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White Sandalwood Mala (8mm beads)A full Mala of 108 White Sandalwood wood beads with traditional knots in between.In India Sandalwood is given divine status and is thus very commonly used in mala beads. The fragrance of the sandalwood is said to be one of the most pleasing to the Gods and is considered cooling, calming and soothing. Sandalwood also promotes humility and focuses the mind to aid in meditation.Your Mala will come to you in a beautiful little brocade bag for safe keeping, colour of bag may vary. The word 'Mala' means 'Garland'. Mala beads can be made from wooden beads, seeds, semi-precious or precious stones or gems. A full size Mala consists of 108 beads. The number 108 is a sacred, auspicious number in many cultures but particularly in the Hindu tradition. The number comes from multiplying the 12 astrological houses by the 9 planets. Each Mala also has a Guru bead, or tassel to remind us of the teachers in our lives. Traditionally, the mala is held between the thumb and middle finger and as each bead is passed through the finger and thumb, a mantra or god is said either silently, quitely or out loud. The most powerful mantras are said to be those repeated silently in the mind. This is done until the Guru bead is reached, the the Mala is reversed and the process goes on until the Guru bead is reached again. Repeating a mantra in this way is an excellent way of calming the mind and keeping thought of 'The Divine' (whatever that is for each one of us, whatever culture, religion or belief we hold) in our every day lives. To empower the mala, and the mantra used in association with this mala, japa (mantra meditation) should be practiced once each day for 40 consecutive days. When the mala becomes empowered, it can then be worn to transmit the energy of the mantra and the energetic qualities of the mala to the wearer. If you use a different mantra, the energy of the previous mantra becomes replaced by the new one. For this reason, many people have different malas for different mantras. When not in use, your mala should be stored in a special, clean and preferably sacred space, for example on a personal altar or on a statue of a deity.