The 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.
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.
Seeds 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.
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.
IDENTIFICATION OF A REAL RUDRAKSHA
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.
The following are the specific attributes of the beads of various mukhis (lines or facets):