Lord Shiva Teardrops - Rudraksha: Purifies The Mind, Body & Soul
Updated: May 10, 2022
Rudraksha is a sanskrit compound word consisting of Rudra and aksa. Rudra is one of Lord Shiva's vedic names and Aksa means 'teardrops'. Thus, the name means "Lord Rudra's teardrops". Rudraksha is kind of a seed that is used as a prayer bead in Hinduism, especially in Shaivism. Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Lord Shiva as the Supreme Being.
The seeds are produced by several species of large, evergreen, broad-leaved tree in the genus Elaeocarpus, the principle of which is Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb. The rudraksha tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years from germination, known as Amritphala (Fruits of Nectar). When they are ripe, Rudraksha seeds are covered by a blue outer shell and are sometimes called blueberry beads.
There is a long tradition of wearing 108 rudraksha beads in India, particularly within Shaivism who wears rudraksha garlands. The mantra 'Om Namah Shivaya' is repeated using rudraksha beads. Hindus have used Rudraksha malas as rosaries for meditation purposes and to sanctify the mind, body and soul since the 10th century at the earliest. The seeds are primarily used in India, Indonesia and Nepal. They are valued similarly to semi-precious stones. Various meanings and interpretations are attributed to beads with different numbers of segments (mukh), and rare or unique beads are highly prized and valuable.
Rudraksha beads have between 1 and 21 lines (mukhi). 80% of all rudrakshas have four, five (most common) or six lines; those with a single line are rarest. Rudrakshas are white, red, brown (most common) yellow, and black. Gauri Shankar are two naturally joined rudrakshas and Trijuti are three rudraksha beads joined naturally.
In Ayurveda, the bead, bark and leaves of the rudraksha tree, which have antibacterial effects, are used for treating mental disorders, headaches, fever, skin diseases and other ailments. The flesh or pulp of the drupe is administered for epilepsy, diseases of the head and mental illness. Rudraksha seeds exhibit pharmacological properties that include anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative, antidepressant, anti-asthmatic, hypoglycemic, antihypertensive, smooth muscle relaxant, hydrocholeretic, antiulcerogenic, and anticonvulsant.
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