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Whats the significance of the Buddha bead that monks wear?

I know its a necklace that they were and i think each time they pray they touch a bead or something like that. Yet i see the necklaces breaking in movies as a sign or omen that something bad happened. What exactly is the story behind those Buddha Beads?

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They …can be worn as necklaces but thats not common. More typically they are wraped around the left wrist, although i’ve also heard of it being wrapped around the right, there may be no proper way, i do know its wrapped around the arm though more often than around the neck. They are called Malas or prayer beads. They are equivalent to rosaries in christianity. The common number of beads for one to have is 108, its a sacred number. It’s the 12 astrological signs multiplied by the 9 planets supposedly. Or: 108 beads in Buddhism is said to represent… Read more »

mark s

mala is the term you are seeking
Not all Buddhist sects use them
they are used to count the number of mantras, prostrations and even breaths.
simply a counting device.
interestingly enough in Tibetan Buddhism if your mala breaks it is considered a GOOD omen if it happens while counting, in effect you have said so many mantra that you have ” worn it out “!


Mala is the Chanting Beads to keep count of the numbers of Mantra and Buddha’s name recited, especially if it is a small size and easy to carry with one hand or both. When the Beads are big and hang around the neck, and it reaches all the way to stomach area, especially if it is too long to be comfortable to use either one or two hands to hold, it usual signify position ranking in a temple. In most Sutrayana Temples, including Chan/Zen Buddhism, only an abbot will wear it all the time. In ceremonial practices then all ranked… Read more »


They’re called mala and they’re used for counting mantra recitations or chants.

In Hinduism, ones mala are believed to be empowered and that if they break it is an unfortunate omen. Buddhists don’t typically share this belief, but some do.

Max P

Nothing significant actually. The rosary is just used for counting when recitations are being done. Just to make people more mindful when they do recitations. That’s all i can think of.

Human Being Human

They are termed Mala’s Usually there are 108 although 56 is not uncommon Some Buddhist Masters also wear these too but generally speaking Pure Land Buddhists and Tibetan Buddhists use these to keep count when reciting Buddha Recitation or Mantra Starting at the first bead next to the Muru bead [the large one] you finger each bead with each recitation setting up a rhythm Neither too slow or too fast When the Muru Bead is reached it is never crossed the Mala is reversed then the whole process is started again Each round is called one Mala If You have… Read more »

Ninja Turtle AM (å¿è€…ä¹Œé¾Ÿã€æ— ç¥žè®ºè€…çš„ä½›æ•™å¾’ï¼‰

Actually only the Pure Land denomination of buddhism uses chanting beads. Not all denomination. It is used to keep count.


All beads/rosaries in Christianity, Islam and other religions are from Hinduism who consider them “Rudraksh”, the eye of Lord Shiv.

If you visit Benaras (or other sacred places) in India you will see many Hindu pundits/sadhus wearing or rotating these beads in their hands. This bead string usually has 108 beads.

108 is a sacred number in Hinduism – to repeat Lord Shiv’s name as many times

Hope that helps