Prayer Mala

by admin on November 8, 2008

Prayer Mala

Prayer Mala

Universal Principles of Yoga (Part 6)

In all religions, it is believed singing or chanting prayers, hymns, or Japa, will bring about salvation. Within the Vedas, the verses are also called mantras. To go a bit further, every religion practices a form of Mantra or Japa. If you have been to a church, temple, shrine, ashram, or mosque, you will hear prayers, chanting, and singing.

So, what happened to the concept that Yoga is not a spiritual practice? Well, it is, but some popular physical forms do not address spiritual health. Pilates is a popular “Yoga off shoot” that does not address spiritual health. Some of the contemporary Hatha Yoga styles do not contain much spiritual benefit. I teach Chair Yoga classes for physical and mental benefits only. However, as you can see, by what you have previously read, many of the main Indian Yoga styles do address mental, physical, and spiritual health.

The main point is that these forms of Yoga are not threatening to any religion at all. Yoga can be practiced by anyone of any religion, without the worry of a conflict. Now, if you are an atheist, you may prefer to practice a form of Yoga that will not enhance your spiritual health. It is every Yoga student’s prerogative to choose a style of Yoga or a Guru that fits his or her needs. However, if you ever find a Guru who does not embrace spiritual health, what does that tell you?

Let’s look at a few other points of interest found in Mantra Yoga. The Mantra Yogi has three methods of practice. They are Balkhari, Upanshu, and Manasik.

The Balkari method is chanting in a voice that can easily be heard. The immediate benefit is to withdraw into meditation easily. It is much easier to meditate when you can remove outside thoughts, problems, and concerns. The Upanshu form of chanting is performed in a low voice, similar to a whisper. The Manasik form of chanting is one of my personal favorites and can be performed mentally. Some consider this to be difficult, but it does lead to higher states of consciousness. Since this is such a “low key” form of Japa, you can easily fit it into your busy day. If you pray in silence during the day, you have already practiced in this way.

Some Mantra Yogis use a Rosary or “Mala.” Most of the Malas that I have seen have 109 beads. The 109th offset bead is known as a Sumeru or Guru. This is where Japa begins and ends. Also worthy of note, is that Roman Catholics use a Rosary for prayers and meditation. This is also a deeply spiritual practice. The Mala or Rosary has been a helpful tool for enhancement of spiritual health regardless of which culture you are from or which religion you practice.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

About the Author

Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.

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Vintage Buddhist Prayer Beads – Wooden Japanese Mala

Where can I find a genuine Tibetan mala(prayer beads)?

I am looking for a real Tibetan mala / prayer/meditation bead set. I have seen lots on Ebay, and although I want a bargain, I really don’t want to buy one made in China or selling from HongKong. I want to support the genuine people of Tibet , and I want a genuine mala too!!

You can buy Mala’s from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India. They have an online shop and can ship out to you – There is a Tashi Lhunpo Centre in the US – everything is made by Tibetan’s and goes to supporting the Tibetans.

All the proceeds will go towards helping the tibetan monks who have fled the Chinese Repression in Tibet to find exile in India and receive the Dalai Lama’s blessing.

They also have an incense factory there too, all items at Tashi Lhunpo are made by the monks to generate income, they are working towards a new dispensary and develop their hospital.

So many of the tibetans that have come into exile are sick, a change in altitude, the dangerous 4 weeks trek across the himalaya into exile, many suffer from TB and severe frost bite, where some some cases require amputation. They have no income as they are refugees. By buying these goods you are contributing to a better life for them. Their gratitue it heartfelt.

I am based in the UK and I buy from Tashi Lhunpo, the shipping charges are reasonable – its 20$ plus shipping for a large set of rosary – this can provide all the basic necessities such as toiletries food , anti biotics etc for a refugee for a month. Things that we take for granted. It’s a relatively small amount of money in the west – when I think about it , just the price of a couple of cinema tickets that could provide someone with nourishment and sanitation for a month – it goes such a long was at the monastery

May all the May all countries have harmony & understanding
May the whole world have compassion & happiness
May all the blessings of the buddha of all directions come to you.
Thank you

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