A mala is typically made from 108 beads and one larger additional bead called a sumeru. Begin the round with the sumeru and end when it is reached again. The following round should begin with the same bead upon which the previous round ended. The mala should be held in the right hand with the middle finger and thumb, never with the index finger which is considered inauspicious. With each bead one repeats the mantra. “Japa is a type of communication between “here” and “beyond”, between the part and the Whole. As in all types of communication, it cannot be the mumbling of empty words, it cannot be a mechanical or robotic repetition, but it must express an authentic and sincere intention. The mantra should be recited with highest attention and deeply interiorized.” Rudraksha Mala - Lord Shiva.