Rudraksh and Malas
Meaning of Rudraksh
Rudra is a name of Shiv who is one of the three main gods of the Hindus. ‘Ra’ is the seed of Fire, of Rudra, ‘Ru’ from ‘ruk’ meaning disease and ‘Dra’ from ‘drav’ meaning dissolver. Hence Rudra means the dissolver of disease. Rudra is also the god of the manipura chakra and this chakra is situated at the level of the navel on the back of the spine. It is responsible for digestion and curing disease. The word aksh means eyes. Therefore Rudraksh means the eyes of Rudra or Shiv, or the eyes of the destroyer of disease. Sometimes it is also translated as the tears of Shiv.
What is Rudraksh?
Rudraksh are actually the seed of the fruit of the tree known by the same name. It usually grows in hilly areas in India, Nepal as well as Indonesia. The main quality of rudraksh is that it accumulates positive energy very fast and retains this energy for long. There are lines on the face of each rudraksh. If one counts the partitions, one can determine the number of faces it has. Depending on the number of faces each rudraksh has different qualities. However as a general rule it is considered to protect the wearer from accidents, to bring material as well as financial gains, to reduce blood pressure, helps in maintaining good health, increases length of life as well as, to extend spiritual energy and power to the wearer.
The most evident quality of the rudraksh is its spiritual energy. Rudraksh has been worn by spiritual persons- Rishis, Monks, and Kings as well as common family persons in India from ancient times.
The Rudraksh is also used for Jap or repetition of the mantra. It is the only bead that can be used in the worship of all the gods and goddesses in the Hindu system. It can also be placed at the place of worship and accumulates energy irrespective of the faith or the divinity one worships.
Types of Rudraksh
The faces of the rudraksh vary from one to over twenty one faces and sometimes even more. The rudraksh should be heavy and should sink in water. From amongst many hundred thousands of rudraksh sometimes one finds a few extra compact and heavy rudraksh. These are specially polished and are known as Patthari Rudraksh or stone rudraksh. These are smoother than the usual rudraksh and are many times more expensive. As malas(necklaces) go, the smaller they are, the more expensive they become. Usually each next smaller size, costs twice as much and the smallest being the most expensive, yet patthari rudraksh is even more expensive. On the other hand among the second type of rudraksh, the large rudraksh, it is the larger rudraksh that are more valued. The value also changes with the number of faces.
Usually for Jap the five faced Rudraksh are used. There are 108 beads in one mala, the 109th bead is called the Guru and is not counted during jap. However one can also buy malas of 27 beads that is one fourth of 108 and actually has a Guru bead too that is the 28th bead. These are usually used when one is not doing one’s practice at the usual place. It is like a supplementary jap mala. For wearing as well, the five faced rudraksh malas are the most commonly used. It is fairly common to find large rudraksh between two to six faces and their prices are about the same. After six faces as the faces become more, the price shoots up.
The most expensive is the one faced Rudraksh. It is very difficult these days to find a round one faced rudraksh. People are willing to pay from US$2500 to US$5000 to possess one of these. However one can sometimes find the one faced rudraksh in the shape of a cashewnut. This costs much lesser. It is important that the round rudraksh should be heavy and must sink in water. Similarly the price beyond six faces goes up and after eight faces really shoots up. A lot of rudraksh being sold especially with many faces is of poor quality. So care must be taken in its selection. Sometimes a twenty one faced rudraksh of good quality will cost as much as a single faced rudraksh. If the Rudraksh are worshipped regularly then they become even stronger.
Patthari rudraksh malas are particularly considered lucky for Jap as well as wearing, as they are considered to bring the wearer wealth and good luck.
Details of uses for different faced Rudraksh
Though, the details of different types of rudraksh upto 21 faces have been discussed in some texts, however one usually can find details of upto 14 faces. All rudraksh protect the wearer from accidents and other misfortunes. The effects of the rudraksh start showing themselves within 40 days. All rudraksh can be and if possible should be worshipped. All rudraksh are said to reduce blood pressure and help in heart diseases. Most large rudraksh should be worn in three. They bring the wearer positive mental and spiritual energy.
- One Faced Rudraksh : This rudraksh is said to represent the supreme god above all else and leads the wearer to liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It gives wealth, status, tranquillity, honour, respect and luck to the owner. It is also said to remove all obstacles. It is difficult to find a round one faced Rudraksh. It is considered as a very powerful bead. It makes the wearer creative, strong, successful, individualistic, and brilliant.
- Two Faced Rudraksh : It is known as the Ardhanarishvara or the Shiv-Shakti Rudraksh. This rudraksh provides relief from sorrows and negative emotions. It also gives wealth and is supposed to destroy evil forces and black magic. It makes the wearer gentle, creative and imaginative.
- Three Faced Rudraksh : This rudraksh is understood to represent the three fires or Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. It is good to wear and helps in completing works. It makes a person rich, knowledgeable and wise. It also helps the wearer in Tapas and gives him a fiery energy. At the same time the wearer becomes powerful, authoritative, can control others, is disciplined, brilliant, ambitious and individualistic.
- Four Faced Rudraksh : This is called the Rudraksh of Brahma having four faces. It gives one intelligence and memory. Gives one freedom from impure and unholy acts. Makes one devoted to god. Boiling a four faced rudraksh in milk and then drinking the milk for at least 20 days is supposed to remove or reduce mental illnesses. It also makes the wearer more loving and compassionate.
- Five Faced Rudraksh : The most widely used rudraksh. It is known as Panchbrahma. It gives a person a positive impetus in spiritual life and is considered to please lord Shiva. It reduces the sin of eating or drinking that which is forbidden. It also reduces the sins of being in wrong company. It helps in making friends. It also helps one with the power of speech. It makes the wearer scientific, diplomatic, tactful, intuitive, intellectual and gives business acumen.
- Six Faced Rudraksh : This is the rudraksh of lord Kartikeya. Some scholars consider it the rudraksh of lord Ganesh. This rudraksh is worn by men on the right hand and by women on the left hand. It leads one to attain knowledge and enlightenment. It is also considered to bring goddess Laxmi- the goddess of wealth. It makes the wearer determined, compassionate, loving, sexual, and romantic. It makes the wearer love art and music.
- Seven Faced Rudraksh : This is the rudraksh of the seven eternal Rishis. Wearing it brings one all kinds of honour and fame. It protects one against negative forces and keeps one on the right path (the path of Dharma). It brings wealth too. It makes the wearer independent, individualistic, original and strong. It also opens the way to travel especially abroad and brings change.
- Eight Faced Rudraksh : This is considered the manifestation of lord Ganesh. This rudraksh has the power to destroy sins and attract positive behaviour and positive energies. It attracts divinity and makes the wearer divine. It makes the wearer serious, diligent and self disciplined.
- Nine Faced Rudraksh : This rudraksh is the form of the divine mother. Navchandi. It helps in making the impossible possible. It also attracts wealth and affluence. It protects the wearer and gives him noble qualities. It also removes fear of death by protecting the wearer. Some scholars consider this as the rudraksh of Bhairav(a form of Shiv) and Yamraj- the god of death. Others call it the rudraksh of Dharmraj- the god of dharma. It also helps control ones enemies. Wearing it on the right hand gives strength. It makes the wearer physically courageous, determined, hard working, and a leader.
- Ten Faced Rudraksh : Lord Vishnu is considered as the god of this rudraksh. Wearing it gives fame and prosperity from all the ten directions. This rudraksh also calms all evil spirits and negative effects of the stars and planets. This rudraksh is beneficial in mental illnesses and strain. It removes obstacles and protects against accidental death. It is difficult to obtain. It makes the wearer brilliant and a go getter.
- Eleven Faced Rudraksh : It is considered to represent the eleven Rudras. Some scholars attribute the God Indra to it. It gives victory in every field and task. Gives the wearer protection and happiness. It also increases wealth and affluence. If a woman wears it, then it protects her husband and is said to help in the birth of a son. It makes the wearer gentle, inventive and artistic.
- Twelve Faced Rudraksh : The twelve adityas (suns) are the gods of this rudraksh. Some scholars consider Maha Vishnu as the god of this rudraksh. It is said to protect the wearer against attack from weapons and dangerous animals. It removes obstacles and problems helping one become fit to rule. It benefits a person who has a desire to rule the country. It also makes the wearer ambitious, authoritative, disciplined and gives the power to control others.
- Thirteen Faced Rudraksh : The god of this rudraksh is Kamdev who is the god of love. Wearing this rudraksh makes one desirable and gives one the power to attract others. It makes the wearer gentle, loving and compassionate. It also helps people who want children. Wearing the rudraksh brings success, wealth, honour and status too.
- Fourteen Faced Rudraksh : It is considered that this rudraksh was born from the eyes of Shiva. Many believe the god of this rudraksh to be Hanuman. Wearing this rudraksh brings fame, wealth, good health, and helps in spiritual goals. It makes the wearer like lord Shiva.
RED SANDAL MALAS: These malas are used in the worship of Ganesh, Hanuman and certain forms of the divine mother. They are also very pleasant to wear and attract wealth and beauty.
YELLOW SANDAL MALAS: These are used in the worship of God Vishnu, Krishna and Goddess Laxmi. These malas are fragrant and the perfume of sandal remains for years. They impart the quality of sweetness and attractiveness to the wearer.
LOTUS SEED MALAS: These malas are used in the worship of the goddess of wealth-- Laxmi. It also removes negative effects of all kinds and helps in having children.
SPHATIK OR QUARTZ MALAS: These malas are used for Jap of all deities. Some practitioners consider them as very powerful. They are also worn. Since these are stone malas some people may feel a heaviness or a grounding effect. This mala clears away negative energies on all planes.
PEARL MALAS: Pearl is used for calming down any negative or evil forces. It can be worn as well as used for Jap usually of god Shiv. They are usually used to calm down the effects of any negative planetary effects. Pearl also helps people who become angry quickly. Wearing pearl calms them down.
TULSI MALAS : This mala is made from the stem of the Tulsi plant. It is usually worn by devotes of Vishnu and Lord Krishna. It is used in the worship of the Gods Ram, Hanuman, Vishnu, Narsingh, Krishna, etc. This mala has the quality of giving one good health and purity of thoughts and deeds. It is one of the most used mala in India.
RED CORAL MALAS: These malas are used in the Jap of Ganesh, Hanuman, and in the worship of certain other specific goddesses. They are worn too and bring the wearer the quality of attractiveness.
TURMERIC MALAS: These malas are only used in the Jap of the goddess Baglamukhi. These are not worn. They have the fragrance of turmeric and need to be preserved with care.