| 32. Malas
Pashupatinath, Kathmandu, Nepal
Yogis are easily identified
by their dress, or lack of, and various accoutrements, one of the most
prominent being the mala. Malas are strings of beads, usually totalling
108 that are used while reciting mantras, sacred words used to invoke
the powers of the Gods and Goddesses. They can be made of a wide variety
of materials such as semi-precious stone, ivory, glass, wood or seeds.
The Vaishnava sect wears malas made of tulsai wood from the holy basil
tree, while the Shaivas, such as the yogi in this photo, wears malas
made of rudraksha seeds that come from the stone of a certain fruit.