Malas or RosariesAs Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara, God is not conscious of a Trinity; As the rose knows nothing of its fragrance, Men do not know their own Divinity - Dust and Bones, Dadaji
Malas (rosaries) are an integral part of puja, being used to count the mantra recited to the devata installed in image or yantra. According to Devirahasya, the classic Tantrika rosaries are made of conch- shell, pearls, rodhra (symplocos racemosa), crystal, rudraksha, tulsi (basil), rubies, gold, lotus seeds, skull bone/teeth.
One should commence by purifying oneself, doing the usual nyasas, opening the temple, and making the rosary. The number of beads may be 27, 54 or 108 -but there is always an extra bead inserted -- called the meru, so that one knows when the cycle is finished.
Breath should then be installed in the rosary. Again, according to the Devirahasya, the seer of the purification is Kalagnirudra, the metre is Anushtubh, Shmashana Bhairavi, the Night of Time, the Great Playful One adorned with Human Skulls is the devata. Hsau is the Bija, Thah is the Shakti, Hrah is the Peg, and the object is the purification of the rosary.
After installing breath, the rosary should be bathed with the appropriate pure substances (upachara).
The mantras given in Devirahasya are:
After purifying the rosary with the appropriate mantra, one should then use it, using one's root mantra, and worshipping it with scent, flowers &c.
Then one should pronounce the following great mantra: Om Male Male Mahamale Sarvatattvasvarupini Caturvargastvayi Nyastastasmanme Siddhida Bhava Svaha. (Om, O Rosary, Rosary, Great Rosary, the true form of all things, place in me the Four Aims of Mankind. Give siddhi! Svaha )
One should then close the rite in the usual tantrika fashion, placing the breath in the heart again &c. When using a rosary to recite mantras, the fruit of the recitation should be given to the installed aspect in the yantra. Cycles of mantra should be 27:54:108 and more, according to will. The index finger should never be used when counting the beads, but the thumb and middle finger. The rosary should be kept safely away from others when not in use, and should never be allowed to touch the ground. If this happens, it must be reconsecrated. The same procedure should be undertaken if the string is cut. The beads should be scented with the eight great scents.
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations are © Mike Magee 1995. Questions or comments to [email protected]Back to the Home Page.