What does the tassel on a mala mean?

Tassels can come in various shapes and sizes on a set of mala beads. Just like the colors of the mala beads themselves represent certain ideas, mantras, and energies, the colors of the tassel do as well. The tassel itself represents the connection that we have to everything in the known (and unknown) universe. Everything is connected and the thread of the mala represents that idea.

The Details of the Mala Tassel Mean Different Things

In Tibetan Buddhism, meditation sessions consist of reciting a mantra several times (108 to be exact) while physically moving the beads of the mala one at a time per each repetition of the stated intention. At the end of the prayer beads is the guru stone and the tassel. The guru stone is to pay respect to the meditation practitioner’s teacher (or guru) and the tassel represents the roots of the lotus plant, reminding us to stay grounded. A great way to understand what the tassels on a mala mean is to think in terms of both symbolism and function.

The Function of the Tassel

Malas are constructed by stringing beads together on a thick cord. As you probably would have guessed, the cord is then tied in a knot at the end. The function of the tassel isn’t just for decoration. In an authentic mala, the tassel hides the knot of the stringed mala and helps to secure it in place so that the string of beads won’t easily break. An aftermarket tassel on a mala means that it was cheaply made. An authentic set of meditation beads will have a tassel that not only compliments the set, but makes it whole. There shouldn’t be a definite separation of tassel to mala beads or vice versa. It should look and feel as if it were made all at the same time. This is only part of what the tassel can tell us about the mala.

The Colors of Tassel and Mala Symbolize Different Intentions

  • A red mala tassel is for warming, energizing, stimulating, and strengthening mantras.
  • An orange mala tassel is for warming, attraction, abundance, and enjoyment mantras.
  • A yellow mala tassel is for strengthening, awakening, energizing, cheerfulness, confidence, and vitality mantras.
  • A green mala tassel is for balancing, harmonizing, soothing, rejuvenating, cleansing and calming mantras.
  • A blue mala tassel is for tranquility, patience, sincerity, devotion, and understanding mantras.
  • A purple mala tassel is for transformation, detoxification, meditation, inspiration, and compassion mantras.
  • A white mala tassel is for balance, harmony, perfection, consciousness, divination, cleanliness and simplicity mantras.
  • A black mala tassel is for protection, seriousness, death, mourning, and transformation mantras.

The Tassel on Your Mala Means Whatever You Want it to Mean

While most colors of tassels on mala are associated with certain moods and intentions, I’m sure by looking at the list you could probably disagree with a few. The fact is that no one thinks alike or reacts in the same way to colors. Sometimes a certain color just makes you feel a certain way and that might be different from how it makes someone else feel. When purchasing your own mala meditation beads, think about how the color of the tassel makes you feel and what it means to you personally. Feel the feelings that it invokes. If that feeling isn’t listed above, that’s perfectly normal. Just go with it!