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Rudraksha is the favourite bead of Siva. It is believed that they remove all the sins by sight, contact and Japas. rudraksha bead -10 mukhiOne who wears the rudraksha in the prescribed manner will invoke the energies of Lord Siva. Rudraksha is to Siva like Salagrama to Vishnu.

According to Siva in Rudraksha balopanisad, all people should wear Rudraksha in colors associated with their own varnas (castes). These colors are white, red, yellow and black for Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras respectively.

The bead and the Tree

rudraksh mala

Rurdrash tree in Harihar Ashram, HaridwarThe rudraksha bead is the dried fruit of the tree Elaeocarpus Ganitrus. The rudraksa trees are grown in Nepal (home land), Dehrahdun, Himalayas and Indonesia. These trees are said to have spontaneously generated  from the tears of Lord Siva. Once Siva had been performing penance for thousands of divine years. 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. From those tear drops, the  Rudraksha plants were born. They are large trees with a wide silhouette whose flowers bloom annually. The Rudraksh trees are also called bead trees, as their seeds have natural perforation along their axis, which facilitates making Rudraksh rosary.

The rudraksha berry varies in size (3-40 mm). Rudraksha berry is covered by outer shell of blue color on fully ripening, so it is also called as blueberry beads which is very sweet in eating and can be used for varieties of treatment for indigestion, vomiting, cut injuries etc.

rudraksh fruits Lodged within the pulp of the berry is a single round bead which has a rough surface and a hole running through it from top to bottom.  Rudraksha beads come mainly in light brown color but as the age of Rudraksha increases, the color changes from brown to black. Each bead possess from 1 to 21 vertical lines running down its surface, like the longitude lines on a globe. These lines are known as mukhis or facets and are natural formations of the seed. Each mukhi outside represent a seed inside.

rudraksh fruitsSeeds with one vertical line are known as ek-mukhi (one facet); those with two lines are dwi-mukhi (two facets) and so on. Five Mukh to Fourteen Mukh Rudraksh seeds are of common occurrence, while others are uncommon. Ekmukhi Rudraksh seed is most rare and is held in utmost respect. Only 50 to 100 Rudraksh fruits from a tree are single faced and are thus very difficult to search from the thousands of multi-faced Rudraksh fruits. The rudraksha bead has a very long lifespan. A properly cared bead can be passed along to eight generations.


Artificial Rudraksha is often made from the wild berry seeds or nuts. But these berries cannot be made as real as the ones that are in the genuine ones and therefore easily be detected by an experienced eye. Looking at the deep linings-facets one can recognize real Rudraksha. There are some simple tests to distinguish the real Rudraksha from fake one, though there is no fullproof method. A real bead does not float the surface of water or milk. The best quality Rudraksha is a little greasy, rounded, hard, with protuberant mouth, clear face, and with a natural hole.

It is seen that 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, before buying a Rudrakasha one should consult a reliable and an experienced person. The five-faced Rudrakasha are very commonly found and therefore are mostly the real ones. Rudraksha having 2,3,4,6,7 or 8 faces can also be found easily but its price is more than the five-faced Rudrakshas. Generally the Rudrakasha sold in the market are real ones as they are available in abundance in nature but the Rudrakasha that are of rare kind (like ek-mukhi) are prepared artificially in order to meet the increasing demand.

Be particularly careful about ever purchasing a one-faced rudraksha. Round ek-mukhis are not currently available in nature at all . No tree in India, Nepal or Indonesia has produced ek-mukhi in the past few decades. Only if one acquires one which has been passed down from generation to generation might it be possible to find this exceedingly rare object.

Also, if you find rudrakshas offered at very low prices, it is unlikely to be authentic. Many fake rudrakshas are being fashioned today out of wild berries, betel nut, lotus seed, polyvinyl plastic, and other materials. Skilled artists draw artificial mukhis on these surfaces and thus try to give them a real appearance. There are no accurate tests to identify real beads except with examination by an experienced eye.

Astrological Beliefs

The following are the specific attributes of the beads of various mukhis (lines or facets):


Representation Belief
1 Shiva

Extremely rare and equally expensive. It represents the Siva himself. Its wearer is bestowed with worldly comfort and spiritual fulfillment.


Fosters harmony and oneness between those who are divided. Extremely rare. Given to couple at marriage.


Helps dispel mental lethargy and depression. Attracts wealth.

4 Brahma

The wearer gains power of creativity when blessed. Increases memory power, wit and intelligence

5 Kalaagni Rudra

The fullest representation of Rudra. It will give the wearer peace of mind and clarity of purpose. Helps to achieve one’s goals. All malas which are worn around the neck or used as japa mala should be of five mukhi. The count should be 108 or  54.

6 Kartikeya

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 Mahalaxmi

Stated to be abode of Laxmi. 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 Ganesh

Removes all obstacles and brings success in all undertakings. It gives the wearer all kinds of attainments - Riddhies and Siddhies .

9 Durga

Help motivate a person who is experiencing mental inertia (tamas). Protects one’s children from misfortune.

10 Vishnu

This contains the influence of ten incarnations and the ten directions. It works like a shield on one's body and drives evils away. Protects the wearer from those people and things that may harm him.

11 Hanuman

It promotes excellent general physical and mental health, gives insight and vision, and deflects evil thoughts. Increases energy, power, and mental stamina.

12 Sun

Wearer gets the quality of the sun - to rule and to move continuously with brilliant radiance and strength. The wearer will have the attention and respect of the world and be presented with opportunity.

13 Indra

Showers all possible comforts of life one can ever desire. It gives riches and honor and fulfills all the earthly desires. Kamadeva pleases with the man who wears it.

14 Hanuman

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.

15 - 21 Lord Pashupati

Should be kept as a set of seven beads on the personal prayer location or house where they will bring health, peace, and prosperity to the family. This also protects from any kinds of skin diseases.