Eventually, every Mala will break. The question of how soon really depends on different factors: materials used and craftsmanship; your usage, care, and maintenance; and the state of your Karma.
Your personal Mala carries your intentions and mantras. It grows with you along with your journey. Of course, it is completely natural to feel a sense of loss and sadness as you witness beads of gemstones and crystals slip from the thread and scatter on the floor.
However, a Japa Mala breaking carries with it positive meanings. In Buddhism, it is understood as the release of Karma, freedom from a cycle of suffering, or a spiritual breakthrough. In the Yogic tradition, it means progression along one’s path—an opportunity to reflect upon blessings received.
This event is the perfect moment to reflect on the changes in your life. These changes may be dramatic or perhaps it simply passes subtly. Think about where you stand now—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—versus the moment you first met your Mala. Let the questions listed below guide you.
• Have the goals I set with my mala and mantra practice come to fruition?
• Does it feel that I’ve already completed my mantra practice?
• Do I feel that I have overcome an obstacle?
• Do I feel released from a burden?
• Are there attachments in my life that I am ready to release?
• What is my new goal, direction, or perhaps a purpose to strive for in life?
• What are my uncertainties and anxieties when thinking about the future?
Should I replace or repair my broken Mala?
This is really up to you. It is a thing to consider if you feel that it was quite early for the Mala to break or that your mantra is not yet “complete.” You can go to The Mala Tree Crystal Shop to have it restrung. Nonetheless, the gemstone beads or sacred seeds your Mala is made of still have latent vibrations. You can still utilize them as talismans. It is recommended to have a set of beads made into a Mala to be strung only three times.
What should I do with the broken Mala if I decide not to restring it?
Tibetan Buddhism considers an irreparable Mala as a dharma waste and must be disposed. But this follows a ritual and is done with respect and care as they still carry blessings and positive energies.
You can place it on your altar as a reminder of your journey with it.
Also, as a reminder, you can repurpose it as an accessory.
You can also bring it back to mother nature by burying the beads, the thread, and the tassel.
When your personal Mala breaks, it is a moment for reflection and growth. It is an opportunity to assess where you are in your journey and what you need to do next. As with all things in life, change is inevitable–embrace it and allow yourself to grow along with your Japa Mala.