Guru Beads

A guru bead set is used at the end of a loop of beads to serve as a meaningful closure, completing the circuit of the mala or prayer beads. It acts as a reminder to honour the journey, reflect on intentions, and cultivate a sense of completeness and gratitude before embarking on another round of meditation or prayer.

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What are guru beads?

A guru bead is a special bead used in meditation and prayer practices. They are most commonly used on a set of mala beads. Mala beads are a string of beads traditionally used in Hinduism and Buddhism to count mantra repetitions or prayers. They are often used in various forms of meditation and more recently as a calming tactile tool for calming and for people on various spectrums of autism as a sensory aid.

The guru bead is typically larger or differently shaped compared to the other beads on the mala. It serves as a marker or focal point, indicating the starting and ending point of the mala during meditation or chanting. When reaching the guru bead, practitioners have the option to pause, reflect, offer gratitude, or set an intention before reversing the direction of the mala for the next round of mantra recitation.

The guru bead holds symbolic significance as a reminder of the guidance and wisdom of the spiritual teacher or guru. It represents the connection between the practitioner and the teacher, as well as the continuous cycle of learning and growth on the spiritual path.

Guru beads can be made from various materials, including gemstones, wood, metal, or other natural materials. They often feature distinctive designs or embellishments to distinguish them from the rest of the mala beads. The choice of guru bead can be influenced by personal preference, spiritual tradition, or the specific qualities associated with the chosen material or gemstone.

How many beads are on a mala?

The number of beads on a mala can vary depending on specific cultural and traditional practices. In general, a standard mala consists of 108 beads, which is considered a sacred number in many spiritual traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there are also variations of mala beads with 27 beads, 54 beads, or other numbers that are divisible by 9.

In addition to the main beads, a mala usually includes the guru bead or a larger bead that marks the beginning and end of the mala. There may also be marker beads or spacer beads placed at intervals along the mala to help keep track of the counting process.

The number of beads on a mala can be customised based on personal preference or specific meditation practices. Some individuals may choose to have a shorter mala with fewer beads for more focused or time-constrained practices, while others may prefer longer malas with additional beads for extended sessions. The number of beads on a mala really is a personal choice and can vary based on cultural traditions, spiritual beliefs, and individual preferences.

How to thread a guru bead

Our guru beads typically include two pieces. There is a larger bead with a T shaped drill hole, and a smaller, usually tapered single hole bead. To make a mala, you will need a thread, flexible needle, a guru bead set and the appropriate number of beads for your desired mala.

  • Choose your thread. We recommend silk cord, S-Lon or Shamballa thread, although some people may opt for elastic or beading wire. Consider the hole size on your beads when selecting a thread. Cut the cord to an ample length for stringing and tying.
  • Using a flexible wire needle, bring the thread through the tapered bead and then through the bottom of the T and make a right angle to bring it out one side. Slide those beads toward the far end of the thread.
  • Thread on all your beads in the desired order.
  • Once all beads are threaded, bring the needle end back to the T junction on the guru bead and insert the needle into the opposite side of the T. The needle needs to make a right-angle turn back toward the bottom so it comes out at the position of the tail end of your thread. You may need to bend the tip of the needle slightly to guide it to make the turn.
  • Pull the loop tight enough that there is no excess thread between the beads, but the beads remain loose enough to handle and turn on the cord. Tie off your thread ends to complete the loop. You may like to add a tassel, charm, or other little bead to the end of the threads to finish the design.

Where to buy Guru Beads in Australia

If you’re wondering where to buy guru beads, wonder no more! Beads N Crystals in Brisbane, Australia stocks a range of guru bead sets which can be used to make your own mala today!  You’re a practitioner or making mala beads to sell in your own business, talk to us about wholesale access to exceptional trade prices with very low minimum order requirements.

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