l Aum Namah Śivāya ll

Rudrâksam or Rudrâksa (Rudraksha) are beads that are considered by Hindus as the eyes of Lord Shiva. Rudra is another name of “Shiva” and “Raksha” is eyes in Sanskrit. The scientific name of the tree from which rudraksha comes from are called “Elaeocarpus sphaericus”. The species are usually found in Javanese islands of Indonesia of which 70% are found there, 25% in Nepal and 5% in India. Of these Nepali rudraksha are considered most auspicious and astrologically beneficial; most likely due to its large size and weight.

There have been many success stories about the wearing of rudraksha in the form of pendants and necklaces. Many have claimed good health and prosperity in their lives. It has brought educational success and spiritual upliftment to many. The “Puranas” i.e. the holy books of the Hindus have mentioned that one who wears a rudraksha becomes like Rudra himself. Up to 14 facets rudraksha have been mentioned in the holy books each one having special properties and providing various benefits. One who wears all 14 is considered very spiritual and achieves Rudrahood and free from the recycle of Birth.

What did the holy men that wrote the Puranas knew about the rudraksha. They knew that there are health benefits to be taken from wearing the holy rudraksha. Today preliminary pharmacological and biochemical studies have shown that rudraksha indeed has proven medicinal and pharmacological properties.

One such rare study used rudraksha extracts to investigate the effects on the permanence of mast cells. Mast cells are protective cells known for their role in allergy along with the involvement in wound healing and defense against pathogens. The results indicate that indeed extracts from the rudraksha make them more stable indicating a case for improving bronchial asthma. Similarly, another study reported extracts from dried “Elaeocarpus sphaericus” fruits (rudraksha) exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in animal models of bronchitis. Moreover, these extracts where able to illustrate noticeable antimicrobial action including Salmonella.

These results indicate potential pharmacological properties of rudraksha that require further investigation. Sources for this article include Phytotherapy research and Phytomedicine.

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Scientific and Astrological Significance of rudraksha

The Number one hundred and eight (108) signifies the One Hundred and Eight Vedas, the Brahm, the Source of all Wisdom and Joy. A good rudraksha mala usually is made of 108 beads with one larger bead that is used as a counter termed as the “meru” after the mount “Meru”. It can be worn or used to recite the names of God. It is thought that solar system revolves mountMeru. One should not cress the Meru when reciting, but merely touch and return to the other direction. It’s also important not to touch the mala with the small finger. Ideally the mala should be covered with a Gomukhi (cloth bag worn round the hand) to prevent it touching the ground. The mantras should be recited slowly in the same speed you would talk. The mantras are powerful word or phrases mostly written in Sanskrit that can open chakras and bring about good fortune and general peace of mind. Rules to be observed while chanting of Mantras, by Pt. Sunil Sharma.

Some facts on the rudraksha

Everyone should wear a rudraksha

Wearing a rudraksha attains rudrahood

One who criticises a rudraksha is a sinner

One who wears a rudraksha frees birth cycle

Greatest pleasure is wearing a rudraksha

Sins are destroyed from wearing a rudraksha