Mala Meditation/Prayer beads | Sarah's EmporiumMala is a Sanskrit word meaning garland. The number 108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism, Buddhism, and yogic tradition. There are 108 sacred places in the body, identifying intersections of matter and consciousness. When manipulated, these points can awaken and align the vital energy. Members of the Vedic tradition see this number as signifying the wholeness of the universe. How to use: Hold your mala in your right hand, draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead. If using a bracelet, continue around 3 more times to achieve the 108 count.