Rudraksham, an Introduction
Rudraksha or Rudraksham is a sacred bead that is closely associated with Lord Shiva and his worship. Rudraksha literally means ‘the teardrops of Rudra, that is, Shiva’. This is traditionally used as a prayer bead in Shiva worship. These beads are strung together as a form of necklace or a rosary and are worn, and are also used during prayers.
Rudraksham can be worn not only by the saints, sages or the elderly but also by the young people and the commoners. While this definitely remains as a symbol of spirituality, this also contains a lot of medicinal values in it. Hence, those who wear it enjoy a lot of benefits. In addition, this is the reason our ancestors were wearing Rudraksham and Tulsi beads.
Rudraksham is actually the seed of the tree called Elaeocarpus ganitrus. These are found normally in countries and regions like Northern parts of India, Nepal, Java, Malaysia and Indonesia. This seed or the nut will look like it has been cut vertically, from the top to the bottom. This is known as ‘the face of the Rudraksham’. The number of cuts or the cutting lines are counted as the faces of a Rudraksham.
Here, let us see in brief, the significance of the many types of Rudraksham.
Significance of Rudraksham
Rudraksham is believed to have a strong magnetic attraction and when it touches our body, our system enjoys many benefits. It can also do a lot of good for the physical strength, mental power and general health of an individual. Its qualities can even improve heart functioning and regulate blood circulation. However, it is generally believed that the sacred Rudraksham is worn mainly for curing high blood pressure, improved mental strength and overcoming stress.
Rudrakshams can be classified as under –
One-Faced Rudraksham – It is rare to get a spherical shaped Rudraksham of this type, but a crescent Moon shaped one can be found, which can very-well be worn. The overlord of this is Surya, the Sun God. It is good for the physicians to wear this as that can improve their efficiency.
Two-Faced Rudraksham – Unity is the unique quality of this type of the bead. Hence, this can be well worn by the pair of husband-wife, parents-children, teacher-taught etc. Its overlord is Chandra, the Moon God.
Three-Faced Rudraksham – It will be effective if those suffering from emotions like fear, low confidence, guilty conscience and depression wear this type. The overlord is Mangal, the planet Mars.
Four-Faced Rudraksham – Categories of people like students, educationists, researchers, scientists and writers can benefit by wearing this. This Rudraksham denotes Lord Brahma, the God of creation.
Five-Faced Rudraksham -This has the ability to cure high blood pressure and heart ailments. This can also be worn while chanting mantras. People who wear this can be relieved of the fear of death. This denotes Lord Shiva, the God of destruction.
Six-Faced Rudraksham – Wearing this can do good for the nervous system and improve physical and mental health. Traders, journalists and those in managerial positions can wear this. This Rudraksham represents the six-faced Lord Karthikeya.
Seven-Faced Rudraksham – This is essentially a curer of a variety of illnesses ranging from barrenness to incurable diseases. This can also remove fear of death, enhance wealth and provide peace of mind. This denotes Saptha Rishis, the seven sacred sages and its overlord is planet Saturn.
Eight-Faced Rudraksham – This will help attain Siddhi, the realization. Wearing this can help people overcome obstacles and achieve success. The shadow planet Rahu is its overlord.
Nine-Faced Rudraksham – Wearing this can bless people with the grace of Goddess Durga and bestow them with wellness. Unlike other types, this can also be worn in the left hand. The shadow planet Ketu is its overlord.
Ten-Faced Rudraksham – This is believed to be the most powerful of the Rudrakshams and the one capable of controlling all the nine planets that rule all the 10 directions. This can destroy the evil forces and can do good for those who are honest. This denotes Lord Maha Vishnu, the God of protection.
Eleven-Faced Rudraksham – This can help people to be courageous, independent, and adventurous, have good verbal communication skills and an enterprising person. This bead is also highly suitable for meditation. This represents the valiant Lord Hanuman.
Twelve-Faced Rudraksham – This denotes Surya, the Sun, the powerful heavenly body. People who wear this can be very strong in mind and have great leadership qualities.
Thirteen-Faced Rudraksham – This represents Kamdev, the God of love who is supposed to be extremely handsome. Wearing this can bestow people with good looks and attractive features. This can also be helpful in meditation and even for attaining salvation.
Fourteen-Faced Rudraksham – This has the special name of ‘Devamani’, the bead of the celestial beings, which can be worn in hands and forehead too. People who wear this can have foresight and be enterprising. This can also bestow people with handsome wealth and relief from all difficulties.
Gauri-Shankar Rudraksham -This remains as a natural combination of two Rudraksham beads and is together called by this name. Wearing this can help in a cordial husband–wife relationship and family harmony. Even if one in the family wears this, it can help to remove obstacles for all family members and provide them with happiness.
Ganesh Rudraksham – This is in the shape of Lord Ganesha’s face and has been named accordingly. It is believed that people who wear this can succeed in their endeavors and lead a good life.
A Rudraksham bead is something that has so much of worldly and spiritual significance in it. People can choose and wear the type most suited for their requirement and get the blessings of Lord Shiva.
The five-faced and the six-faced Rudrakshams are available at many places. The five-faced ones are particularly available so easily and in less cost that even poor people will be in a position to buy them and wear. All one needs to do is to tie a five-faced Rudraksham to a silk thread, wear it, meditate on Lord Shiva and chant the sacred mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ 108 times with a pure heart. This can bless devotees with wonderful attainments. Those who have received formal spiritual instructions from a Guru can recite the mantra as it is, whereas it is advisable for others to recite only ‘Namah Shivaya’.
Rudraksham is a divine gift given to mankind, by none other than Lord Shiva himself. People irrespective of gender and age, like men, women, young and the old, can wear this sacred bead and reap rich benefits. The blessings can be all the more efficacious if people use Rudraksham and chant the holy mantra, specially on a Shivaratri night.