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mala beads | A mala is a string of 108 beads with one bead as the summit bead called a 'sumeru'. It is a tool used to keep your mind on the meditation practice. Malas are generally made from different materials such as tulsi (basil) wood, sandal wood, rudraksh seeds or crystal. Each type of material has certain properties which subtly affect the subconscious mind of the practitioner.