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The guru bead on a mala necklace is a significant and distinctive bead that holds spiritual and symbolic importance in the practice of meditation and mantra recitation. It is usually the largest bead on the mala and is often positioned at the center of the necklace, separating one half of the mala from the other.
The guru bead is not meant to be counted like the other beads on the mala. Instead, it is used as a marker to signify the beginning and end of a meditation or mantra repetition cycle. When using a mala for meditation, practitioners typically start at one side of the guru bead and move through the other beads while reciting their chosen mantra or affirmation. When they complete one full round or cycle of the mala, they stop at the other side of the guru bead without crossing it.
At this point, the practitioner has the option to turn the mala around and continue in the opposite direction for another round of meditation or to conclude their practice. It's important not to cross over the guru bead, as it represents the idea of never-ending energy or the continuous cycle of the practice. The guru bead often holds spiritual significance and may be chosen for its healing properties or a personal connection to the practitioner.
In addition to its practical function, the guru bead serves as a reminder of the spiritual teacher or guru's guidance and the wisdom they impart. It's a symbol of reverence and respect for the teacher and the teachings.


Tassels are not traditionally used as guru beads in mala necklaces, but they do have a specific purpose and symbolism in mala design. Tassels are often added to the end of a mala as decorative and functional elements. Here are some common uses and meanings associated with tassels in mala necklaces:


Purification and Completion |  Tassels can symbolize the purification and completion of a meditation or mantra practice. When you finish using your mala, you can run the tassel through your fingers as a way of acknowledging the completion of your meditation session.


Balance | The tassel represents balance and unity. It combines the individual strands or beads of the mala into a single, harmonious whole, just as meditation and mindfulness practices aim to bring unity and balance to one's life.


Protection | In some cultures, tassels are believed to have protective properties. They are thought to ward off negative energy and provide a sense of security and well-being to the wearer.


Personalization | Tassels can be customized to match your personal preferences and style. You can choose the color and design of the tassel to make your mala unique and reflective of your personality and intentions.


While tassels are an important and meaningful part of a mala necklace, they do not serve the same purpose as the guru bead. The guru bead typically marks the beginning and end of a meditation or mantra cycle and holds specific spiritual significance, whereas tassels are primarily decorative and symbolic of different aspects of the meditation practice.

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