Rudraksha is known in Hindi as Rudraksh; Sanskrit: rudrākṣa (Rudra means Shiv and Aksha means eyes) is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree whose seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism. The seed is borne by several species of Elaeocarpus, with E. ganitrus being the principal species used in the making of a bead chain or mala.
Rudraksha grows in the area from the Gangetic Plain in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam, and Hawaii. Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer shell of blue color when fully ripe, and for this reason are also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is derived not from pigment but is structural. It is an evergreen tree that grows quickly. Rudraksha Tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years. As the tree matures, the roots buttress rising up narrowly near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground.
Rudraksha beads are the material from which malas (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of mālā made from them. In this sense, a rudraksha is a rosary, used for repetitive prayer (japa), a common aid to worship in Hinduism. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.
The seeds show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. Different qualities are attributed to the rudraksha based on the number of grooves, or ‘faces’ that it has. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva. It can only be worn with red string or a gold chain.
Rudraksha Mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary at least from the 10th century onwards for meditation purposes and to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). One Hindu legend says that once Lord Shiva opened His eyes after a long period yogic meditation, because of extreme fulfillment He shed out a tear. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is blue in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uni-seed may have 1 to 21 faces.
Our Holy books says a lot for Rudrakshas
—Hey Shonak ! You possess great intellect and wisdom. I am going to describe in brief the glory of Rudraksha, which is a divine form of Shiva.
—This Rudraksha is closest to Shiva’s heart. It is extremely sacred. It is said that by the virtue, touch and worshipping of Rudraksha brings about destruction of all evils.
—Firstly, Lord Shiva’s desire for the benefit of mankind, he described the glory of Rudraksha to Devi Parvati.
–Hey Maheshani ! Listen to the power and glory of Rudraksha. Because of your love, I say this for the welfare and benefit of devotees.
–Hey Maheshani ! Long ago, while practicing self-restraint and meditation for thousands of years my mind was agitated.
—Therefore Hey Parmenshani ! For the preservation of entire universe I closed my eyes tightly.
—As a result a few drops of water fell down from my eyelids. Trees were born from these tears (on earth), which were named as “Rudraksha” trees.
—To oblige the devotees, these Rudraksha trees became inanimate. On account of the devotees of Vishnu and the four castes these Rudraksha tress originated in ‘Gaurdesh’. These trees were grown forcefully to eradicate the evil groups at Shiva’s favorite places, namely, – Mathura, Ayodhya, Lanka, Malaya, Kashi, and ten other countries.
—The Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudras have originated be many orders. Rudraksha found on earth also have the above four caste. Bhadraksha is also a species of Rudraksha.
—Intellectuals have differentiated Rudraksha into four groups according to their color, namely, – White, red, yellow and black. Humans should wear Rudraksha according to their caste.
— Those men who desire wealth, passion and salvation (moksha) should wear the Rudraksha in the order of their of numbers. Specially, the devotees of Shiva should wear Rudraksha to get the blessings of Shiva.
—Rudraksha the size of an Ambla is of best quality. Rudraksha the size of a fruit of jujube tree is considered to be of moderate quality.
—Rudraksha the size of a gram seed is of inferior quality. Hey Parvati !, I am telling you for the benefit of devotees with love, hear carefully the supreme knowledge of its process which is beyond the range of perception.
—Hey Maheshwari ! Rudraksha the size of a fruit of jujube tree is enough to bring about happiness and prosperity in the world.
—Rudraksha the size of a fruit of an Ambla can destroy all kinds of evil and viscous effects. Rudraksha the size of a wheat grain is provider of all kind of success.
—The smaller the size of a Rudraksha, more are its benefits, as said by the saints
—Rudraksha is worn for the purpose of destroying all sins. Wearing of Rudraksha is most important for the accomplishment and fulfillment of ones purpose.
—Hey Parmeshwari !, in this world the Rudraksha Rosary is incomparable. No other Rosary is as divine and beneficial as the Rudraksha Rosary.
—Plain, smooth, tough, big and thorny Rudraksha are considered beneficial. Rudraksha bestowed with the property of providing accomplishment of all desires and moksha (salvation).
Rudraksha, which are bitten by insects, without thorns, cracked and not round are not acceptable.
—Rudraksha with a natural hole is of best quality. Rudraksha with a hole made by human efforts is of medium quality.
—Wearing of Rudraksha destroys all sins. A person who wears 1100 Rudraksha on his body becomes equivalent to the Lord Rudra (Shiva).
—The benefit of wearing these 1100 Rudraksha cannot be described even in hundred years.
—Any devotee, who wears 550 Rudraksha in a correct manner in the form of a crown, is also benefited.
—Making three folds of 360 Rudraksha and wearing it as a ‘Yajno Pavita’ (worn over the left shoulder and hanging down under the right), with devotion will also give immense results.
—Hey Maheshwari ! Three Rudraksha should be worn on the ‘Sikhs’ (the top knot of the Hindus). Six Rudraksha should be worn in each ear.
—101 Rudraksha around the neck, 11 in each arms, 11 in each wrist and Karpur Dwar should be worn.
—Three Rudraksha as ‘Yajno Pavita’ and five around the hips should be worn by the humans devoted towards Lord Shiva.
—Hey Parmeshwari ! One who wears Rudraksha according to the following numbers becomes ‘Divya’ and laudable. In this manner he gains resemblance to Mahesh.
—Any one who watches a person sitting on a mat, wearing Rudraksha and he who pronounces the name of Shiva in a monotone gets released from all evils.
—This is the procedure for wearing 1100 Rudraksha. In the absence of this procedure, I will tell you some other ways of wearing Rudraksha, which are beneficial.
–One in Sikha, 30 on the fore head, 50 around the throat, 16 each on both the arms is the number of Rudraksha, which should be worn.
—12 on each of the wrist, 5 on the shoulder and 108 in the form of ‘Yajno Pavita’ are the number of Rudraksha beads to be worn.
—One who is determined and wears 1000 Rudraksha in this way becomes equivalent to Rudra and all Gods bow in front of him.
—Whoever wears one in the Sikhs, 40 on the forehead, 32 on the throat, 108 on the heart, then 6 each in both the ears, 16 each on the arms, 12 or 24 on the hands, Rudraksha in a holy way becomes a devotee of Shiva and is worshipped and adored by everyone like Shiva, whenever they are watched by others. (At that moment person wearing Rudraksha becomes adorable.
—The use of “Ishan Mantra” for the forehead, “Tatpurusha Mantra” for the ears, and “Aghor Mantra” for the throat and heart is recommended for wearing Rudraksha.
—Wise man should wear Rudraksha on hands chanting Aghor & Seed Mantra and on stomach 15 Rudraksha chanting Vaamdev Mantra.
— On the other organs of the body 3, 5 or 7 rosaries can be worn chanting “Panch Brahma Mantra” or by chanting “Seed Mantra”
— The use of alcohol, non-veg, garlic, onion etc is prohibited for the person who wears Rudraksha.
—Hey Uma ! According to the caste Brahmins should wear white, Kshatriya should wear red, Vaishya should wear yellow and Shudras should wear black Rudraksha.
— People of all caste can wear Rudraksha. Wearing a Rudraksha takes a person closer to God whereas relinquishing it takes a man to hell. Rudraksha smaller than the size of an Ambla, broken, without a hole and eaten by insects should not be worn by people who are taking part in auspicious deed. Rudraksha the size of gram seed is praised. Rudraksha is comparable to a Shivling. It is both exquisite and praise worthy, as is said by Shiva.