• Dr Sohini Sastri
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Rudraksh, the most celebrated esoteric accessory of spiritual seekers has been used extensively since time immemorial. Botanically known as Elaecarpus Ganitrus Roxb, Rudraksh are the dried seeds of a tree, which grows in a certain altitude in the mountains – mainly in the Himalayan region. Unfortunately, most of these trees were used to make railway sleepers, so there are very few of them remaining in India. Today, they are mostly found in Nepal, Burma, Thailand or Indonesia. They are there in some parts of the Western Ghats in South India, but the best quality ones come from a certain altitude in Himalayas because somehow the soil, atmosphere, and everything influences it. These seeds have a very unique vibration.

The word Rudraksh literally means “tears of Shiva”. There are many legends in Indian scriptures and mythology that describe the divine origin of the Rudraksh tree. According to one legend, Shiva sat in meditation for many millennia with his eyes closed. Upon opening his eyes, he shed tears of ecstasy, which fell to the earth and became the holy Rudraksh tree. Rudraksh beads were Shiva’s gift to the world.


Benefits of Rudraksh

Rudraksh’s curative properties have been utilized worldwide for a number of physical, mental and psychosomatic illnesses. They are very supportive for maintaining physical and mental balance. They aid in creating an atmosphere conductive for restful sleep in unfamiliar environments.

For spiritual seekers, Rudraksh plays a supportive role in enhancing one’s spiritual growth. Some of the esoteric benefits ascribed to Rudraksh include enhancement of intuition, infusion of tranquility of the mind, assistance in meditation, purification of the aura, cleansing of the seven chakras, formation of a protective sheath around a person, providing protection against injury or negative and distorted energies, and development of dispassion and detachment.

Who can wear a Rudraksh ?

Anyone, irrespective of gender, cultural, ethnic, geographical, or religious background can wear Rudraksh. Rudraksh can be worn by children, students, the elderly, ill etc. for special benefits. They are intended for persons at any stage in life irrespective of mental and/or physical condition.

Selecting a Rudraksh

Rudraksh in their natural state have their own energies that are very beneficial to the wearer. However, Rudraksh can also be specially consecrated to enhance the impact upon the wearer. In the tradition, Rudraksh are usually received from a Guru – a spiritual Master. Rudraksh offered by Isha Yoga Center are carefully selected and checked for their quality and authenticity and undergo a special process of consecration by Sadhguru. Assisting the seeker in many ways, they are potent aids for one’s physical, mental wellbeing and one’s spiritual sadhana (spiritual practice).

The following is a list of Rudraksh available through the Isha Yoga Center, which have been selected by Sadhguru for use by the common man, with the corresponding attributable properties:

Panchmukhi : These are five-faced Rudraksh which can be worn by anyone above 14 years of age. It helps cultivate inner freedom and purity.

Dwimukhi : These are two-faced Rudraksh intended for married persons. It is supportive for marital relationships and should be worn by both husband and wife.

Shanmukhi : These are six-faced Rudraksh intended for children below 14 years of age. This Rudraksh aids in proper physical and mental development and draws qualities of motherly love toward the child.

Gowrishankar : These are beads which look like two beads fused together and can be worn by anyone above 14 years of age. It aids in prosperity and balancing the Ida and Pingala nadis (energy channels) and activates the seven chakras.

Conditioning of Rudraksh

To condition new Rudraksh beads, immerse them in Ghee (clarified butter) for 24 hours and then soak them in full fat milk for an additional 24 hours. Wipe the beads with a clean cloth, but do not wash them with soap. Conditioning should take place every six months.

Proper Care of Rudraksh

Rudraksh can be worn at all times, including during sleep and while doing one’s spiritual practices. Rudraksh can be worn during bathing times. However, care must be taken that the Rudraksh do not come in contact with hot water or soap. Rudraksh should not come in contact with metal, therefore it is advisable not to place them in metal containers. However, Rudraksh can be cast in gold or silver if one chooses to do so. Extreme care should be taken when fashioning Rudraksh in this manner, as damage may occur through improper handling.

The energies of broken, cracked, damaged and defective Rudraksh beads are distorted and should not be worn.