The origin of the word Rudraksha: Rudra and Aksha. ‘Rudra’ denotes Lord Shiva himself as it is also Shiva’s another name, while ‘Aksha’ means Teardrops.
The Legend of Rudraksha
It is said that Shiva ji once went into a deep meditation with an aim of bringing happiness to all living creatures. As per the Shiva Purana, when he was finished with his meditation and when he woke up, his tears fell on Earth. These tears became the seed for trees, and they were known as Rudraksha trees. Hence, Rudraksha meant “Tear of Lord Shiva”, and the seed capsule from the tree is used for prayers as well as for other benefits.
The Religious Significance of Rudraksha
Whenever we see a picture or any depiction of Shiva, we see him wearing Rudraksha on his head, arms, and hands. Thus, many religious practitioners started to follow his paths too. Some even believe that the Rudraksha contains the secret of the entire evolution of the universe inside it. But, mostly, people wear it to lead a peaceful life and for deeper meditation. It is said to assure good health, gain empowerment and lead a fearless life. Moreover, wearing the Rudraksha is also said to protect the wearer.
The Science behind Rudraksha
The scientific name of Rudraksha is ‘Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb’, and it belongs to family Tiliaceae, huge evergreen broad-leaved tree family with a wide crown. The habitat is from sea-coast to 2,000 meters and is found mostly in the tropical and subtropical areas, especially in Indonesia and Nepal (and in some areas of India and Malaysia). The tree is about 15 to 60 meters high and carries the seed for about seven years.
The English name for the Rudraksha tree is Utrasum Bead Tree, in Indonesia, it is known as Ganitri Tree or Jenitri Tree. 70% of the trees are found in Indonesia, 25% of the trees in Nepal, and 5% in the rest of the countries.
Rudraksha beads are also called blueberry beads since they are seeds of Rudraksha fruits that grow in the Rudraksha trees, and its beads are protected by an outer shell of blue color on fully ripening. They are kept in water for the number of days and then taken out after peeling off the pulp.
The fruit flesh is also used to heal various diseases.
Rudraksha is the best healer
Rudraksha is a God’s gift to mankind and is considered to be a bridge between man and God. It is used to attain the higher self. There are different types of Rudrakshas from 1 Mukhi Rudrakshas to 21 Mukhi Rudrakshas. People seeking success and contented life are suggested to wear rudraksha. It also suggests that people wear Rudraksha to nullify the effects of malefic planets.
There aren’t any other beads or symbols considered to be as powerful and auspicious of Rudraksha.