Maha Mala is a product of love by Nora Wendel and Piya Jain. Originally Nora started making Malas, yoga mala beads, for herself after admiring the mala of a close friend, further appreciation and requests started to appear from her friends for her Malas and thus she decided to form Maha Mala.
Nora is the design queen of Maha Mala, she handles the creative side of the business. She designs the malas and then very meticulously launches them into the world with a very color coordinated photo shoot which she works on herself.
Piya is Nora’s long lost Indian sister – the beautiful stones used in all the malas fascinated Piya and as Maha Mala started to grow – she became the other half. Piya is the production master, with her skills in handling the sourcing, manufacturing and general chaos that is found in India.
Nora is a truly a child of the Earth, a global citizen. Of Liechtensteinian, Swiss and German descent, she was born in Thailand and brought up in Nepal, India, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. She studied Fine Art in London before continuing her education in Audio engineering in Byron Bay, Australia.
Yoga is inherent in her family and her father is a practicing yogi and teaches yoga philosophy, pranayama and meditation. Growing up in Asia with the values of Bhakti (worship of the divine) Nora has manage to manifest her devotion into Maha Mala.
She has always been fascinated by the power of stones to be able to resonate with certain qualities of human emotions and characteristics, this fascination lead her onto crystal healing workshops to experience how crystals could be used to benefit the wearer.
Piya was born and brought up in India. Her family has been jewelers for over a century. She studied fashion merchandising and production management in Delhi before moving to Paris for a Masters in economy and management in luxury goods.
Jewelry has always been an integral part of her life. She has a profound love for stones and believes in their inherent beneficial qualities. She was always fascinated by the vibrations of the stones and how they can affect human beings. Her passion for producing quality products has resulted in a blessing for Maha Mala.
Maha Mala is a small company based in New Delhi, India which specialises in making health and wellness jewelry in the form of 108 bead necklaces, these necklaces can be used for japa (chanting with a mantra) or as jewelry. The term Maha Mala actually stems from two sanskrit words; Maha meaning ‘the great’ and Mala meaning ‘garland’, together our name stand for ‘the great garland’ (or necklace).
Maha Mala started out as an idea to create sacred healing objects for use in personal rituals. This manifested into the stringing and restringing of Malas back in 2009.
Sadhu wearing malas
Traditionally in India, a Mala (garland/necklace) is used as a tool in meditation and mantra practice (reciting of traditional prayers). Historically traditional beads such as Rudraksha, Tulsi or Sandalwood are in Malas, each having their own specific metaphysical and mythological properties. Maha Mala adds a new twist to this historical tradition; we have included the use of semi-precious stones with the belief that these stones have specific resonant qualities that can affect the wearer whether you use the Mala as jewelry or for japa.
Each Mala contains 108 beads. 108 being a sacred number in Hinduism, relating to the numerlogical and astrological ancient wisdom (read more here on the number 108). Each mala also has a tassel, a head bead (called the guru or sumeru bead) and sometimes a pendant. This allows for you to either wear the mala with the tassel forwards or with the pendant forward depending on how you feel.
The Malas are designed by Nora Wendel and Piya Jain, the stones and silver are hand sourced from Jaipur, Northern India for their quality and lustre. Each mala is hand strung using extra grade wire for durability and suppleness.
Ahimsa Silk yarns
The backbone of Maha Mala is the yogic principle of ‘Ahimsa’ or non- violence towards others, hence each of our tassels found in our Malas are made from Ahimsa silk, silk which is farmed by not killing the silkworm. Maha Mala collaborates with Avani Kumaon, for the procurement of our Ahimsa silk. Avani is a voluntary organisation based in Uttarkhand which supports local communities to make sustainable contributions to society. Maha Mala also soucres Ahimsa silk for their beautiful soft tassels from Designer Weaves in Hyderabad.
Maha Mala supports local charities and foundations in and around Delhi, at the moment our fabric pouches are made from Khadi (organic cotton) which is earth dyed. We purchase this fabric from a weavers welfare association in Maharashtra and have it sewn by Sewing New Futures. Sewing New Futures is a foundation which provides vocational skills to underprivileged young women in the suburbs of Delhi.