. And in these practices, beaded mala necklaces and wrist malas are among some of the most common accessories. However, not all malas are made the same. Although the purpose of mala remains consistent, their unique qualities can vary. But this begs the question, what are some popular mala materials and their unique qualities? In this blog, we will explore 8 different mala materials and their unique qualities.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started!
Traditional Mala Materials
The first image that comes to our mind when we hear the word “Mala ” is a beaded necklace made from traditional mala materials. Therefore, it goes without saying that these types of materials are among the most popular mala materials. There are many traditional mala materials out there. However, some of the most popular traditional materials and their unique qualities are as follows:
Rudraksha is undoubtedly one of the best materials for malas. This plant is deeply associated with lord Shiva. In fact, the name of this plant itself is formed from the name of lord Shiva. Rudraksha is made from two words, “Rudra” and “Aksha ”. Rudra is another name for the lord Shiva, and Aksha translates to tears or gift. Therefore, the name of this plant means “tears of lord Shiva ” or “Gift of lord Shiva”. Therefore, this plant is associated with the grace and protection of lord Shiva.
Along with this, the seed of this plant, which is the primary material for rudraksha mala, possesses some unique traits. The seeds of this plant have natural holes in them and contain many faces. These factors make Rudraksha seeds perfect for mala.
Also known as Chandan, Sandalwood is another popular traditional material used for malas. It is a fragrant wood, and because of its fragrance, it is highly valued worldwide. Furthermore, sandalwood holds deep religious and spiritual significance. This is especially so in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern traditions. Besides its aromatic fragrance, accessories made from or with sandalwood are said to purify the surroundings and have calming properties. Because of these reasons, sandalwood mala is popularly used in meditation and concentration practices. Furthermore, sandalwood is thought to have healing properties in traditional medicine practices. All of these unique properties make sandalwood a popular material for malas.
Tulsi, also known as Holy basil, is another popular material used in making mala necklaces and wrist mala bracelets. This plant is considered an earthly manifestation of the Hindu goddess Tulasi, the avatar of lord Lakshmi. Therefore, this plant holds deep spiritual significance in Hindu culture. Because of this, wearing accessories such as a mala necklace made from tulsi is said to provide you with the blessings of lord Lakshmi. It is also known for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda and is said to promote relaxation. Now to top it all off, Tulsi can easily be planted and harvested, making this mala material eco-friendly and sustainable.
These are three of the most popular traditional materials used for mala.
Along with traditional materials like rudraksha, gemstones are other popular materials used for mala. These gemstones are extracted from various ores around the world. Now it is important to note that the quality of these gemstones will vary. Therefore, it is important to source beaded mala from trusted sources like Nirvana Mala for high-quality products. That said, each of these gemstones has its unique qualities. Some of the popular gemstones used as mala materials are as follows:
Amethyst is a beautiful purple gemstone, and it is known for its beauty. It is a variety of quartz and, similar to quartz, is a translucent gemstone. That said, all Amethyst are the same. Depending on the quality, the color of this gemstone can range from light lavender to deep violet. In addition to its beauty, Amethyst is revered for its spiritual benefits. Throughout history, this gemstone has been associated with spiritual protection. As per the beliefs, the Amethyst mala creates a protective ward around the wearer. Along with this, Amethyst is also known for promoting calmness and balancing inner energies.
ii. Tiger’s Eye
Another popular gemstone used widely in mala is Tiger’s eye. This gemstone reveals a cat’s eye-like pattern when revealed to the light. Because of this, the Tiger’s Eye is very popular. Besides its beauty,this gemstone is associated with grounding motions and providing stability. It is believed to provide a sense of balance and practicality among the users. This feature helps users to stay centered and focused during challenging times. On top of this, Tiger’s eye is also associated with protection and courage. Wearing Tiger’s eye mala is believed to protect one from evil eye energies and boost courage. Additionally, this gemstone also provides mental clarity and promotes emotional healing. With all of these unique features, it is no wonder why this is one of the popular mala materials.
iii. Lapis Lazuli
Along with Tiger’s eye, Lapis Lazuli is another popular mala material. This semi-precious material is a beautiful blue gemstone made from many minerals. These minerals include lazurite, calcite, and pyrite. Because of this, the beauty of this gemstone is highly appreciated. Along with its beauty, this gemstone is also associated with spirituality. However, unlike Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli is inclined towards awareness rather than protection. By wearing accessories made from or with Lapis Lazuli, one can enhance their spiritual awareness and find a connection to the divine and cosmic energies. Furthermore, this wearing lapis lazuli mala is also thought to boost creativity and support self-awareness.
These are some of the popular semi-precious gemstones used to make mala necklaces and wrist mala bracelets.
5. Exotic Mala Materials
Besides the traditional materials and gemstones, exotic materials are another popular type of mala materials. These materials are sourced from worldwide and are valued for their beauty and unique properties. Some of the popular exotic materials are as follows:
Agarwood, also known as Oud and Aloeswood, is a highly prized wood. This wood is known for its aromatic properties and has deep cultural and religious significance. Furthermore, this exotic wood is also prized for its medicinal value. Besides this, Agarwood is also prized for its meditational and ceremonial value. The smell of Agarwood is said to promote calmness and relaxation.
Furthermore, wearing accessories made from or with Agarwood enhances focus and concentration. Another property of this wood is its ability to clean the energies in the surroundings. Because of these reasons, Agarwood has become one of the most precious woods used in Mala.
Just like its name suggests, coral is an organic gemstone made from the skeletons of coral polyps. The skeleton of these marine creatures are harvested and then used in beaded mala necklaces and bracelets. Because of how this material is formed, it has several unique traits. First of all, it is an organic gemstone. Besides this, you can find coral in a wide range of vibrant colors, including red, pink, orange, white, blue and black. Because of its beauty, coral is a popular choice among jewelers. It is also because of its formation and colors that this gemstone is associated with life and vitality. Additionally, wearing accessories made from or with coral stone such as coral mala protects the wearer from the influence of evil energies. This gemstone is also associated with healing and metaphysical properties.
Similar to Coral, pearl is another popular material for mala originating from the oceans. These are gemstones naturally formed by some molluscs, such as oysters and mussels. Because of its origin, this gemstone is deeply associated with vitality and life. Additionally, pearls are also considered the symbol of purity and innocence. Therefore, you can find pearls used for bridal jewelry and ceremonies. As pearls are naturally formed inside molluscs, they come in a wide range of colors and shapes. Although the most common shape is circle and oval, there are pearls of teardrop and irregular shapes. Furthermore, these gemstones also have a natural luster in them.
These are some of the exotic materials used in mala. As you may have noticed from the three entries, exotic materials are relatively hard to source and can be a bit more expensive.
Mala beads have been an integral aspect of cultures and religions worldwide across generations. These ritual and spiritual accessories are used in a wide range of activities and can be made from various materials. Depending on the mala, its material and qualities will vary. Therefore it is important to understand the mala material and its unique qualities. After understanding this, it will become easier for you to choose the perfect mala for your customers. In this blog, we discussed three of the traditional, gemstone, and exotic mala materials. However, what we discussed is just a glimpse at various mala materials and their qualities.
Regardless, we hope you found this helpful. If you want further insights regarding mala and other spiritual accessories, do check out some of our other blogs. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.
FAQ on Mala Materials
Q: What are the materials of traditional mala?
A: Some traditional mala materials include Rudraksha seeds, Sandalwood, Tulsi, and Lotus seeds. Additionally, traditional mala can also be made from gemstones such as Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Lava Stone, Quartz, Yak Bone, Bodhi Seeds, and metals such as Copper, Brass and Bronze.
Q: What are the unique qualities of Rudraksha beads?
A: Rudraksha beads are considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism. These beads have a natural hole in between and have many faces. Additionally, these beads are also said to be the gift of lord Shiva as the term Rudraksha is made from two words Rudra meaning lord Shiva and Aksha meaning Gift or tears.