Rudraksha is called the Power Bead. It is said to have come from the tears of Lord Shiva. The 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.
TRIPURASUR LEGEND OF RUDRAKSHA
According to the holy books, there was a demon named Tripurasur, who had divine energy and power. He was so powerful that no one could destroy him. Not even the deities or Lord Vishnu or Lord Brahma. So while Lord Shiva was meditating for the safety and good of the earth, this demon “Tripurasur” was destroying all the innocents. When all the deities and the Gods failed to kill him, they decided to turn to Lord Shiva. To kill Tripurasur, 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 lotus shaped 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 for the welfare and happiness of all the living beings, when Lord Shiva opens his lotus shaped 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.
And yet another version of Rudraksha is that Lord Shiva was very sad and depressed after the death of his wife, Goddess Gauri (one of the forms of Goddess Parvati). He started crying and wandering around in search for her and during this time, his tears that fell on the earth and the Mother Earth enfolded them and gave birth to Rudraksha trees and fruit of the Rudraksha trees is called Rudraksha.
LORD SHIVA & RUDRAKSHA
Lord Shiva is always envisioned as wearing the Rudraksha malas/rosaries on his head, around his arms and hands. This has brought about the enormous religious, spiritual, physical and materialistic importance of Rudraksha and as a passage to spiritual enlightenment and liberation. Rudraksha is mostly worn by the devotees of Lord Shiva, but anyone can wear it as long as they believe in the powers of Rudraksha. It is believed to be so powerful that it not just erases all your sins but it also gives you liberation (Moksha) from all the worldly boundaries. The medical values of the Rudraksha are so humongous and innumerable and they are a huge gift to the natural herbalists and Ayurveda.
Holy books like Shiv Maha Puran, Sreemad Devi Bhagwat, Padma Puran, Linga Puran, Ashtamalik Upanishad, Nirnayasindhoo, Mantra Maharnava, Mahakaal Sanmhita, Rudraksha Jabal Upanishad, Vrihaj Jabal Upanishad, Shiva Swarodaya and Sarvollas Tantra, mention that Lord Shiva removed the restrictions on any caste and creed and glorified all the 4 varnas (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) to use Rudraksha beads for their spiritual and physical well-being. It is regarded as a very powerful bead, that if the one wearing it accidentally dies, he/she will definitely attain liberation (Moksha) and will be free of all the sins.
In 1960s, the virtues of the Rudraksha were studied and documented by a group of scientists in India. The lead of this group was Dr.Subas Rai, PHD Institute of Technology University, Banaras, India. The research promoted and supported that as mentioned in the scriptures about Rudraksha, it does have very powerful Electromagnetic, Paramagnetic and Elementary Properties which have helpful and healing powers. In current times, many schools where they teach Yoga, support the religious, scientific and spiritual importance of Rudraksha.