Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(2,894 words)

Mālās, translated roughly as prayer beads” and “garlands,” are not unique to Hindus but, in different modes, are integral to the religious lives of Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, and Catholics as well. In all these religious traditions, the concept of prayer beads and rosaries assists practitioners with meditation and/or chanting practices. According to Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1899, 813), the Sanskrit word mālā may be translated variously depending on the textual sources invoke…

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Sinha, Vineeta, “Mālā”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 25 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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