Story of Rudraksha And Shiva: ‘Rudra’ is beautiful name of our beloved and most powerful Shiva and ‘Aksh’ means tears. Therefore Rudraksha means the tears of Lord Shiva. Rudraksha beads have been used since ages. All the yogis, saints and spiritualists wear these mystic beads for staying in touch with the Divine.
This material world, as per Bhagavata Purana and Bhagvad Gita, brims with miseries. This place is called dhukhalaya a plaace (alaya) of misery (dukha) wherein the living entities continue to suffer ceaselessly from the pangs of birth, disease, old age and death. Considering the fateful survival of the living beings, Lord Shiva once went into deep meditation for the happiness of all living creatures trapped in the material bodies. When He woke up, He opened His majestic eyes and tear drops fell on the Earth. These tear drops took the form of seeds that later on became Rudraksha trees. Rudraksha henceforth meant ‘The Tear of Lord Shiva‘. The dried fruits from the Rudraksha tree form Rudraksha beads are thus used as prayer beads and also worn for innumerable benefits.
Rudraksha seed: Evolution of Cosmos
We have always seen the idols or images of Lord Shiva wearing Rudraksha. Lord Shiva is always depicted wearing Rudraksha beads on his head, arms and hands. With this, there came up the religious and spiritual significance of Rudraksha. It is believed that the Rudraksha contains the secrets of the entire evolution of Cosmos within it. Disciples devoted to Lord Shiva always wear Rudraksha to lead a peaceful life and also for deeper meditation. It helps maintain good health, gain self-empowerment and lead a fearless life. Rudraksha beads are renowned for their divine protection and are worn on the body individually or as a chain (Mala).
Scientifically, the holy Rudraksha tree is known as ‘Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb’ and belongs to the family Tiliaceae, a huge evergreen broad-leaved tree with a wide crown. Attitudinally, its habitat starts from sea-coast and goes up to 2,000 meters. Geographically it is found growing naturally and abundantly in tropical and subtropical areas. It is perennial in habitat and almost 15 to 60 meter in height. This tree grows fast and carries these seeds/fruits within seven years. Such trees are mostly found in abundance in Nepal, in the Himalayan slopes and also in parts of India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Its English name is Utrasum Bead Tree. In Indonesia the Rudraksha Tree is called Ganitri Tree or Jenitri Tree. Around 70% of the Rudraksha trees are found in Indonesia, 25% in Nepal and 5% in India.
Blueberry: The fruit of Rudraksha
Rudraksha beads are the seeds of Rudraksha fruits that grow on Rudraksha trees. Its beads are protected by an outer shell of blue color on fully ripening, so they are also called ‘blueberry’ beads and the honeyed savouring fruit flesh can be used to heal various diseases. It is kept in water for a number of days and then Rudraksha is taken out after peeling off the pulp.
Used in healing and meditation:
Shiva has gifted this magical Rudraksha to mankind. Rudraksha is often believed to symbolize the link between earth and heaven, between man and God. Hence Rudraksha is the sole purpose of worship and also a source to reach the higher self. Rudraksha can be characterized in the form of 1 Mukhi to 21 Mukhis. It is believed that people seeking success and a contented life must wear Rudraksh. And it is also believed, Rudraksha bead also nullifies the effects of malefic planets to a great extent. They offer security to the wearer. Not a single bead is considered to be as auspicious and powerful as a Rudraksha.