Why Are There 108 Mala Beads?

108 is sacred in various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and yoga, and it holds significant meanings. The number of beads in a Mala necklace is also a powerful tool for reciting mantras and focusing the mind during meditation.

At Be The Light, we have a collection of handcrafted Mala necklaces with 108 beads that are perfect for your meditation practice.

Key Takeaways from this Article

In this article, you will understand the concept behind 108 Mala beads. Below are some key takeaways from this article:

  • 108 is sacred for many spiritual traditions but has different meanings entirely.
  • Mala necklace is a representation of the number 108.

Symbolic Meanings and Interpretation 

There are many interpretations of why the number 108 is sacred and significant.

Here are some of the symbolic meanings and interpretations:

Sanskrit Alphabet: The Sanskrit alphabet has 54 letters, each feminine (Shakti) and masculine (Shiva). If you multiply the 54 letters by the two alphabets, the result is 108. 

The Heart Chakra: There are seven chakras, each running along energy lines in the body. The total number of energy lines is 108, which are used to create the heart chakras.

The Sun and The Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times greater than the diameter of the Earth, and the distance from the Earth to the Sun is equal to 108 times the diameter of the Sun. 

The Moon and The Earth: The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 108 times the moon's diameter.

The Planets and Zodiac Signs: In astrology, there are nine planets and 12 zodiac signs. Multiplying these two numbers gives you 108. 

The River Ganga: There are many rivers in the world. The River Ganga is significant to the 108 Buddhist prayer beads because this sacred river has a longitude of twelve degrees and a latitude of nine degrees. When you multiply these two numbers, you get 108.

Time: It’s said that humans have 108 feelings. Of these, 36 are related to the past, 36 to the present, and 36 to the future.

The Number 108: The numbers 1, 0, and 8 each have individual meanings in spirituality. Number one refers to God or 1 universe, zero refers to emptiness and non-attachment, and eight refers to infinity or eternity.

Mantras: The Mala necklaces are also used to chant mantras. Once you reach 100, you are believed to have completed your mantras. The eight beads allow errors to be made during the chanting of the mantras.

Shop Our Collection of Handmade Gemstone Malas 


Cultural and Religious Significance

Spiritually, 108 is a sacred number whose meanings and significance differ across various spiritual and cultural traditions.

Below are some spiritual traditions and what the number signifies to them:


In Hinduism, the number 108 is believed to have a favorable omen and signifies the unity and wholeness of life.

The number has the following meanings and significance such as;

  • It’s the number of beads on the Mala necklace used for reciting mantras and prayers during meditation.
  • The heart chakra has 108 energy lines that fuel love and compassion.
  • There are 108 sacred texts of ancient wisdom.
  • The body has 108 vital life forces.


In Buddhism, the number 108 signifies a person's connection with a higher power, guiding them toward an enlightened understanding of themselves.

Here are some examples of how 108 appears in this religion and culture:

  • It’s the number of beads on the Mala necklace used for reciting mantras and prayers during meditation.
  • There are 108 earthly desires, 108 lies, and 108 delusions.
  • The holy writings in Tibet are divided into 108 books.
  • There are 108 Buddhist defilements or vices, including abuse and greed.


In yoga, it's believed that there are 108 stages of a spiritual journey, and each stage is meant to challenge you. Therefore, you are encouraged to take 108 breaths a day during meditation to bring awareness to the soul and guidance to your greater goal.

Also, 108 sequences of sun salutations are performed to welcome the change of a passing season and a new year and reflect on times of adversity.

Practical Application of Mala Necklace

The Mala necklace with 108 beads has various practical uses across different spiritual and meditative traditions.

Below are some practical applications:

Meditation and Mindfulness: Mala necklaces are used as counting tools for meditation practices. In this practice, each bead counts breaths, mantras, words of affirmation, and prayers 108 times.

When counting with the Mala, the repetitive movement of your fingers helps you maintain focus and mindfulness during meditation.

Mantra Repetition: In spiritual traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Yoga, Mala necklaces are used to count the repetition of mantras.

And chanting a mantra 108 times is seen as a significant spiritual exercise.

Breath Counting: Mala necklaces are used to count breath 108 times. In this practice, you breathe (inhale-exhale) on each count. 

Doing this daily helps you reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other ailments.

Stress Relief:  The rhythmic movement of your fingers around the Mala beads gives you a calming, relaxed sensation, which aids in reducing stress and other mental ailments.

Spiritual Commitment: Many individuals wear a Mala necklace to symbolize their spiritual journey and commitment. It serves as a visual reminder of their intentions and spiritual practice.

Personal Growth: The Mala necklace tracks the progress of your activities to improve your life. Each bead represents the step taken towards manifesting that intention.

A Mala is a great tool for assisting various spiritual traditions and practices that enhance spiritual devotion, mental clarity, mindfulness, and well-being.

Customizing your Mala Necklace at Be The Light Malas

There's this special feeling of having something specifically made just for you. That feeling is unique! It makes your eyes twinkle whenever you behold it, like coming home to a warm meal.

That is the same feeling when you personally select a Mala necklace at Be The Light Malas.

The creation process is done with precision. We infuse gemstones, colors, and symbols that make you feel special and align with your intentions and commitment to your spiritual path.


Malas come in various sizes; however, the 108 necklaces hold great significance and are deeply rooted in numerous spiritual and cultural practices worldwide.

We encourage you always to choose a Mala necklace that aligns with your intentions and spiritual commitment.