Photocredits: Sparky Summit Vishwakarma, Varanasi, India
Mala's are a sacred object for spiritual purpose, not a garland. They are used to count the repetition of a mantra or prayer. Different religions may have different mala's with a different number of beads.
In Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga Philosophy the Mala counts 108 beads. Why 108 counts?
One, 1, Unity, to unify, merge with each other and the entire cosmos though Shakti or the female energy.
Zero, 0, Niraakara another name for the Godess Durga which is formless. The universal spirit has no form, no identity, no appearance and we too are a part of this universal spirit. We are created out of nothing and will return to nothing.
Eight, 8 an infinite loop, the serpent snake of Lord Vishnu. In Sanskrit term it means 'endless' or 'limitless', 'eternal' or 'infinity'. In other words, it also means infinitude or an unending expansion or without limit.
108 is thus a sacred number with the purpose to attain spiritual awareness and unify with the entire cosmos, all beings and all it's creation.
But there are many more layers to the sacred number 108, another one is the connection between the planets and constellations.
Or a references to the sacred books of Hinduism such as the Mahabharata, Upanishads and for those who really like to get into math's you can read a more about it