Scientifically, Rudraksha is a seed that comes from Elaeocarpus tree, commonly known as the Rudrasha tree. The seed has a fleshy outer shell, which when fully ripe, turns into a blue colour. They are also called blueberry seeds or beads. The Rudrasha tree is green throughout the year and grows real quick and starts bearing fruit within three to four years.
Spiritually, term Rudraksha is a formation of two words. Rudra and Aksha. Rudra is one of the other names of Lord Shiva and Aksha means teardrops.
According to the holy books, while Lord Shiva was meditating for the safety and good of the earth, the devil “Tripurasur/Tarakasur” was destroying the mankind. To kill Tarakasur, Lord Shiva used a weapon called “Aaghor” which caused mass destruction and disorder. Seeing this, Lord Shiva was saddened and a compassionate teardrop fell from his eyes. The teardrop grew into a Rudraksha tree.
Another version of the origin of the Rudraksha tree is, after a long and deep meditation of many years, when Lord Shiva opens his eyes, a tear fell from his eyes and grew into a tree called the Rudraksha tree. As per Hindu Holy Books, tears falling from Lord Shiva’s eyes are bad luck for humankind. But this teardrop that became into a Rudraksha tree is considered a symbol of compassion.
So the Rudraksha bead is the bead of Power, cures many emotional and physical ailments. History shows that people who wear Radraksha beads have benefited in good health, protection from evil, prosperity, emotional problems being solved and most of all spiritual empowerment.
For thousands of years, it is believed that the Rudraksha holds the secret of the universe’s growth, in itself. There is a lot written about the powers of Rudraksha in many Hindu holy books. Those who wear Rudraksha are protected from all negativity.
Classification Of Rudraksha Beads :
Rudraksha can be classified based on the mukhis (faces) , type of beads , botanical variety of the plant, origin & size.
- Mukhis : Rudraksha can be classified on the basis of mukhis. There are many Mukhis (also called as Faces) in a Rudraksha. it can have from 1 to 21 mukhis. Each Rudraksha , depending on the number of faces or mukhis in it, has different effects on the person who wears it. The cost & availability also varies based on the mukhis.
- Type of beads : These can be simple beads like 1 mukhi to 21 mukhis or there can also be conjugated or complex beads like Gauri Shankar Rudraksha , Garb Gauri Rudraksha , Ganesh Rudraksha etc.
- Botanical variety of the plant : based on this there can be chikna or java variety of rudraksha.
- Origin: the beads that grow in a specific geographic locations , usually these beads are from Nepal, Indonasia , or India . There are some varieties that grow in china too , but they are of very bad quality.
- Size : the size of the bead can vary from 3mm to 27mm.
Authenticity Test for Rudrakasha Beads
Each mukhi is a compartment for a living seed inside the Rudraksha. Rudraksha has a central natural channel in it through which a thread can be passed. The power and the properties in a Rudraksha comes from the living seeds inside it.
In a single mukhi (Ek Mukhi) Rudraksha the central channel is very narrow, almost a micro channel through which even a thread cannot be passed. In any rudraksha If you try to drill the channel to widen it, it may directly kill the seeds inside or it will cause micro cracks in the Rudraksha & let some bacteria or microbes to go in and kill the seed. Once the living seed inside the Rudraksha is dead, a Rudraksha is of no use.
You may also get forged plastic Rudrakshas. The only ways to check the authenticity of a Rudraksha is by either holding it in front of the fire, in which case it might melt if it is made of plastic or it will burn if it is a genuine Rudraksha. You may loose the genuine Rudraksha but at least you will know that you cannot trust the person who sold it to you.
Another way to test the Authenticity of a Rudraksha is to get a X-ray done. Though, again, the harsh radiation of the X-ray might kill the living seed inside the Rudraksha and make it useless, you will still be able to see the actual compartments and the seeds inside the Rudraksha.
These days there a lot of Rudraksha being sold along with a small X-Ray sheet of the seeds inside , as a proof of authenticity. But we strongly suggest not to go for such rudraksha , because the harsh Ionizing X-ray has already killed or diseased the seeds inside. hence it has no intended or proposed Power.
Rudrakha japmalas are easily available and can be used for meditation or chanting mantras or to be worn. A japamala made from 108 + 1 beads of 8mm panchmukhi Rudraksha (5 face rudraksha) is commonly used & this japamala can be used by anyone without any astrologers consultation. Japamalas can be made with any combination of different types of Rudraksha or stone beads. But traditionally the mala has beads in counts or multiples of 9 (like 108 beads , or 54 beads etc). you can also have japamala that indents with a special bead at every 9th count.
At the end of each mala is a Sumeru bead which completes the mala.
There are 38 varieties of Rudraksha. A few of them are Ganesh Rudraksha, Gauri Shankar, Garbh Gauri, Trijuti Rudraksha. And of course the Rudraksha with mukhis 1 to 21.
Please be warned that there is another seed which looks exactly like a Rudraksha but is called Badraksh. It is the seed of poison. it is filled with minute Phyto toxins that effects the persons health on a long run. It destroys and it is easily available in the market, sold as a Rudraksha. So please buy a real Rudraksha from a known source or a well renowned source. and don’t get cheated. Rudraksha grows at the sea level or 3000 feet above it. Mostly found in the Himalayas, Nepal, Indonesia. Whereas Badraksh is grows in China.
Rudraksha has been there for thousands of years and it has a lot qualities that helps with emotional and physical problems like blood pressure, depression, knowledge, concentration, education, self-confidence, self-empowerment, peace of mind, good relationships, blocks negativity in life, enhances spiritual well-being, etc. It brings happiness and gives you the ability to live a fearless harmonious life.