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Monday, March 06, 2006


Greatness of RUDRAKASHA – By Stephen Knapp

According to legend, when Lord Shiva looked upon the suffering world, he shed a tear ofcompassion. From that tear grew the Rudraksha, which literally means "Rudra's (Shiva's) tears".The name also means "Under the protection of Lord Rudra."Rudraksha beads are naturally occurring seeds of the Elaeocarpus ganitrus tree. Each isidentified by the number of "faces" or "mouths" (called mukhis in Sanskrit) that it has, which arethe furrows that run the length of each seed. The Vedic texts speak of beads with one to up to 38faces, but normally there are one to 14 faces that are used. In ancient times these naturallyforming beads would have been appreciated by the forest dwelling sages for the ease with whichmeditation beads could be made from them. They only need to be picked from the ground andcleaned before being strung. The holes by which they are strung are natural in all beads with fourfaces or more. After some time it was noticed that the seeds had different features, like the various Vedicgods, such as four-headed Brahma, the six-headed Karttikeya, etc. Thus the number of facesindicate the presiding deity of that particular Rudraksha and the powers it was said to possess.The traditional attributes given to the Rudraksha bead were then recorded in the ancient Puranichistories which date back to the third millennia BCE. Rudrakshas are thought to possess many healing properties as well as magical powers.Their use as medicine, whether ground up and combined with other medicines or worn, has beendocumented far into ancient times. Today most people choose to avail themselves of thosemedicinal effects by wearing Rudraksha garlands or malas. A Rudraksha mala is said to lowerblood pressure, calm the nerves, cool fevers, quiet the disturbed minds of those affected withinsanity and other mental disorders. Rudraksha malas are worn by pregnant mothers to protecttheir unborn children and cool the body. In Ayurvedic terminology Rudraksha lowers Pitta,reduces Kapha and calms Vata. Drinking water in which a single bead has soaked overnight isthought to introduce these medicinal effects as well.It is most likely that in India you will see many yogis, munis, swamis and saints wearingstrings of Rudraksha beads. The brown red bead has become quite popular. Today you will alsosee Rudraksha shaped into jewelry in the form of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants andeven buttons. It is also quite popular with Indian students as it is said to please the goddessSarasvati, the goddess of learning, thus increasing the intellectual skills and communicativepowers. It is also said to have anti-aging properties, and rejuvenate and revitalize the body, souland mind. Each Rudraksha has particular mantras and certain days of the week for its use.Radraksha can be worn or kept in a place of worship. They should be honored as a manifestationof the Divine. One should not wear Rudraksha to the toilet or during sex, and ideally they shouldbe bathed in scented oil and worshiped daily. Genuine Rudraksha are quite rare, especially the more exotic varieties. Some beads aremuch rarer than others and therefore demand a higher price. The special traits of the differentRudraksha beads are described as follows:Single Faced RudrakshaThe single faced Rudraksha is quite rare and is considered to be a manifestation of LordShiva. Hence the one faced Rudraksha bead should be worn on the neck or kept in a place ofworship and should certainly be rubbed with pure scented oil daily. The daily morning worshipof the single faced Rudraksha is said to bring about all auspiciousness. Persons who keep one faced Rudraksha never run short of money, suffer fromcatastrophic diseases or sorrows. They become famous, wealthy and powerful. These Rudrakshasbring respect and honor to their wearers and create a general aura of favorable circumstances inall walks of life.The one faced Rudraksha should be worn on a red thread or string enclosed in a gold orsilver cap. The mantra om namo shivaya should be chanted when worshiping or wearing thisRudraksha and the best day to wear it is said to be Monday.First rate quality single faced Rudrakshas are expensive and can be as high as $500 ormore when available. The texts that describe Rudraksha state that there should be noconsideration in the mind of the devotee that one bead may be stronger than another due topricing in the market, size or other mundane attempts to measure the value of Rudraksha, whichare directly Shiva himself, complete, absolute and immeasurable. Second rate quality seeds aresaid to possess the same powers. They are also available with silver caps ready for stringing. Two Faced RudrakshaThe two faced Rudraksha is said to represent Shiva-Shakti, the Cosmic Creative Principleand His Consort, the Manifestive Material Potency. Shiva and Parvati Devi are the two greatestbhaktas (practitioners of the yoga of devotion) and this Rudraksha is said to be of use to thosewho wish to advance on this path. The two faced Rudraksha should be worn on a red thread or a gold or silver chain. Aftertouching it to the feet of a Shiva Linga or a deity of Durga Mata, it can be worn with reciting themantra sri gauri shankaraya namaha.Three Faced RudrakshaThe three faced Rudraksha is said to represent the manifest trinity of Brahma, Vishnu andShiva, the presiding deities of Creation, Maintenance and Destruction respectively. Those whowear the three faced Rudraksha are said to please all of the gods, and nullify all inauspiciousplanetary influences. The three faced Rudraksha should be washed in Ganges water and worn on three threads,white, yellow and red. It should be put on a Sunday after sunrise with the mantra om brahmavishnu mahesh devaya namaha. Four Faced RudrakshaFour faced Rudraksha is considered to be a representation of four headed Brahma, theCreator of the material universe. Students, poets, scientists and those seeking academic posts, areadvised to wear this Rudraksha. Those who wear it will become esteemed in social circles,learned, respected and honored, people will seek them out for advice and they will be given greatresponsibility. It should be strung on a red thread and worn on a Thursday with the mantra ombrahma devaya namaha. Five Faced RudrakshaThe five faced Rudraksha is a manifestation of the five-headed Lord Shiva. It is the mostcommon form of Rudraksha beads. Wearing it is said to satisfy all of one's desires. It should beworn on a red thread after touching it to a Shiva Lingam while chanting the mantra om namahashivaya on any day of the week. Japa (recitation of mantras) performed on a rosary of five facedRudrakshas is always fruitful. The wearing of such a garland is also considered to be of greatbenefit. Six Faced RudrakshaThe six faced Rudraksha is said to represent Lord Shiva's powerful and benevolent son,Kartikeya. Kartikeya, who has six heads, is the Commander-General of the celestial armies.Known to protect children from childhood diseases caused by witches, ghosts and other subtlecauses, he is quite fierce in the protection of those who take shelter of him. Diseases of fire and blood are said to be alleviated by wearing this Rudraksha, includinghigh blood pressure, all kinds of fevers, headaches, stomach problems, etc. For students andintellectual types the six faced Rudraksha is also recommended. It is also considered very usefulin cases of mania and other mental disturbances, especially those with supernatural overtones. Three seeds should be worn together for the greatest effect on Monday after touching it toa Shiva Lingam with the mantra om shivaya kartikeyaya namaha. Seven Faced RudrakshaThe seven faced Rudraksha represents the seven forms of the Supreme goddess ofFortune, the Mother of the Universe, Sri Maha Lakshmi. This Rudraksha is said to bring money,luck and power to those who wear it. Those who are interested in success in business arerecommended to wear this Rudraksha. The Lakshmi Rudraksha should be worn on a red threadafter touching it to a Shiva Lingam while reciting the mantra om sri mahalakshmi namaha. Eight Faced RudrakshaThe eight faced Rudraksha represents the popular elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva,Ganesh. Lord Ganesh, who possesses eight forms, is the god of talents, opportunity, marriage andgood luck. He is said to remove obstacles from our life's path as well as make smooth and strongour determination to succeed. Useful on special occasions as well as for daily use, the eight facedRudraksha should be worn on a red thread on any day of the week with the mantra sadamangalam ganeshaya namaha. Nine Faced RudrakshaThe nine faced Rudraksha represents the Goddess Durga, whose name means a "fortress"or "citadel". Mother Durga, the Consort of Lord Shiva and who appears in nine forms, is theGreat Goddess of the world and serves as the superintendent over those who are incarceratedhere in this world. She wields twenty different weapons in ten different hands as well as herfamous trident which represents miseries inflicted by the mind, the environment and other livingbeings. By wearing the nine faced Rudraksha it is said that she may relieve us of our burdenssomewhat. This Rudraksha is especially recommended for women and Goddess worshipers andis said to grant them magical powers.The nine faced Rudraksha should be worn on a Monday on a red thread after washing itin Ganges water with the mantra maha shakti nava durgaya namaha. Ten Faced RudrakshaThe ten faced Rudraksha is sacred to Lord Vishnu, the worshipful deity of Shiva andParvati. This Rudraksha is of greatest benefit to the worshipers of Lord Vishnu. Each facerepresents one of the ten principal incarnations of Vishnu which include the Tortoise, the Fish,the Boar, the half-lion and half-man, the Dwarf, Sita-Rama, Parashurama, Krishna, Buddha, andKalki. This Rudraksha is said to relieve the wearer of mental disease and anxiety, nullify allinauspicious planetary influences and cure insanity. Those who wear the ten faced Rudrakshaalso become truthful, sharp-minded and pure. It should be worn on a red thread on a Sunday orThursday with the mantra om namo bhagavatey vasudevaya. Eleven Faced RudrakshaEleven faced Rudraksha represent the eleven Rudras, or the personification of universalanger that manifests at the end of the universe to destroy the cosmic manifestation. ThisRudraksha is considered an acceptable substitute for the rare one faced Rudraksha. ThisRudraksha removes all sorrows and disease and endows its owner with a long and happy life. The eleven faced Rudraksha should be worn on a red or yellow thread before sunrise withthe mantra sarva shaktim ishta devaya namaha. No more than one eleven faced Rudrakshashould be worn at a time. Twelve Faced RudrakshaThe twelve faced Rudraksha represents Surya, the Sun god who lives in twelve houses(the zodiac). Those who wear this Rudraksha are blessed with progeny, health, radiance, goodfortune, beauty and eloquence. This Rudraksha should be worn on a yellow thread with themantra om surya narayanaya namaha. The Surya Rudraksha should be worn or put on during a Sunday at sunrise. Only onetwelve faced bead should be worn at a time. Thirteen Faced RudrakshaThe thirteen faced Rudraksha is a representation of Rajendradev, or Indra, the king of thegods. This Rudraksha affords the wearer all regard. It is said to advance a person into positions ofleadership and is very important for those in administrative positions. It is also said to conferwealth, land and titles upon the wearer. It should be worn on a yellow thread, near the heart, withthe mantra devya indra devaya namaha. Fourteen Faced RudrakshaThe fourteen faced Rudraksha is an extremely rare manifestation of Lord Shiva,Mahadeva. Second only in potency to the one faced Rudraksha they often are more difficult tofind. Considered to confer perfect health and happiness on those who wear it, the fourteen facedRudraksha is very beneficial and extremely auspicious. For those who desire a radical change intheir lives, this rare talisman can create a wondrous effect.The fourteen faced Rudraksha should be worn on a Monday morning after washing itwith Ganges water and touching it to a Shiva lingam with the mantra om nama shivaya. Gauri-Shankara BeadsGauri-Shankara seeds are rare. They are two beads that have grown together in a pair. It issaid to bring wealth, health and marital happiness into the home where it is worshiped. It isconsidered, by authorities, to be more effective than the one faced Rudraksha. Scented oil shouldbe put on the Gauri-Shankara bead daily, and it should be worn on a red or yellow thread, aftertouching it to a Shiva Lingam, with the mantra om shiv shakti rudraya namaha. Thirteen Bead MalaThis is a special Rudraksha collector's talisman of great rarity, power and beauty. Amysterious and fascinating gift. It consists of one of each of the 13 different Rudraksha beadsstrung on a thread, spaced with smaller beads. It can be worn around the neck. [This article is available at: www.stephen-knapp.com]

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