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Why the Mala Beads are Sacred for Hindus?
Veda Nath Mohabir
Indian forebears – the over one-half million Indian indentured labourers, pejoratively called “Bound Coolies” – between1838 to 1917, were carried across the oceans (Kala Pani or dark waters) holed up in ships in a journey of over three months from India with few earthly possessions. Yet, they took to the Caribbean –Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, St. Croix (Danish) and Guadeloupe and Martinique (French) – Belize, Surinam, French Guiana and British Guiana traditions which preserved their ultra-rich ancient heritage. One such intriguing tradition is embedded in the unassuming mala (Sanskrit: maalaa, for garland) or loosely called, ‘Hindu beads’. Thus, the mala is widely known as a garland or necklace – of 108 beads.