Mala Sandalwood 108 prayer beads
Sandalwood is naturally fragrant and exceedingly smooth. Sandalwood has traditionally been regarded as one of the purest substances and is valued for its cooling properties and its medicinal value as well. It is believed to promote tranquility as an aid to meditation. Turning the sandalwood beads while chanting is supposed to have therapeutic properties that enhance calmness and a positive frame of mind.
The string of beads is mainly used to count repeated mantras. So actually, it serves the same purpose as a rosary. Beads made of semi-precious stones, pearls, bodhi seeds or wood may serve all kinds of goals, like counting any kind of mantras, or other forms of prayer, bows, walk-rounds and such. The cord is the same for every mala, and should be made of nine threads, symbolizing the Buddha Vajradhara and the eight Bodhisattvas. The larger bead at the end stands for wisdom, realizing emptiness, and the cylindrical bead on top of the large bead symbolizes the void itself. Together, they symbolize the triumph over all adversities.