16 Practices To Preserve the Spiritual Energy of Malas
Caring for a sacred rudraksha mala is a rare and beautiful blessing, as the spiritual vibrations inherent in these beads purifies the body/mind and elevates our consciousness.
Yet, we must be diligent in caring for our malas, so that we may not dissipate their subtle pranic vibration.
As yogis, wearing a rudraksha mala isn’t a fashion statement, but rather a symbol of our connection to the Divine.
As such, the following tips can help you wear and care for your mala so that you may derive the optimal benefits of this sacred treasure.
16 Practical Way to Care for Your Mala
Decide if you will use your mala primarily for:
a) Physical health, mental/emotional balance & spiritual benefits (hereafter called your “medicine mala“)
b) Solely for spiritual purposes (hereafter called your “spiritual mala“)
If you choose the former, it is best to wear you mala throughout the day – everyday. If however you choose to keep your Rudraksha mala solely for spiritual purposes, such as japa (mantra repetition) or meditation, then only wear it during your spiritual practices to contain and build up the energy in your mala.
Some people actually choose to have 2 malas – the first is worn in public, while the other mala is kept private and used only for spiritual practices.
When not wearing your Rudraksha mala, keep it in a sacred place, such as your altar, and place it in a protective pouch when carrying it around. We try not to let our mala directly touch the Earth, as the Earth’s magnetic pull can withdraw some of the energy of the mala into her, thus draining the mala’s energy reserve.
You can preserve and charge the energy in your Rudraksha mala by having it be blessed by a saint or holy person, by meditating with it, by doing mantra japa with your mala, by chanting with your mala, and by engaging in any spiritual activity while wearing your mala. Also, we can have our Rudraksha mala charged by placing it on a sacred power object (such as a Shiva Lingam or Shri Chakra).
Wash your Rudraksha mala occasionally with water and mild soap. After the mala dries, you can apply oil directly to the mala in order to protect the beads from cracking. If your mala breaks, you can replace the thread or metal as needed to keep your mala thriving.
Every so often, you can oil your Rudraksha beads to protect them and add an essential oil to increase its properties (such as coconut or almond oil infused with the essential oils of sandalwood, rose, geranium, lotus or other sattvic substances).
You can wear your mala in the ocean, river, or in the shower and get it wet*, but it’s generally not recommended. You will need to allow your Rudraksha mala to dry out completely so that it doesn’t form mold or bacteria, and you may need to oil it more often, in these cases, to protect it from cracking or breaking down.
*This applies only to your medicine mala. Your spiritual mala should not get wet, unless cleaning it.
You may wish to wear your Rudraksha mala around your neck so that the beads touch the Heart area, as this will help to pass the energy of the Rudraksha to the entire body.
It is best never to take your Rudraksha mala in the bathroom, as exposing your Rudraksha mala to impure energies like the bathroom, diminishes its power.
It is suggested that Rudraksha malas should not be shared, exchanged, or transferred from one person to another as your own personal energy collects and strengthens your own mala. In this same way, it is generally not recommended to allow other people to touch your Rudraksha mala, as some of the energy will be transferred to that other person and the power of your Rudraksha mala may diminish. (If of course you wish to pass on your mala to a loved one, and share your positive energy with them through your mala, this is also a wonderful act of love and generosity.)
It is generally not recommended to wear your Rudraksha mala during menstruation as this is considered to be a time for purification where the energy of apana vayu is more predominate. During times of purification, we tend to let go of negative energy, and therefore we may choose not to wear our malas during this time if we wish to keep it as pure as possible. Similarly, it is not suggested to wear your mala while giving birth as the apana vayu is again predominant- the apana vayu is a downward flowing energy, and as such, the energy collected in the mala can gravitate towards the earth at such times. For those people that are trying to preserve the energy in their malas, they may therefore choose not to wear their malas during the times that apana vayu is predominant. This is also the same principle when making love. If either partner orgasms and does not know how to preserve their energy from leaking out – then apana vayu will again predominate and the energy of the mala could flow downwards. However, those that know the tantric practices of retaining the vital energy during love making can potentially override this factor.
If you do wear your Rudraksha mala during times when apana vayu is predominant or when answering nature’s call, and you wish to use your mala for spiritual practices (whereby you are trying to collect and preserve the energy), you can always wash the mala with pure water, bless it, and continue to wear it for spiritual practices.
Some people chose not to wear their mala when sleeping in order to prevent the beads from breaking and from the tamasic vibrations of the sleep state.
It is suggested that you avoid wearing your Rudraksha mala while going to funerals or cemeteries, as the energy in these places and events are of a different nature.
It is great to wear Rudraksha malas around your neck and wrists, and even more than one mala, as these locations have many nerves which conduct bio-magnetic energy and healing properties.
Traditionally, Rudraksha malas and beads have been worn around the neck, head, ears, arms and wrists due to its great benefits and spiritual power. In ancient times Rudrakshas were worn by sages, vedic priests, and kings. In fact, kings used to wear a Rudraksha bead on their right ear as an earring to acquire deep listening and judging skills.
When making your Rudraksha mala, it is suggested that the beads are placed head to tail, head to tail, and so on, with the head facing the guru bead at the end of the mala. The head of the Rudraksha bead tends to be more flat, and the tail tends to be pointy in nature.
These guidelines for wearing and taking care of your Rudraksha mala, are general principles widely accepted in traditional yogic circles. However, ultimately each person must follow their heart. As such, take from these guidelines only that which resonates with you. The rest should either be investigated through your personal experience or set aside if your own inner wisdom guides you differently.