Rudrakshas (Sanskrit: rudraksha = “Rudra’s eyes”)
The Sanskrit name is comprised of the words Rudra (another name for Lord Shiva) and akṣha (“eyes”). Also know as “the eyes of Lord Shiva”.
The Rudraksha bead is said to originally come from Shiva’s tears. According to mythology, Lord Shiva was said to have spent 1000 years in meditation for the benefit of all beings, and upon opening his eyes, tear drops rolled down from his eyes and landed upon the earth taking birth as the sacred Rudraksha tree.
It is said that the Rudraksha evolved from the eyes of Lord Shiva, with Rudra being another name for Lord Shiva and Aksha meaning eyes. Aksha also refers to the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet- called Varna- and as such, can be inferred as a seed in which a group of Sanskrit letters called Varna reside.
The eye of Rudra 9Shiva) is considered to be the most potent manifestation of the Cosmic Force. Hence, the Rudraksha is the object of veneration and also the source to reach the higher self. Rudraksha is often believed to symbolize the link between the earth and the heaven.
Rudraksha beeds are very rare and precious. Spiritually they have been worn and used for meditation, japa mantra, and pujas/fire ceremonies for many centuries. Asian Yogis and Monks found that merely wearing the Rudraksha beads gave them astonishingly tremendous amount of tranquility, concentration that helped them meditate for a long period of time with spectacular control over their mind. Buddha wore Rudraksha beads, along with the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and many enlightened Indian yogis.
From ancient times, the power of Holy Rudraksha beads have been scripted in various religious texts found in the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads. The divine qualities of this bead were first noted in ancient Hindu scriptures and have been proclaimed down through the ages: they bless one with peace of mind; protects against evil doers and spirits; protects the wearer against an early or untimely accidental death; if wearing the bead upon dying one would be released from the karmic cycle of birth and death: blesses one with nirvana, moksha, peace and prosperity. Each Rudraksha acts like a bio-energy generator, charging the wearer’s energy field, chakras, kundalini energy, and the 108 sensitive nerve centers in the human brain.
Forming naturally from the Rudraksha tree, they grow in the wild, and also in sustainable plantations. The Rudraksha trees and beads found in the Himalayas are said to hold the greatest power and strength, as they are fed by the holy lands and rivers of the Himalayas. They are found in the Himalayas in India and Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam, and Hawaii. Most of the Rudraksha trees, however, are found in the South Eastern Asian Islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Iran, Java, Timor (Indonesia) Nepal, and India. Around 70% of the Rudraksha trees are found in Indonesia, 25% in Nepal and 5% in India.
Medicinally they are known to: heal many of the mind & body ailments, be cooling when worn against the skin, reduce heart disease and lower blood pressure, increase mental clarity, memory & general awareness, calm the central nervous system, quiet the mind & free one from negative thoughts, increase immunity, energy & stamina, and rejuvenate the entire mind & body.
Extensive scientific research has been conducted over the years by leading scientists in universities in India, and now also in the west. Their findings have proven that Rudraksha beads have certain electrical and magnetic properties, and when worn against the skin, and especially over the heart, act on our human neural network in a number of beneficial ways. It can balance the heart’s magnetic field, control pulse rate, improve blood circulation, and purify the blood. When we wear Rudrakshas we are literally carrying sacks of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen against our bodies as we soak up the vibration of these pure living organisms. Rudrakshas also increase negative ion levels and act directly on our central nervous system, by releasing certain chemicals in our bodies that are responsible for positive emotions and a calm mind. Many people for this reason alone have found freedom from stress, depression and lethargy when using Rudrakshas. Rudrakshas are also said to absorb and store solar energy, and thus releases and distributes this solar power into all parts of the body.
A typical Rudraksha Mala is made with the auspicious number of 108+1 bead. The +1 bead is called the Sumeru or The Guru Bead and it is not supposed to be crossed while chanting mantra- it is considered as a boundary for returning in the reverse direction for further counting. In this way, the Guru or Sumeru Bead is placed at the top when holding the Mala and represents the Absolute or the Guru and is not meant to be crossed during mantra japa or recitation, as it is a symbol of the Absolute or Supreme Consciousness, and out of respect, we never ‘step over it’ or cross it.
You can use your Mala to wear on your body for protection, blessings, good fortune, health & well-being, and for spiritual evolution. Many people where the Guru bead at the top of the Mala behind the neck to represent the Divine or the Guru as the highest state of Awareness. As well, you can use the Mala as it is traditionally used for meditation and Japa (chanting mantra repetitively).
The varieties of Rudraksham range from 1-36… faces /mukhis. The greater the number of faces, the rarer the bead.
Although, the 1-mukhi is the rarest of all. Energetically, it is priceless.
Rudraksham (the plural of “Rudraksha”) have “special and specific powers, or radiant qualities that are quantifiable”; and these powers vary from bead to bead dependent upon their different mukhis or faces.
Most Rudraksha Malas- unless specifically made otherwise- use 5-faced or 5 Mukhi Rudraksha beads, which represent Shiva or the Absolute. It has many benefits & properties. The 5 Face Rudrakshas are said to be beneficial to heal the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, breasts, sexual disorders, memory, bone, arthritis, ears, thighs, and regulate blood pressure, diabetes, fat, and purifies the blood. Overall, it is great for one’s health. It is also said to promote fame, peace & prosperity, and dissolves karma & fear. It is used for Spiritual Evolution. Wearing Rudrakshas result in the destruction of negative karma from previous births that cause difficulties in the present life.
Rudraksha beads are widely used in Ayurveda to cure several diseases. Rudraksha Therapy is a very effective way to aid in curing diseases and is proved to be better than crystal or magnetic therapy.
In recent years, studies show that wearing Rudraksha beads combats the effects of stress, including hypertension, depression, and high blood pressure without the harmful and often addictive side-effects of tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers. Studies show that men and women experience heightened energy levels, stamina, and peace of mind within a few hours of placing Rudraksha beads in direct contact of their chest region. In the long term, Rudraksha beads have been shown to reverse the effects of stress, alleviate depression, eliminate anxiety and other mood disorders, as well as improve concentration, enhance relaxation and exhibit anti-aging properties.