Red Sandalwood is used to call upon "the remover of obstacles" and the Divine Mother. Rosewood is warming, improves circulation and protects the user from negative energy. Your Mala will come to you in a beautiful bag for safe keeping. The word ‘japa’ means ‘to rotate’. One way the rotation of consciousness is achieved is by use of the tool of a ‘mala’, a garland or string of beads. A japa mala (rosary) usually consists of 108 beads in addition to the merubead. The number 108 has several meanings. Some of them are:
27 constellations x 4 padas (parts) = 108
12 zodiac houses x 9 planets = 108
Upanishats Scriptures of the Vedas = 108
In other words, 108 beads represent the entire universe.
Benefits of chanting mantra on a red sandalwoodJapa Mala?
The primary purposes of this practice is to purify the mind and release us from the samskaras (past impressions) and vasanas (future desires). Our real nature is not our normal state of anxiety, excitement and tension. Our nature is Samadhi, pure consciousness, calmness, tranquility, equanimity. We can use the comparison of a mirror that is obscured by layers of grime and dust. Clean the mirror and its natural quality will be revealed, which is to reflect all objects. It is the restlessness of the mind which causes all unhappiness and complexes, but these are only impositions. Calm and purify the mind through your sadhana (practice)and experience your true self”
How to use a red sandalJapa mala:
1. Keep the index finger and thumb spread so that they are perpendicular to each other.
2. Make a group of rest of the three fingers and bring them together to make them perpendicular to the index finger.
3. Place the mala on the middle finger while keeping the index finger pointing away from you. Index finger symbolizes our ego. So, we need to ensure it does not touch any bead. In other words, we must park our ego separately during meditation.
4. Start chanting the mantra from bead next to the Guru bead, i.e. starting bead is above the Guru bead so that the Guru bead is not crossed.
5. Continue chanting the mantra for each bead till you reach the Guru bead.
When the Guru bead is reached, mala should be turned around to start the next cycle of chanting from the last bead(108th). As a matter of respect to the Guru, while counting the beads, Guru bead should never be crossed. Also, remember that the movement of beads should always be towards you, to invite the auspicious Divine Energy into you.