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As per Shiva Purana, Rudraksha is derived from the sanskrit words “Rudra” and “Aksha” meaning eyes of Lord Shiva & considered to be formed while meditating with his eyes half open for number of years for the welfare of human being. After completion of his meditation when he closed his eyes, tear drops from his eyes fell on mother earth forming seeds that later on became the Rudraksha tree. As per Srimad DeviBhagwata, Lord Shiva on the request of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahesh & other God and Goddess destroyed the fortress of the demon “Tripurasur” who was a threat to the Universe & caused a lot of destruction to mankind. The consequences post the destruction brought tears in the eyes of Lord Shiva which fell on mother earth and give birth to Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha botanically known as “Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb.” is produced by “Utrasum” tree inhabits areas of Nepal, Indonesia and India. Rudraksha is covered by blue outer shell on ripening so it is called blue berry bead. The percentage compositions of gaseous elements present in Rudraksha contain 50.03% carbon, 0.95% nitrogen, 17.897% hydrogen and 30.53% oxygen is determined by C-H-N analyzer and by Gas chromatography.

Rudraksha beads are classified on the basis of the number of faces it has on its outer surface, thread like lines running completely from the top to the bottom, each representing a Lord according to Vedic texts, with a different corresponding effect, depending on the number of faces on it. Rudraksha beads from all origins are globular or elliptically round in shape with the exception of one faceted Rudraksha from India which has a half moon or crescent shape. Rudraksha beads from Nepal are considered the best in terms of commercial quality because of their size, appearance, formation, range & natural development. Rudraksha beads from Indonesia are cultivated on a large scale but are smaller in size due to the difference in soil, climate & farming conditions. Rudraksha beads have a natural hole in the center; where as one faceted Rudraksha from India does not have a natural hole. Rudraksha beads from Nepal have deep & well defined faces naturally formed on its outer surface with a lot of uneven natural protrusions where as beads from Indonesia have slightly smoother surface & their faces resemble thread like lines. Rudraksha beads have the same number of seeds equal to the number of faces it has on its external structure.

Rudraksha is a large, evergreen broad-leaved tree found in tropical and subtropical areas with temperature ranging between 25-30 degree at altitudes ranging from seacoast to 2000 meters above the sea level. The tree grows throughout the year and is about 50-200 feet high. The main trunk of the Rudraksha tree is cylindrical with a grayish white and rough textured bark. In Nature, leafy crown of a Rudraksha tree takes a pyramidal shape. The leaves of Rudraksha tree are shinning green on the upper side with a dull leathery dorsal side. Rudraksha flowers are white with fringed petals and they appear in April-May. Rudraksha fruits appear in June and ripen by August-October. Rudraksha fruits are globular in shape with a fleshy exterior & the bead present inside is hard and tubercled. Rudraksha farming is a difficult process due to the slow sprouting from the bead depending on the humidity of the soil, usually taking 1-2 years for a tree to sprout. The tree starts giving fruit after 7 years & a single Rudraksha tree bears beads in all different faces at the same time. The higher faces are very rare whereas most common Rudraksha bead is the five faceted. The environment and location of Rudraksha trees plays a major role in the bead formation and the type of bead formed. The beads from himalayan region are larger, heavier and more powerful due to the environment they grow in.

“Mala” is a set of beads strung together used in meditation to count repetitions of mantras by rotating the beads between thumb & ring finger also known as “Japa”. Mala consists of 108+1 beads and the beads used carry positive healing qualities that help the user to increase concentration, focus & providing relief from anxiety & stress. “Mala” during “Japa” helps a person to understand the meaning of the mantras chanted rather than thinking about the counting of Mantras.

Chanting of specific “Mantra” in large no. is called “Japa”. While doing “Japa”, mala should be held in the right hand between the thumb & the ring finger right below the eyes & should not go below the navel. The thumb & the ring finger should be used to rotate the bead signifying the completion of one “Mantra”. The “Sumeru” acts as the static point marking the beginning & the end of the “Mala” signifying the number of times “Mantra” has been chanted. After performing the “Japa”, the “Mala” should be touched with eyes to give it due respect & should be kept in a special bag in the pooja room. “Mala” used for wearing purpose should not be used for “Japa”.

A “Mala” would always have an extra bead whose total number is usually 108. The 109th bead is called “Sumeru”. The “Sumeru” acts as a static point marking the beginning & end of the “Mala”. One should always start the “Japa” with the bead next to “Sumeru”. The “Sumeru” helps in performing disciplined “Japa” as it ensures where exactly to start & how many times “Mantra” has to be chanted. The “Sumeru” is never to crossed over & every time the “Japa” reaches to “Sumeru”, the “Mala” has to be altered to start the “Japa” again..

Rudraksha from Nepal & Indonesia both belong to “Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb.” family as they both share the same internal structure though there might be slight differences on the external surface as beads from Nepal are very well formed, defined, have deep grooves & protrusions on the outer surface whereas in case of Indonesian beads, they are comparatively smooth & appearance of facets are like thread lines slightly etched in the outer surface. Rudraksha bead from both Nepal & Indonesia are globular & elliptically round in shape. Rudraksha bead from Nepal are bigger in size ranging between 12mm-42mm with an average size of 18mm where as size of beads from Indonesia range between 4mm-28mm with an average size of 12mm. The demand of Rudraksha bead from Nepal is more than its supply thus making its costlier than Indonesian Bead whose supply is excess than its demand. Rudraksha bead from Nepal are considered the best in terms of its formation, appearance & effect followed by Indonesian beads.

Rudraksha beads have amazing powers due to their bioelectrical & magnetic properties, empowering the bead to cure ailments related to stress like insomnia, alcoholism, depression, heart diseases, skin diseases etc. In modern age, 95% of the ailments are stress related, originating from the mind. When there is stress, the blood circulation becomes non-ideal & stress signals are sent to the central nervous system resulting in an increased activity or abnormality of neurons and neuro transmitters. We feel uncomfortable or ill due to disruption of streamlined flow of electrical signals throughout the mind-body interface. Rudraksha being dielectric in nature is capable of stabilizing & anchoring the flow of bioelectric current helpful in controlling hyperactivity, palpitations of heart & streamlining heartbeats caused due to stress. Rudraksha beads also acts as a resistance by controlling the flow of bioelectrical impulses to a specific or a particular brain chemical thereby effecting specific positive changes in personality depending upon the factor of resistance. Different Rudraksha beads have definitive factors of resistance, acting in tandem with heartbeat, streamlining it and sending out bioelectrical impulses to stimulate a specific brain chemical thereby effecting positive changes in personality, feeling us better, more confidants, poised and more energetic. Rudraksha beads also have permanent magnetic properties that help when there is any disruption of smooth blood circulation to & from heart to all parts of the body, by expanding & opening up the passage of arteries facilitating streamlined blood circulation & attracting the cells in the blood that are either positively or negatively charged. Rudraksha beads have the property to change its polarity also known as dynamic polarity and it acquires temporary magnetic field in presence of an external magnetic field. Blood circulation and heart beat induces a magnetic field around the body particularly the heart region giving rise to biomagnetism depending on the polarity of the induced magnetic field. Rudraksha bead acquires a polarity that is opposite to the inducing field resulting in opening up the passage of arteries better than that compared to a magnet which is extremely popular now days used for healing. Rudraksha beads have powerful anti ageing properties mainly due to dynamic polarity and can be termed to have some superior life or intelligence.

Rudraksha can be worn by all men, women & children, without any discrimination of caste, creed or religion as it is a gift of nature for the welfare of all human being. All Rudraksha beads are extremely holy, embodied with mystical powers & representations of different lords & in order to maintain their sanctity it should be treated with love, respect, faith & care. A Rudraksha bead or a combination of Rudraksha beads should not be given or exchanged with anyone, should not be worn during funeral procession, visiting a cemetery, in cremation ground, while engaging in sex, eating non-vegetarian food, drinking alcohol, inside labor room & during menstrual cycle in women. Rudraksha bead should be hidden below the clothing as it is not an object of fashion to display to everyone. In case of a mistake made while wearing, please remember not to repeat the same again. Above all, while not wearing Rudraksha, it should be kept safely in the pooja room.

It is the first step towards gaining maximum benefits of Rudraksha. Before wearing it for the first time, the Rudraksha should be energized on an auspicious day by performing “Rudrabhishek” with help of a priest or by self in pooja room following simple rituals. The Rudraksha should be placed on a fresh unused plate & washed with unboiled milk followed by water while chanting of mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. Please offer flowers & prayers for well being followed by the Beej mantra for the Rudraksha chosen, minimum 9 times or in multiples of 9. After completion, place the Rudraksha in right hand & thank the lord for giving the opportunity to wear a Rudraksha. The Rudraksha now becomes divine, offer prayers to Lord Sun, pray for well being & wear the Rudraksha chanting “Om Namah Shivaya” 9 times or in multiples of 9 followed by offering due donation to the priest.

A Rudraksha bead is very strong, if maintained properly it can be passed on from generation to generation. A Rudraksha bead contains natural oil, which on excessive drying reduces its life. A Rudraksha bead should be regularly cleaned, oiled with the help of a new brush, and then exposed to sunlight for drying & not to be worn during bath to avoid moisture as it attracts fungus. It should never be thrown & when not in use, kept a safe & clean place.