108 Beads on a Mala

A Mala (Indian prayer bead or rosary) has 108 beads. The 109th bead on a mala is called the sumeru, stupa, or guru bead The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads. The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads. According to one story: Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, paid a visit to king Vaidunya?Sakya directed him to thread 108 seeds of the Bodhi tree on a string. http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/tantra_symbols.html 108 prayer beads -- purification of speech http://www.tbsn.org/ebooks/aom/aomch~10.htm 9, 27, 36, 54, 108
There is a special bead called Mount Meru