Japa Mala Buddhist or Hindu prayer beads or "Japa mala" are a traditional tool used to count time while meditating using mantras. They are similar to other…
Prayer beads or japa malas are used in many forms of Mahayana Buddhism, often with a lesser number of beads than the Hindu japa malas 108 (number)--usually a divisor of 108. In Pure Land Buddhism, for instance, 27-bead rosaries are common. Some practitioners use malas of 21 or 28 beads for doing prostrations.