by Richard S. Brown, PG
Rudraksha seed is botanically known as Elaiocarpus/Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb. It’s medicinal and divine properties have been known from time immemorial. It is said that only one who has the divine blessings of Lord Shiva (The destroyer in the Trinity of Gods) gets the opportunity of wearing this divine bead. Rudra means Shiva and Aksh means eye.
According to the Sanskrit Sri Devi Bhagwat Puranam there was an asura known as Tripurasur who was very strong and had divine energy and power.Due to these qualities he became proud and started to trouble deities and sages. No one was able to defeat this strong demon in war. On seeing his immoral actions Brahma, Vishnu and Other deities prayed to the Devadhidev Mahadeva Shiva (The greatest, lord of Lords Shiva) to destroy evil Tripurasur.Lord Shiva closed his eyes and meditated for some time. When he opened his lotus shaped eyes tears fell from them on the earth. Wherever his tears fell the Rudraksha tree Grew. The fruits that grow on this tree are known as Rudraksha Beads. Lord Shiva then used his deadly divine powers and destroyed Tripurasur.
Rudraksha are also mentioned in the Sri Shiva Mahapurana: Goddess Parvati, the divine consort of Lord Shiva asked him the origin of Rudraksha. On hearing her question Shiva said that he did penance for a thousand years. Tired of keeping his eyes closed for so long, Shiva opened them. A few tears fell to the ground and from these tears, the Rudraksha tree was born. The seeds of the tree were distributed on the earth.
Religious significance of the Rudraksha Bead:
- The individual who wears the Rudraksha with devotion is like Lord Shiva himself.
- The man wearing the Rudraksha is Rudra himself. If he drinks then Rudra drinks. The food he eats is equivalent to the food partaken by the deities. All his sins are alleviated.
- One who feels any shame in wearing this divine bead can never be free from the cycle of birth and death even after taking a million births.
- One who criticizes a Rudraksha wearer is a sinner.
- No pleasure is greater in the world then wearing a Rudraksha.
- One who wears the bead is a divine being and all his sins get destroyed