Metal alloy silver-colored mala counter with twisted red cotton yarn and yellow tassels.
Made by a Nepalese family.
How to Keep Track of Large Numbers of Mantras:
In some traditions hundreds of thousands, or even 1 million mantras are required before we can manifest or at least, access, the properties of certain deities. Without carrying around paper and pen, how do we remember these large numbers of rounds of the mala?
Counters are thick threads that hold 10 rings that are slipped down or away from the main string of beads. We attach one, on one side of the mala, and the other on the opposite side. One can be used to count up to a thousand (terminates on bell), and the other for tallying the thousands (terminates on dorje).
This coutner is made of a coarse double thread of thick rough fiber that provides enough grip so the little rings do not easily slip up or down unless they are moved with intention.
How to place counters:
1. Move all the rings down towards the little silver charm (bell or dorje).
2. Open the loop at the other end by separating the two parts of the cord.
3. Place that newly formed "eye" over a space you have made between the beads of your mala (by moving some beads along) so that it lies half over the mala string.
4. Now, draw the rest of the counter (held closed by the line of the little rings) through the loop formed by your mala string and the half "eye" to form a one-step slip knot or "crow's foot".
This makes it possible to remove and re-attach the counter dangles wherever and whenever you need to move them.