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RUDRAKSHA IDENTIFICATION

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The term Rudraksha (Rudra i.e. Shiva + Aksha i.e. eye)
literally stands for the eyes of Lord Shiva or Rudra
implying thereby that it was pleasant to the eyes of Lord
Shiva, and hence so named in His honour. This reveals
that the merit of Rudraksha beads were realized first by
Lord Shiva Himself and He handed down the same to the
benefit of the later generations.
Indian legend relates many stories about Lord Shiva, also known as 'Rudra'. He
is famous for being the embodiment of the power of destruction in an eternal
cycle of creation maintenance, and destruction. Shiva is also associated with
deep states of meditation where thoughts are absent and only silence and
emptiness exist. It is said that Lord Shiva once entered a profound state of
meditation for the benefit of mankind for a very long time. When he finally
emerged from this state and opened his eyes, the deep joy, peace, and love he
felt for the human race was expressed with sacred tears which ran down his
cheek and fell to earth. Each tear generated a rudraksha tree whose tiny fruits
are born of the tears of rudra-the Lord Almighty Himself.
Botanically, the Rudraksha tree is known as Elaecarpus ganitrus Roxb. These
trees grow in very few places in the world including the Himalayas of India and
Nepal, as well as in parts of Indonesia. They are large trees with a wide
silhouette whose flowers bloom annually. The Rudraksha berry varies in size (3-
40 mm; 1/8 to 1½ inches). It has smooth light green skin and pulp much like a
green grape. Lodged within the pulp is a single round seed which has a rough
surface and a hole running through it from top to bottom. It is these seeds
which are the Rudraksha beads. Each seed also possesses from 1 to 21 vertical
lines running down its surface, like the longitude lines on a globe. These lines
are known as mukhas, or facets, and are natural formations of the seed. Seeds
with one vertical line are known as ek-mukhi (one facet); those with two lines
are dwi-mukhi (two facets), and so on. Rudraksha is the fruit of a tree. It grows
in bunches. They bloom in May, June and ripen in September to November. It's
fruit is light green in colour. It is circular like Aalamaram (Gular or fruit of
banyan tree). Its pulp is hard and remains stuck to its seed. It is like
blackberry. It is kept in water for a number of days and then Rudraksha is
taken out after peeling off the pulp.
Rudraksha beads are a plant product, containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen,
oxygen and trace elements in combined form. The percentage compositions of
their gaseous elements were determined by C-H-N Analyzer and by Gas
chromatography. The result shows that Rudraksha beads consist of 50.031 %
carbon, 0.95% nitrogen, 17.897% hydrogen and 30.53% oxygen.
There are four kinds, according to Mythological books-Brahmin, Kshatriya,
Vaishya and Shoodra. Its division is not based on caste system but it is based
on their ability to wear. But the wearing of Rudraksha of different colours by
different persons are not compulsory. Even Ladies are allowed to wear
Rudraksha. The original whitish colour of Rudraksha is dyed into orange colour
which is a symbolic colour of the saints and sanyasees.Orange colour Rudraksha
becomes useful to all kinds of men of any age, caste, sect, religion and sex and
according to one's liking for its size, colour or face (Mukh-line).
Identification
It is not very difficult to recognize a real Rudraksha. On account of its
increasing importance and price, it is made artificially also and these artificial
Rudrakshas are also being sold in market. artificial Rudraksha is often made
from the wild berry seeds or nuts. But in these artificial Rudraksha, no facet can
be made as real as the ones that are in the genuine ones and can easily be
detected by an experienced eye .Here the
facet (Mukh) means deep lining from the upper part to the lower part of
Rudraksha. Looking at these deep linings-facets one can recognize real
Rudraksha. There are many other criteria written to recognize Rudraksha, such
as the sinking and floating of Rudraksha in the water and revolving between
two coins. But it is not a correct criterion. Even an unripe but genuine
Rudraksha may float in the water, and a non genuine ones made out of wood
impregnated with lead may sink.
Therefore, we should not bother about these suspicions and false notions.
The Rudraksha should be brought seeing the faces of Rudraksha and from a
genuine supplier. Generally there are various numbers of faces on a Rudraksha,
from one faced to sixteen faced. .Generally five faced Rudraksha are found
easily and abundantly. One faced Rudraksha round variety is found very rarely
and its price is also too much. Most of these beads being circulated are fake
ones made from berries and betel nuts and Areca nuts. Some have a stem
implanted in them artificially to give a real look. Some Giant sized beads are
sold as 1 mukhis which are manufactured ones. Also some suppliers sell fake 1
mukhis which have Serpent, Trishul, Lingam etc carved on them. These are also
fakes.
A real Rudraksha does not have these markings. Rudraksha having 2,3,4,6,7,
or 8 faces is found very often but its price is more than the five faced
Rudraksha's. Fake Rudraksha are generally found in very high mukhi beads
also, like 21 mukhi , where artificial lines are carved on nuts. Also some
scrupulous people fake Gauri Shankar Rudraksha by gluing together two
Rudraksha beads . But these can be again detected by little experience and
awareness. Please note that the idea of informing about fake Rudraksha is not
to scare away people, but to make them aware. Generally Rudraksha sold are
genuine as they are available in plenty naturally. It is only in the case of rare
Rudraksha that fakes are sold to satisfy the increasing demand by unscrupulous
people. It is to be noted that the market price of Rudraksha does not affect its
religious or spiritual importance or medicinal value. Thus there is no link or
connection between the price of Rudraksha and its religious, spirituals and
medicinal importance. It has also many sizes and shapes.
Its seeds are often round but exceptionally they are found long, semi circular,
convex and flat. There is a variety of Rudraksha which is convex and flat. These
are not from Nepal and are called Bhadraksha and are considered inferior to
Rudraksha. Rudraksha are available in big as well as small sizes. Big
Rudrakshas are easily available but small ones are found in less number. The
smallest Rudraksha has the size equal to black pepper. Its gradually bigger
sizes are equal to big peas, Plum and Amla.
It is believed that the mala of the smallest beads is better than that of any
other size. It is also very easy to wear but it is difficult to find. Therefore, its
price is very dear. It is very uncomfortable to wear the mala of big beads but it
is comfortable when it is used to count mantras .Also big sized Rudraksha are
kept in Prayer room. As lightening arresters are installed in buildings to save
them from lighting, Rudraksha protects the body from outside influences,
mental shocks, heart problems and stress. The electro-magnetic waves in the
life form may be responsible for amazing powers of Rudraksha discovered
several thousand years ago.
Many different Hindu scriptures written over many different periods of history
describe divine qualities of this little bead. One intriguing aspect of Rudraksha
lore is that it is worn and worshipped by absolutely everyone regardless of
caste, religion, sect, creed, color, or sex. Given the highly secularized history of
India this is quite peculiar. Even today, as in past times, it is worn by the
Brahmin priest while performing solemn ceremonies, by the soldier engaged in
battle, by the store owner or stockbroker conducting business, by the student
for knowledge, the poorest of our society for sustenance.
Generally speaking, one who wears the Rudraksha in the prescribed manner will
invoke the energies of Lord Shiva and negative thoughts and emotions will be
destroyed. Rudraksha has a calming effect on the central nervous system. It is
said that the Rudraksha helps maintain a normal blood pressure and helps
maintains health. It has no adverse effects and promotes peace of mind and
prosperity for the wearer. In various ancient scriptures (i.e. Padma Purana,
Shiva Purana, Mantramaharnava, Rudrajabalopanishad) it is proclaimed that if a
person meets his death while wearing a rudraksha he is released from the cycle
of life and death and achieves moksha (liberation). These are the general
qualities of the rudraksha bead; the following are the specific attributes of the
beads of various numbers of mukhas (lines or 'facets'):
• 1 Mukhi Extremely rare and equally expensive when found. It represents
the Supreme Self. Its wearer is bestowed with worldly comfort and
spiritual fulfillment.
• 2 Mukhi Fosters harmony and oneness between those who are divided.
Extremely rare. Given to children who are being married by their
parents.
• 3 Mukhi Represents Agni, Lord of Fire. Helps dispel mental lethargy and
depression. Attracts wealth.
• 4 Mukhi Represents Brahma, the Creator. Worn by students and those
who need to renew and recreate. Helps expand vision and mental
horizons. Increases attractiveness.
• 5 Mukhi The fullest representation of Lord Shiva. It will destroy negative
thoughts and emotions and grant the wearer peace of mind and clarity
of purpose. Helps achieve one´s goals. All malas which are worn around
the neck or used as japa mala (prayer beads) should be of five mukhi.
There should be 108 beads or, alternatively, 54.
• 6 Mukhi The one worn by soldiers, police, adventurers, and all persons
exposed to danger. It protects one from harm and instills calm and will
power in the wearer. It represents Lord Kartikeya.
• 7 Mukhi Represents the goddess Laxmi, and is actually stated to be her
abode. This rudraksha is not worn but rather is kept in a wooden box
together with a small sum of cash. It will help overcome financial
hardship and bring abundance.
• 8 Mukhi This rudraksha represents the famous Lord Ganesha, the
elephant-faced God. It will help those who have continuously failed in a
specific endeavor despite many attempts to succeed. Removal of past
sins.
• 9 Mukhi This bead represents Mother Durga and can help motivate a
person who is experiencing mental inertia (tamas). Protects one´s
children from misfortune.
• 10 Mukhi Protects the wearer from those people and things that may
harm him.
• 11 Mukhi. This rudraksha represents Lord Hanuman, the Monkey-God. It
promotes excellent general physical and mental health, gives insight and
vision, and deflects evil thoughts. Increases energy, power, and mental
stamina.
• 12 Mukhi Represents Surya, the Sun. It wearer will have the attention
and respect of the world and be presented with opportunity.
• 13 Mukhi Represents Lord Indra and brings the wearer an appreciation
and awareness of the spiritual realm.
• 14 Mukhi This bead is worn only on the forehead in a special headband,
after being blessed by a priest in a special puja ceremony. It is said to
activate the ajna chakra (third eye) and bestow subtle vision and
intuitive powers. Only worn if instructed to do so by one´s guru.
• 15-21 Mukhi rudrakshas should be kept as a set of seven beads on the
personal prayer alter where they will bring health, peace, and prosperity
to the family.
How To Use and Care For The Rudraksha Mala
1. It is best to wear the RUDRAKSHA Mala (i.e necklace) for the first time
on a Monday. If at all possible it should be first brought to a Shiva
temple for sanctification early on a Monday morning and then worn
immediately after worship. If a Shiva temple is not available then simply
wear it initially on a Monday.
2. At bedtime remove the mala and place it on the alter in your home.
When traveling you should sleep with it on.
3. After bathing in the morning, hold the mala in the right hand and repeat
the appropriate mantra aloud (see below) for 108 times.
4. Do not wear the Rudraksha mala during periods of menstrual bleeding or
while attending funerals.
5. The Rudraksha mala has a very long lifespan. A properly cared for mala
can be passed along to eight generations as a family heirloom.
6. The Rudraksha mala can be washed occasionally with warm soapy water
and allowed to dry naturally. Do not soak for extended periods of time.
7. Rudraksha beads vary in size from 3-40 mm. The size of the bead has
no bearing on its effects. However a given mala must contain beads all
with the same number of mukhis.
Beeja Mantras For The Various Rudrakshas
• For Mukhi 1, 4, 5, 10, and 13: Om Hreem Namah
• For Mukhi 2 and 14: Om Namah
• For Mukhi 3: Om Kleem Namah
• For Mukhi 7 and 8: Om Hum Namah
• For Mukhi 6, 9, and 11: Om Hreem Hum Namah
• For Mukhi 12: Om Krom Srom Rom Namah
Fake Rudraksha Beads
As has been said above, in the interest of devotees and public education, we
are obligated to inform you that many varieties of fake Rudrakshas are being
sold throughout the world and over the internet. These beads are sold in large
quantities in India by unscrupulous people taking advantage of the recent
increased interest in them. The typical price at which they are sold ranges from
$100 to $50,000 (for a fake ek-mukhi)!!! Be particularly careful about ever
purchasing a one-faced rudraksha (ek-mukhi). The round one mukhis are not
currently available in nature at all . Even if you buy them for several thousand
dollars or from a reputable ashram or reliable person, it is not authentic. No
tree in India, Nepal or Indonesia has produced the ek-mukhi in the past few
centuries. Only if one acquires one which has been passed down from
generation to generation might it be possible to find this exceedingly rare object