Rudraksha Wisdom

Rudraksha is highly esteemed among all the natural items used in the practices either done or performed following the Hindu scriptures. For those, who worship Lord Shiva above all, it is equivalent to none other than the Lord Shiva Himself. The term rudraksha combines two Sanskrit words within itself- rudra, means the Lord Shiva; and aksha, means the eyes. Thus, the rudraksha means the eyes of Shiva. That is why it is of such importance in the spiritual practices that have for the centuries been recommended by Shaiva-mat- a particular doctrine in Hinduism that considers Shiva as the supreme deity referring to Him as Sada-shiva, the everlasting shiva; and also as the Devadhideva Maha-deva, the greatest God among all the gods

The word rudra is significant in two ways. Firstly, when shiva plays the role of the Destroyer, according to Hindu theology, he is referred to as rudra. Thus, rudra is the god personified for the destroying power that incarnates in eleven appearances, each one energized with his core-power, mythologically called his wife. The texts state the name of each rudra-incarnation with his wife in this order- the rudra named manyu is associated with his wife named dhee, manu with vritti, mahinas with ushna, mahan with uma, shiv with niyuti, ritadhwaj with sarpi, ugrereta with ila, bhav with ambika, kaal with irawati, vamdev with sudha, and dhritavrat with diksha. Scholars say that since every incarnation of rudra makes destroying possible through his wife-like core-power, there are eleven ways of destruction in the universe at the most with each incarnation having a specific weapon. Similarly, the rudraksha destroys the obstacles using eleven ways- dhee, the meditating power; vritti, the occupational caliber; ushna, the desire; uma, the name and fame; niyuti, the inspiration; sarpi, the essence of forces; ila, the intellect; ambika, the generating power; irawati, the satisfactory power; sudha, the immortal power; and diksha, the initiation.

Secondly, the rudraksha is connected to the tantra. Among all the tantric scriptures, the rudragmas have for the centuries been trusted for manners in which hurdles can be destroyed. Additionally, the rudragamas have also been considered adequate to blossom one's consciousness up to the maximum that is itself the state of rudra. (Sourced from the Rudrayamala, one of the most regarded tantric scriptures, in the 131st verse of its first chapter: sakshat-rudro na sanshayah.) Such spiritual practices which uplift one to the state of rudra are not only severe but also, according to rudrayamala, not open to description:

Vaanchha-kalpadrumam tantram shiva-samskar-samskritam.
Aprakashyam kriya-saaram sahasra-stuti-rajitam.

The techniques described in the eighteen rudragamas can easily be implemented simply by using the rudraksha. In vedic and tantric spiritual practices, the rudraksha plays a significant role. Apart from its traditional use in mantra-jaap, it is useful to simply wear it. It is also used in ayurveda, the body of traditional Indian medicine and the oldest in the world, for curing of or protecting from numerous ailments. Even modern science accepts the effectiveness of rudraksha in the light of various experiments done from time to time.

The origin of rudrakshas is mythologically associated with the tears of shiva. The puranas like agni-puran, skand-puran, shiva-puran, ling-puran tell the story behind its origin. It is said that Shiva was in grief because of the sudden death of sati, his wife, who sacrificed her life by jumping into the yajna-fire at her father's house. Mourning, he carried her body on his shoulder and wandered with tearful eyes. Wherever his tears were dropped on the earth, the trees of rudraksha were germinated. The seed of this very tree were found to be of much use and is now called the rudraksha.

Rudrakshas are found in mainly four colors- white, red, yellow, and black. Of these the black is considered the most beneficial, followed by the yellow, red and white, in that order. As for its size, it varies from that of a black pepper to myrobalan. According to the texts, the smaller the rudraksha the more power it has within itself, though the one-faceted and gaurishankar rudrakshas are exceptions. These are normally found bigger in size. As far as the number of facets is concerned, one-faceted, ek-mukhi, to twenty-one-faceted, ek-vinsh-mukhi, rudrakshasa are found, besides the gaurishankar which is a twin-shaped rudraksha considered as the combined existence of gauri (parwati) and shankar (shiva) both. However, the rudrakshas from one-faceted to fourteen-faceted are most commonly found.

According to the number of facets a rudraksha has, its power and role and thus its usefulness differs. Only an expert can decide who is to use which variety. For using a rudraksha whether for wearing or for worshiping or for spiritual practices or otherwise, the scriptures have set hard and fast norms which dictate who should start using it at which time, sitting in which sort of asana, following which type of ritual and the lifestyle to be followed after starting its use, etc.

It needn't be said that the use of a rudraksha is a completely personalized process. If it is not properly followed, it is just another bead of which one should have no expectation from. Above all, the genuineness of a rudraksha plays a significant role. The genuineness of a rudraksha is a matter of expertise. So, the role of an expert in the selection and use of a suitable rudraksha cannot be stressed enough and is supported by all the holy texts.

For those who use the rudraksha following all the scriptural norms, as the shiva-puran claims, nothing is more beneficial and auspicious in this visible world

Yatha cha drishyate loke rudrakshah phaladah shubhah.
Na tatha drishyate anya cha malika parmeshwari.

Importance of Rudraksha

Our Vedic scriptures and Shastra claim that Rudraksha holds immense power for spiritual and materialistic enhancement. The spiritual energy of a Rudraksha is associated with the number of mukhi (faces of the beads) it posses. It has been medically proven that Rudraksha works effectively on following areas:
  • Natural Electromagnetic properties of Rudraksha helps in increasing concentration and mental stamina.
  • When worn around neck, it has been found to control stress level, blood pressure, and hypertension.
  • Rudraksha rosary improves and balances the activity of neurotransmitters, dopamine, and serotonin levels.
  • Above all, Rudraksha helps immensely in one's spiritual journey toward the path of enlightenment.