Hand malas are also prayer beads, which are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra. Mantra means “sacred sound.” They are used for different purposes linked to working with mind. In addition to serving a counting function, malas facilitate one-pointed concentration and serve as a tool for connecting, body, speech and mind during one’s meditation practice. Hand malas contain 21 or 27 beads and are used for prostrations, a physical meditation that is used to transcend ego and overcome pride. Rudraksha is a sacred seed, literally meaning the eye of lord Shiva. Rudraksha beads are generally used with Shiva mantra, however, they are effective with any mantra said with devotion, for they open the heart chakra.