For the worship and rituals of almost all the gods and goddesses, the Jaap or frequent Chanting of some mantras is compulsory with definite number according to the God and the Goddess each for the fulfillment of desires. In this case Mala is the best means to count beads for counting the mantra.
It has been asked why there are only 108 beads in a Mala neither more nor less ?
According to astronomy there are 27 constellations (group of stars) in the universe and each constellation (group of stars) has four quadrants (charan) hence there are 24x4 = 108 quadrants in all. The constellation has again been divided into 12 equal parts corresponding to 12 signs of zodiac and there are only 9 planets in the universe if we multiply them together the result will be 108 [12x9 = 108]. Thus 108 is the best number to join the Individual consciousness with the Absolute Consciousness.
There are many kinds of Mala used in spiritual and meditation purposes.
Lotus Seed Mala (Kamal Gatta Mala) - This mala is used for the worship of the Goddess Lakshmi for Jaap or to Chant her Mantra. There is special importance to chant her Mantra with Lotus Seed Mala.
Turmeric Mala - It is used to perform Anusthan (special prayers) and destroy enemies and succeed in law suits. If a man has fallen prey to Jaundice, he should wear garland of 8, 10 beads of turmeric, he would surely be cured.
Putra Jeeva mala - It is used in Sadhana for having an off spring in the family.
Silver Beads Mala - To fulfill any sacred and virtuous object (aim) silver beads mala is the most effective.
Kush's Root (knot) Mala - The mala, made from the roots of kusha grass, is used for all sacred & Virtuous activities.
Sandal Wood Garland & Mala -
(I) Mala made of white sandal wood is used for peace and empowering rituals and for worshipping other deities. Sandal Wood garland is good for welcoming and for giving honour.
(II) Red Sandal Wood:- (Rose wood) mala is used in worship of Lord Ganesh and Goddesses.
Tulsi Mala and Kanti (Neck Mala) - This mala is regarded as the best for worshipping Lord Vishnu, Ram and Krishna. According to Ayurveda, it is very useful in diseases related to throat . It is also used for the purification of the body.
Conch Mala - It is used for special tantrik purposes.
Baijanti Mala - It is used by the devotees of Lord Vishnu and for chanting Mantras for worship of Goddess Lakshmi.
Amber Mala - It is very useful in diseases related to blood and disorder in menstruation.
Quartz (Sphatik or Crystal) Mala - It is the best mala for counting beads while chanting Devi Mantras. If it is worn, the mind becomes pacified and quiet. He who wears it, becomes pacified and quiet. He who wears it, becomes favorite of Lord Shiva.
Rudraksha Mala - It is very effective and is used in all kinds of rituals while worshipping gods, goddesses and nine planets. If any particular mala is not available, Rudraksha Mala is used without any hesitation only with exception of mantras of killing others (maran) and yakshni sidhhi. Thus it is regarded as the best of all rosaries.
Kaharwa Mala - It is worn around the neck of the patients of jaundice. It cures the disease very soon.
Navratna Mala - This is used to pacify nine planets. There are nine precious stones corresponding the nine planets in it. It gives mental peace when it is worn.
Coral Mala - It is used during sadhana or worship of Lord Ganesh, Hanuman, Lakshmi and Mars planet. It is also useful for people who are prone to anaemic condition.
Similarly there are many rosaries made of semi precious stones for different planets. For example there are garlands of Garnet, Pearl, Jade, Onex, Sunehla, Blue Sapphire, Topaz Onex, Topaz Zircon, Cat's Eye, Amethyst, Rose Quartz, Tiger, Agate and Moonstone. These malas are very useful in pacifying the inimical planetary influences in one's life. Crystal mala is used as Shiva-Shakti incarnate, Rudraksha as Lord Shiva, Pearl the moon incarnate. Rudraksha-Coral mala is worn regarding as incarnate of Lord Shiva and Hanuman. Thus they are used to count Mantras of different deities and are worn to attain peace of mind and happiness.