The Mystical Significance of Rudrakshas

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 13 August, 2009

The word rudraksha comes from the ancient Sanskrit words, “Rudra” and “Aksha.” Rudra is a more fierce aspect of Shiva and “aksha” means teardrop. Hindu tales speak of Shiva, the great contemplative mystic, looking down at humanity and crying true tears of compassion. In that moment, the rudraksha tree was created. When one visits India, it is not unusual to see many of the inhabitants wearing a rudraksha bead in the form of a necklace, bracelet or pendant.

The rudraksha bead is said to possess mystical and divine qualities. The necklaces which can be very short or extremely long consisting of many rudrakshas are worn by devotees and sadhus. In fact, in the jungles, one can see various sadhus wearing nothing but their loincloths and their rudrakshas. In Benares, the religious devotees are burned in a simple cloth unadorned except for their rudrakshas. Belief is that one who wears the rudraksha is untouched by sins and thus protected from all impure thoughts or deeds. For thousands of years, rudrakshas have adorned the bodies of saints and sages in their quest for enlightenment and liberation.

In accordance with the Ayurvedic system, wearing rudrakshas can have positive effects on the heart and nerves and relieve persons from stress, anxiety, palpitations, and lack of concentration. Known for its anti-aging effect and electro-magnetic properties, there is some anecdotal evidence that people with blood pressure problems benefit from the rudraksha.

This attractive Rudraksha Mala with Tassel has 108 rudrakshas. Why the number 108? Hindu mythology has it that there are 108 Hindu deities and each deity has 108 names. In truth, at the heart of many religions and astrology as well, there is always some reference to the spiritual number 108 in their beliefs. The number 108 is also thought of as the number at which, when doing recitation of mantra, one comes to a quiet and concentrated place within their mind. Thus, it is customary when reciting a new mantra, that one counts at least 108 times at each sitting.

At its center is what is known as the Guru bead. As you start counting your rudrakshas, when one approaches the Guru bead again, one skips over the Guru bead and begins to count backwardly over the rudrakshas to the number 108. To secure the beads, traditional knotting between the beads has been added.

This Rudraksha Bead Pendant, coming from a rudraksha tree in India, carries the Om symbol, bringing together two spiritual symbols: one of devotion and compassion from the rudraksha and one of remembrance and silence with the Om sound. The contrast of the silver Om with the rudraksha is quite striking and noticeable and you may wear it with a cord or silver necklace around your neck. It is a remembrance for you how the Great God Shiva reached into his heart of compassion and felt for humanity. These days wearing a rudraksha mala, bracelet or pendant almost seems like a necessity so that our prayers may go out into the world and our compassion reach the hearts of man.

This Rudraksha Bead Bracelet is extremely popular because of the small and rare size of the rudrakshas. It is attractively worn around the wrist and will receive much notice. It is then that you may convey to people the story of Shiva and his undying love for humanity, most noticeably that he took the form of Hanuman to show his humility and compassion. As you shake hands with others or reach out to feed someone who is underprivileged, you are in effect reaching out with the hands of Shiva and doing his work. The rudraksha is a symbol of extended kindness and service. You may remove and put it on easily with the elastic.

May the Holiness and Benevolence of Shiva bless you as your wear his tears of compassion!!

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