These combinations are for meditation purposes. There are different malas and combinations popular among people:
- A simple five mukhi mala of 108+1 or 54+1 or 27+1 beads (most common being 108+1).
- A five mukhi mala having one Gaurishankar at the top and one mukhi at the meru (Total number of beads including Gaurishankar and one mukhi should be 108+1.
- A five mukhi rudraksha mala having the following beads: three, five, nine, 11 mukhis, Gaurishankar and 1 mukhi. This is known as Dhyan Yog mala as it covers all the aspects required for better concentration and meditation like good health (three and five mukhi), fearlessness (nine and 11 mukhi), identification with God (Gaurishankar) and Shiva’s blessings (one mukhi). All these beads are strung in a five mukhi smaller bead mala, the total number of beads being 108+1, including large and small beads.
- A 32 or 32+1 bead Kantha of large-sized Gaurishankar beads is used by sanyasis or those fully dedicated to spiritual work. While meditating, these people wear this kantha and manasik (silent) japa is carried out while counting is done with the small-sized beads strung in another mala. This combination is not recommended for family persons. At best it can be kept in a pooja place.
- Higher level of meditation is done by using 14 mukhi rudraksha tied on the head keeping it at the Ajna Chakra and counting of the mantra using a mala of either five mukhi or 2 mukhi rudrakshas. It is useful for kundalini awakening, by combining the meditation with Pranayams and going upwards with chakras