I have a 108 bead mala (Rudraksh) which I use to chant a single mantra. I also have another bodhi seed mala which I use to chant a different mantra.

I've always wondered what the difference was between a physical, 'authentic' mala versus using something like a digital counter. I get that there is some kind of tactile/memory related property to using a physical mala, but is it really significant? Is a mala simply just a tool to help one keep count, or is there more to it?

I've heard explanations that the physical make of the mala actually matters, confers some kind of energetic benefit to the user, stores the power of the mantra depending on the material, so on and so forth.

I ask because I recently saw an Asian electronics company release a set of 'smart prayer beads' which are a lot more portable than your traditional 108 bead mala and it got me thinking about whether the make of it really matters more than its ability to keep count.

1 Answer 1


Eight precepts incl. not to use malas, and of course such has nothing to do with eighter merits nor with the path, good householder. Not to speak of greedy swifts to media...

The One-hundred-and-eight Exposition

  • 1
    The mala of the eight or ten precepts is flower garlands while the mala of the question is rosary or counting beads, probably used more in Tibetan Buddhism or Pure Land Buddhism than Theravada.
    – ruben2020
    Feb 28, 2022 at 19:23
  • Nevertheless nothing to do with the Dhamma of the Buddha, but simply a useless ritual.
    – user23491
    Mar 1, 2022 at 2:47

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