Author Topic: Bone mala  (Read 30555 times)

Positive Change

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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 05:50:39 AM »
I reckon there are separate issues at play here:

1. I do not believe that negative karma is transferable from one person to another hence using the residual body part of a person or animal that has accumulated negative karma is not an issue.

2. A mala can "contain" powerful energy based on the mantra's recited using the mala. It is the very holy names of Buddhas recited over and over again which gives the mala its "blessing". Not necessarily the person. However in the case of a highly attained being, the case might be of double blessings! ;)

3. I have been told that when using items made from bone as ritual items (like skull caps, bone trumpets etc), it actually gives blessings to the deceased person or animal and that was why they were used in the first place. At first thought one may think how gruesome or barbaric even but less we forget, there is always a higher purpose when it comes to spirituality!


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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »
For me the mala doesn't matter. It is just a tool to count. The stories go that we usually count our mantra's in 100's, so the 108 beads is to account for up to 8 mistakes that we could potentially make. Yes I agree that using a bone mala, will help generate merits for the deceased, but for me we should not be so attached to the type of mala we use.

I for one, used to try and find the best mala. But then found that it doesn't really matter. Looking for a nice mala is just another attachment, and another attachment that leads us further from enlightenment. High monks in the monastery practice with whatever mala that is available To them it is just a counting tool.

So the idea, of having nice malas or different malas for me, is ok, but I find it rather samsaric.

Then again I can counter myself by saying that the mala can be seen as an offering to the Buddhas, so having the nicest one would be better to offer up.

These are just my thoughts. What do you think?


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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 03:58:12 PM »
Yes, we may say that having a nice mala is due to our attachment to have nice things. But for me I would very much like to have a nice mala as it  can be used as an offering to the Three Jewels. When we offer a mandala using hand mudra, we can place the nice mala between our two hands and offered up. I would choose the nicest and the best within my means.


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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 07:05:55 PM »
Bone relics of the attained high lamas are very beautiful and they possess blessing energies.  These relics are objects of veneration and are usually enshrined in the stupas for others to pay homage to.  On the other hand, bones of ordinary human are ordinary, ugly and do not have any blessing energies.  In fact it could be harmful to our wellbeing if we use them as malas due to their negative energies. 
Those who practise healing or who has the clairvoyance will attest to the observation above.  However, these ordinary bones when blessed by rituals or attained lamas will become safe for use as malas.  For those who are not attained or qualified, it is thus advisable to avoid using ordinary human bone malas. 

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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 04:16:53 AM »
Bone mala, I used to have one made from yak. As for human bone mala, I saw one belong to someone and she was advised by guru to put on altar as offerings to 3 Jewels. Though very rare, it is actually available for sale online by mail order.

As far as I was told human bone mala is not to be used in normal practices, it is for higher tantric practice or for wrathful deities like Mahakala, Heruka or such. The reason for not using such mala in normal use is not due to the belief that bad things may happen to users or it will bring negative energy from the dead but more like using powerful tool for very simple tasks.

Human bone malas are used for us to reflect or contemplate on the truth of Impermanence. And we must use them with care and respect to the dead person; and also for us to cultivate compassion to help the dead person to collect merits.

As suggested by a few posts here, the best solution is to check with our own Guru before we use one.  So, we really have to check why we need to use it in the 1st place.


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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2012, 05:23:39 AM »
I was told that the 3 types of mala which the traditional: Bone mala, Boddhi seed Mala and Lotus seed Mala. and out of the 3 types of mala, bone mala is the "best" especially human bone mala because it reminds us of death, and also since it is made of human bone, we can collect whatever merits the person had from the bones.

My question is this: If the logic above is valid, what happened if the person has done a lot of negative deeds, and we use his/her bones as mala? Will we also collect negative merits?

Hi Kris... I believe it is not that we collect whatever merits the person had by using their bone... but when we use the bone mala to chant mantras, then the deceased person whose bone we're using as a mala, he/she will gain the merits.

It is the same with damaru, where they use skulls to make the damaru for the benefit of the deceased to collect more merits. It is a very skillful method that yet again Buddhism offers to us. Even with death, we can still collect merits and benefit others (ie organ donation or sky burial)


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Re: Bone mala
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2012, 06:09:16 PM »
Mala or Rosary is for us to use for tracking/counting when recite mantra. Mala can be made from different type of material such as sandle wood, lotus seed, bone, bodhi seed, rose wood, agar wood and crystal etc

For new practitioner you can choose any type of mala to recite mantra but i heard from my guru that for some of higher tantra practice we must use bone mala only as bone remind us of death and impermanent.

i do not believe that mala will bring negative karma for the one who using, instead the mala that has been recite mantra by high lama for long time become an object that can be use for blessing and protection which these power are come from the power of mantra that the high lama recite everyday and his vows that he holding. similary the mala that we use to recite mantra every day do have some power from the mantra we recite too but not like the high lama as we do not hold our vows well, or if we do the number we hold also less than monk vow.

There is a mantra - OM RUCHIRA MANI PRAVA TAYA HUM- to recite 7 times and blow on to the mala to bless the mala every time before we start the prayer as in one day our mala can be mixed up with other items in our bag, drop on the floor, people walk cross over..etc