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akṣamālā


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A generic term for a garland or rosary of ‘beads’, which may consist of any appropriate object (e.g. skulls for some forms of Śiva). It is a frequent iconographic attribute of gods, as well as ascetics. The number of beads may correspond to the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet (50), or conform to some auspicious number (such as 108).

Subjects: Hinduism.


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