View Full Version : Using the wrong fingers to chant with mala

23 December 2018, 10:31 AM
I've been using a mala with chanting for the past 8 years. I've always used my thumb and index finger to move the beads.
Today I found out that you are supposed to use the thumb and middle finger to move the mala beads, and you are supposed to avoid touching
the mala with your index finger.
Is this error very bad? Does it mean that none of my mantras worked?

I'm feeling frustrated about this.

27 December 2018, 10:46 AM
Namaste TelluriaLyra

Believe me, no divine being will care of a finger! But this is not what you want to hear, isn’t it?

Thus I’ll take a common proverb: What I do not know will not hurt me.
Now you know, now you avoid japa with the index finger.

Since I am not a born Hindu, I attach this answer from a free thinking Hindu on quora:

Parama Devi (https://www.quora.com/profile/Parama-Devi), Founder and Director at Jagannatha Vallabha Vedic Research Center
Answered Aug 11, 2018 (https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-we-use-our-index-finger-while-chanting-Mantras/answer/Parama-Devi) · Author has 2.3k answers and 265.2k answer views

It’s just a conventional habit.
You just need 2 fingers (thumb and medium) to handle a japa mala.
When you chant mantras on your fingers (without a japa mala), I believe you use all your fingers.
It is practical to keep one finger free for various little jobs - pointing, pushing, etc. If you use a beads bag the index can help hold it up. However, there is no “offense” in using your index fingers together with other fingers for ritualistic purposes. Just keep all your fingers clean at all times.


27 December 2018, 11:59 AM

Nothing you have done so far is wasteful but the chanting process could be improved going forward.
It was explained to me that you use your index finger in pointing to/cursing at others in heated arguments. Or some such thing.
Its use has negative connotations.
So, you give your index finger a rest for spiritual practices.
Tradition dictates you do the same; rational mind might take you somewhere else.
If rational thinking is all that matters, why even accept the concept of God or pray to Him. After all anything you say just disappears into thin air. It never reaches the ears of the Divine - whatever or whoever He is and where ever He resides.
Beyond a certain point one must ask ones rational mind to stand down while the devotee takes a leap of faith.
There is no 'He', no religion, no 'beyond' without faith.