Rudraksha beads are formed by drying the vibrant blue stone fruits of rudraksha trees.
Each bead usually has 4 - 6 faces (mukhi) separated by lines, with some beads even having up to 21 faces and as little as 1 face! The quantity of mukhi has different meanings, with 1 mukhi beads being the rarest. There are many unique variations of rudraksha beads too!
Some religious significance of the rudraksha beads
The Vehic scriptures of ancient India explain the sacred beads as the ‘Tears of Shiva’. Lord Shiva is the Hindu deity whom shaivites worship as the supreme being. It is said that Lord Shiva gazed upon the lands and cried these tears as compassion for humanity, providing the rudraksha trees from each tear.
Rudraksha beads have major significance in the reciting of the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, the most important mantra in Shaivism. As the beads are considered to be a part of Lord Shiva (tears), they are a fundamental part of prayer.
In the Rudrakshajabala Upanishad scripture, it is said that a simple utterance of ‘rudraksha’ can have the karmic benefit of a great charity, while wearing the beads provides double that effect. The beads have the power to absolve one of karmic debts this way, through balance and positive energy.
Anyone can benefit from the pure vibrations in rudraksha beads, irrespective of any beliefs or physical traits! Keeping them close to your skin can provide a connection between the self and Lord Shiva. While worn during prayer or meditation they positively affect the wearer, with the effects being stronger the closer to one’s own body they are worn.
Significance of wearing rudraksha beads
Rudraksha beads store positive energy, and are unique in this trait. Many benefits come from wearing them close to your skin. Rudraksha malas can be worn whenever, shielding the wearer from negative energy while improving overall wellbeing.
Traditionally, the rudraksha beads are worn as a mala, usually as a garland but sometimes as a bracelet. Malas consist of 108+1 beads, as there are 108 Mukhya Shivaganas (attendants of Shiva). The +1 is the Bindu or Guru bead, which is able to channel the stored positive energy back into the wearer. It is necessary to have this extra bead as it completes the cycle of energy flowing through the mala!
The circular formation of the garlands which the beads are worn as is significant also, in that it is the optimal way for positive energy to flow through the beads in a cycle. This cycle allows energy to culminate stronger!
Dr. Suhas Roy's research into the beads produced findings that confirmed the beads positively interact with the natural magnetic field of the body. When placed over the heart, the beads act to stablise one’s heart rate, producing a relaxing sensation. It is great for better meditation!
Choosing rudraksha beads
Generally, the five mukhi rudraksha beads are thought to provide the widest range of support! Choosing the right beads for you has significance as well, as younger individuals may benefit from more than five mukhi beads.
It is important to buy beads that you feel a connection with since every bead is distinct with its significance!