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Two separate malas - For nama and diksha-mantra



Madhava - Sat, 11 Sep 2004 03:29:03 +0530
A fellow devotee recently wrote and inquired about the reason for our having separate mAlAs for nAma-japa and dIkSA-mantras. I couldn't come up with anything remotely coherent. I recall Jagat once making this point, perhaps he could explain the rationale behind this?
DharmaChakra - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 02:05:13 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Sep 10 2004, 05:59 PM)
A fellow devotee recently wrote and inquired about the reason for our having separate mAlAs for nAma-japa and dIkSA-mantras. I couldn't come up with anything remotely coherent. I recall Jagat once making this point, perhaps he could explain the rationale behind this?



In line with this, and I hope this is not too trivial, but why do most malas go from small beads to larger? I know that rudraksha malas are not like this, but most Tulasi malas I have seen always go from smaller bead to larger...
Madhava - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 02:14:39 +0530
Hari-bhakti-vilasa recommends that malas be in the shape akin to a snake, hence they go from bigger to smaller. I do not exactly know why. However it does help in keeping the count. I frequently just skip the use of counter beads and bundle the quota in my memory in sets of four, and then of sixteen if I chant more. (Where did the use of those counter-beads start, anyway?) Big and small ends help you remember whether it's an even or an odd round you're at.
braja - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 02:40:59 +0530
What about the panca-mala(?) that I heard about at Radha kunda--what are they made of and what are they used for? IIRC, each of the five kinds of beads is made from something different; one of them being mud from the kunda, the others I don't remember.
Madhava - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 02:52:48 +0530
Pancha-mala consists of five different malas wrapped inside a cloth. It is worn around your neck at the time of smarana, following the example of Das Goswami. smaraNer kAle gale pare gu˝jA-mAlA. The pancha-mala consists of the following malas: tulasI, sandalwood, rosewood, (white) gunja-berries, and something that escapes me at the moment.
DharmaChakra - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 03:03:32 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Oct 18 2004, 05:22 PM)
Pancha-mala consists of five different malas wrapped inside a cloth. It is worn around your neck at the time of smarana, following the example of Das Goswami. smaraNer kAle gale pare gu˝jA-mAlA. The pancha-mala consists of the following malas: tulasI, sandalwood, rosewood, (white) gunja-berries, and something that escapes me at the moment.


So it is not chanted on per se? Interesting... any pictures of one?
Jagat - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 03:27:50 +0530
I believe the fifth thing is patta-dori from Jagannath Puri.
Madhava - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 03:38:42 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Oct 18 2004, 10:33 PM)
So it is not chanted on per se? Interesting... any pictures of one?

Sizes may vary. This one is reasonably small. Some are twice or thrice as thick.
Attachment: Image
JD33 - Fri, 05 Nov 2004 23:12:40 +0530
QUOTE
The pancha-mala consists of the following malas: tulasI, sandalwood, rosewood, (white) gunja-berries, and something that escapes me at the moment.



We use amloki and RadhaKund roj instead of sandlwood and rosewood. I didn't even know those were used.


QUOTE
I believe the fifth thing is patta-dori from Jagannath Puri.


yes it is! biggrin.gif
Madhava - Fri, 05 Nov 2004 23:39:50 +0530
QUOTE(JD33 @ Nov 5 2004, 06:42 PM)
We use amloki and RadhaKund roj instead of sandlwood and rosewood. I didn't even know those were used.

To be honest, I am not sure we use them either, my wife thinks that's what she heard being said of it. And I won't start tearing the mala open to see what's inside! Now that you mention, the Radha Kund roj rings a bell.
Sakhicharan - Sat, 06 Nov 2004 02:08:29 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Sep 10 2004, 03:59 PM)
A fellow devotee recently wrote and inquired about the reason for our having separate mAlAs for nAma-japa and dIkSA-mantras. I couldn't come up with anything remotely coherent. I recall Jagat once making this point, perhaps he could explain the rationale behind this?



I am getting curious as to what kind of malas the Vaisnavas here are using for each separate purpose.
Personally, I use a Tulasi mala for Nam jap and a quartz crystal mala for my diksha mantras.
I generally always wear the quartz mala around my neck. I have found that to be handy because it can substitute as a jap mala if I find myself with some unexpected free time to chant.

Advitiya - Tue, 09 Nov 2004 11:05:22 +0530
QUOTE
Hari-bhakti-vilasa recommends that malas be in the shape akin to a snake, hence they go from bigger to smaller. I do not exactly know why. However it does help in keeping the count. I frequently just skip the use of counter beads and bundle the quota in my memory in sets of four, and then of sixteen if I chant more. (Where did the use of those counter-beads start, anyway?) Big and small ends help you remember whether it's an even or an odd round you're at.

As far as I know one starts chanting from smaller beads. Am I right?

And also while chanting as you come to bigger beads towords the end you can feel that little thread tied up just before there are 8 beads left. Those eight beads are supposed to mean eight parama-preSTha-sakhI -s. I just wanted to know if we all understood the same way.
Madhava - Tue, 09 Nov 2004 19:16:18 +0530
QUOTE(Advitiya @ Nov 9 2004, 06:35 AM)
As far as I know one starts chanting from smaller beads. Am I right?

As far as I've understood (and always done), you start from the bigger beads first when you take your mala and commence with japa. However I can't find a reference for this right now, can someone else confirm?

Also, if you lift your mala in front of you, the beads should move clockwise, ie. pulling them in instead of pushing them outwards.

Sakhicharan - Wed, 10 Nov 2004 06:00:27 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Nov 9 2004, 07:46 AM)
QUOTE(Advitiya @ Nov 9 2004, 06:35 AM)
As far as I know one starts chanting from smaller beads. Am I right?

As far as I've understood (and always done), you start from the bigger beads first when you take your mala and commence with japa. However I can't find a reference for this right now, can someone else confirm?

Also, if you lift your mala in front of you, the beads should move clockwise, ie. pulling them in instead of pushing them outwards.



Madhava, I also sought scriptural reference without result.

I have been taught and always practiced just as you have said.

As a side note in relation to Advitiya's last post, on the day I received diksha I was also given a piece of prasadi cloth worn by my paramguruji. I immediately tied a small strip of the cloth just past the eighth "large" bead of my mala. I have always tried to "add" the remembrance of the asta-sakhis during the count of those beads.