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Thread: Rudrakhsa

  1. #1

    Rudrakhsa

    Rudraksh is the divine power blessed with auspicious energies of Lord Shiva.
    Rudraksha beads which are originated from Lord Shiva's tears can be found in different forms (mukhis - faced) and anyone can wear it to feel the positive energy. Wearing Rudraksha controlled heart beat and had a positive effect on Blood Pressure, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration. It will also bless you with good luck and peace.

    I was discussing this topic in few communities and wanted you to share your experience on the same.

    I have read from many sites and articles that there are few precautions while wearing Rudraksha beads like one should not wear it while sleeping, drinking, smoking, having sex, menstrual cycle, visiting any funeral or a new born baby.

    Few are saying that the above rules are only mentioned in modern philosophy which again could be a viewpoint of any individual but there is nothing like this mentioned in ancient puranas or any scriptures.

    Please suggest if this is correct, so that I will update the correct information on my site.

    regards,

    Amit Arora
    www.aboutshiva.com

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Namaste Amit,
    If you use the search feature on the HDF tool bar, you will find we have talked often about this subject.

    Many see rudrākśa (rudra + akśa) as the tear of Śiva. There is also another slightly different view held; that rudrākśa are the eyes of Śiva. How so?
    rudra रुद्र - we know as crying , howling , roaring , dreadful , terrific , terrible , horrible; yet this rudra is also red , shining , glittering from its root rud or rudh. And we know this rudra is another name for Śiva, so no news here.

    akśa अक्ष is the eye; also it’s a seed; it is also considered the beam of a balance or string which holds the pivot of the beam; and this akśa is also a measure of weight.

    So one can say by definition that the bead is his akśa, eye.
    Others say it is his tears. And others say rudrākśa means it is pleasing to the eyes (ākśa) of Rudra.


    Much can be read about this in the Śiva Purāṇa-s:
    rudrākśa is the favorite bead of Śiva. It is hightly sanctifying. It removes sins by sight, contact and japa.


    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 13 September 2008 at 05:02 PM. Reason: spelling
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Thanks yajvan for your explanation, it will be helpful.


  4. #4

    Re: Rudrakhsa

    If anyone would update me about the rules it would be really great.

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    Re: Rudraksha

    Quote Originally Posted by passion4mantras View Post
    If anyone would update me about the rules it would be really great.
    I have read from many sites and articles that there are few precautions while wearing Rudraksha beads like one should not wear it while sleeping, drinking, smoking, having sex, menstrual cycle, visiting any funeral or a new born baby.
    In Shaivism no such rules are there as far as i know.

    Among named activities only visiting funeral may be considered as "impure" in general case, and even though rudraksha (as well as Shivalinga) cannot be defiled in any case.

    If one is against smoking or drinking, he is supposed not to smoke or drink . Even if rudraksha is removed, Shiva is still present to witness everything. This is not to say these things are "bad" it depends on the context and amount.

    Many sadhus in India do smoke, neither of them removes rudraksha that time. Moreover, their smoking is devoted to Shiva.

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Some Siddhanta and Vira Shaiva texts [Chandragyana Agama (mostly which caste should wear which type of Rudraksha)] give certain injunctions and prohibitions with respect to wearing Rudraksha. Then there is also just traditional practices which may or may not have authentic basis.

    For instance most devotees of Skanda adorn themselves with a 6 faced Rudraksha and in doing so apply prohibitions such as celibacy, vegetarianism and avoidance of intoxicants. Whether it is baseless or not is from my view at best speculative.

    For the most part I percieve it as a seed with a derived meaning/symbolism ascribed to it; maybe, if one day I find a one mukhi I will probably change my tune a little.
    Last edited by Srikantha; 01 August 2008 at 06:12 AM. Reason: additional information

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Hari o
    ~~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by Srikantha View Post
    Some Siddhanta and Vira Shaiva texts [Chandragyana Agama (mostly which caste should wear which type of Rudraksha)] give certain injunctions and prohibitions with respect to wearing Rudraksha. Then there is also just traditional practices which may or may not have authentic basis.

    For instance most devotees of Skanda adorn themselves with a 6 faced Rudraksha and in doing so apply prohibitions such as celibacy, vegetarianism and avoidance of intoxicants. Whether it is baseless or not is from my view at best speculative.

    For the most part I perceive it as a seed with a derived meaning/symbolism ascribed to it; maybe, if one day I find a one mukhi I will probably change my tune a little.
    Namaste Srikantha
    What you say is true. There are guide lines for rudrākśa , yet they are not rigorous but worthy of note... the quality of the bead, how many faces, how many beads, like that.

    Also it is considered good manners to remove the mālā for toilet times... specifically 'long calls' if you know what I mean.

    There are books on this and I can suggest a one of if there is interest.
    Also consider the following for the mālā:
    • It is not touched or passed around to others - it is your śhakti and rudrākśa-s that is being established - Do not co-mingle other people's energy
    • Blemished beads - that is not high quality beads are to be avoided. High quality does not indicate price , but quality and look - spikes are clear and visible, to cracks, no worm holes, etc.
    • Cleaning the beads and oiling them - I use sandlewood oil ... just enough to recondition them
    As you mention different beads invoke different sakti. One faced, two, etc. we can review. I think there is a post on this; searching ( using HDF tool bar and Search fuction) will deliver the posts.
    Also the size of the bead i.e. small is mean, size of a jujube is better and that of an indian gooseberry is conducive to the destruction of all distress ( Says the Śiva Pūraṇa)

    Also its said tripuṇḍa (tri = 3 + puṇḍa = mark) or sacred ash bhasma or vibūti usually applied on the forehead is recommended; this is called out in the Śiva Pūraṇa (Videśvaṛā Saṁhitā).

    pranams

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    What you say is true. There are guide lines for rudrākśa , yet they are not rigorous but worthy of note... the quality of the bead, how many faces, how many beads, like that.
    Also it is considered good manners to remove the mālā for toilet times... specifically 'long calls' if you know what I mean.
    There may be rules specific to sampradaya (which at times are indeed awkward: for example, some Bengali shakta texts prohibit touching a tulasi for a shakta), but rudraksha as such cannot be defiled as it is one of the avaranas. Prasada or Padodaka remains holy even if it fells on impure ground.

    I would agree that it may be OK to remove mala while going to toilet (however i don't think it's a needed practice) at least in a case of dualistic philosophy, but i can't understand what is defiling in having sex (which isn't against shAstras), smoking (yeah, bad for health, but nothing more) or being in periods for a woman.

    By the way U are exactly right in pointing out that damaged beads aren't to be used.

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Hari Oṁ
    ~~~~~

    Many see rudrākśa (rudra + akśa) as the tear of Śiva. There is also another slightly different view held; that rudrākśa are the eyes of Śiva. How so?
    rudra रुद्र - we know as crying , howling , roaring , dreadful , terrific , terrible , horrible; yet this rudra is also red, shining, glittering from its root rud or rudh. And we know this rudra is another name for Śiva, so no news hear.

    akśa अक्षis the eye; also its a seed; it is also considered the beam of a balance or string which holds the pivot of the beam; and this akśa is also a measure of weight. So one can say by definition that the bead is his akśa, eye.
    Others say it is his tears. And others say rudrākśa means it is pleasing to the eyes (ākśa) of Rudra.


    Namaste

    Much can be read about this in the Śiva Purāṇa-s:
    rudrākśa is the favorite bead of Śiva. It is highly sanctifying. It removes sins by sight, contact and japa.

    As we know the number of faces mukhi-s ( from mukha ) on rudrākśa varies; the Śiva Purāṇa-s calls out from a single faced up to 14 faced bead. Are there others? Yes, as I understand it - from 15 to 21 faces, Yet I have not seen these. What you will find most often is 5 mukti faced beads. This 5 is significant ( also note the number 14 is 1+4 = 5 ) and I thought to offer a view on this for those that are interested.


    The 5 faced bead is considered Rudra Himself says the Śiva Purāṇa-s. This number 5 is associated with Śiva's innate qualities or śakti. Also we have talked a bit about the 3 divisions (trika) and its association to Śiva. I thought taking a look at this 5 may be interesting.
    So for a future post perhaps we can look some ideas of the 3 + 5 = 8 numbers and see any significance. Lets look at 3 sets of 5 associated with Śiva.

    Set 1
    • anuttara - the supreme ; non-higher - this is represented by the letter a - the first letter, first sound, that makes all other sounds available ( as we find it in Mātṛkā and Mālini sequence of letters phonemes )
    • ānanda - this is bliss or pure happiness ; this is represented by the letter ā
    • icchā - is divine will; this is represented by the letter ī ; Some say this is desire, yet I am told is not a correct few for icchā.
    • jāna - this is pure knowledge without bounds; this is represented by the letter u
    • kriyā this is action without bounds; this is represented by the letters e , ai o and au
    Set 2
    As Śiva chooses to manifest and come into the world ( creation) Abhinavagupta suggests this offers 5 kinds of bodies .
    • We have the Ultimate again, anuttara, yet for this set of 5 we call it paramātmā - the Ultimate (paramā ) ātmā (SELF).
      That which is the highest Reality paramārthaḥ, or sat.
    • Next is antarātmā - the inner SELF
    • The next is most interesting , the ativahikātmā - that intelligence that carries the SELF from one incarnation to another
    • Next is bhūtātmā - a 'body' of prāṇa
    • Next is bāhyātmā - the external self.
    Said another way, as the Supreme Consciousness Śiva, some like to call Bhairava, becomes solidified, it manifests or forms as ~ bodies~ or śarīra. I will list these 5 in just another format in Set 3.


    Set 3
    • spanda śarīra - this is the subtlest , the spanda or that vibration or throb found in the unmanifest. Pure sattā ( Pure Being). When anuttara is oriented to external expansion, this throb, spanda is its nature
    • sākta śarīra - is energy (śākti) body
    • puryaṣtaka śarīra - this is the subtle body; I am not in favor of using this world subtle as it is 'squishy' by definition; let me explainthe best I can. This , as I see it, is pur+yaṣṭa+ka - with whom (ka) + the body ( pur) + that is entrusted (yaṣta ); it is this intelligence that carries the jiva from one birth to another. To go deeper ( and I will avoid that) Abhinavagupta suggests this puryaṣtaka śarīra is made up of the tanmatra-s i.e. sound, form, smell, etc.
    • prāṇa śarīra - that life force body
    • sthūla śarīra - we know this as the 'gross' body - our physical frame , a heap (of mass).
    Now do I know if these lines of demarcation from one śarīra to another is fixed with no spill over? I do not know. Yet it helps
    define some of the apparatus i.e. covers of the body or kośa-s and/or sakoca limitations that we hear of in various conversations.


    That said, this number 5 is of significance as we find it outlined in Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa by Abhinavagupta-ji. Obviously this is tantric look on this number 5. Do we find this someplace else - the significance of 5 in creation? Yes, in the Taittrīya Upaniṣad, 1st chapter or vallī and the 7th śloka (some like to call anuvaka) says 'All this is paca ( fivefold). He ( Brahman) sustains the paca by paca the itself. ( Svāmi Śivānānda's translation) - some may write this paca as pacakritya or 5 fold act. The śloka goes on and outlines what is 5 fold and calls out the various groups of 5 collected in a common themes i.e. beings, the elements, vital breaths, etc.

    As we started with Rudra, let me end with a few lines from the Śrī Rudram; I Mention this as the 5 syllable mantra namaḥ śivāya ( नमः शिवाय )resides in Śrī Rudram, the 8th anuvaka ( I think).
    The following is from the fifth anuvaka ( to keep with the paca or 5 theme)
    namo bhavāya ca rudrāya ca namaḥ śarvāya ca paśupataye ca
    namo nīlagrīvāya ca śitikaṇṭhāya ca
    namaḥ kapardine ca vyuptakeshāya ca
    namaḥ sahasrākṣāya cha śatadhanvane ca
    namo giriśāya ca śipiviṣṭāya ca
    Salutations ( I bow i.e. namo) to Bhava and to Rudra.
    Salutations to the Lord of all sentient-beings.
    Salutations to the blue-necked one, and to the white-throated.
    Salutations to the wearer of matted locks, and to Him of shaven hair.
    Salutations to Him of a thousand eyes, and to Him of a hundred bows.
    Salutations to Him who dwells on (in) the mountains, and the form of śipiviṣṭāya (or Viṣṇu)

    महेश्वराय नमः
    om maheśvarāya namaḥ

    pranams


    words and references
    • anuttara अनुत्तर - chief, principle; Supreme, nothing can surpass
    • mukha मुख- the mouth, face - as a rudrākśa bead is counted by the number of lines that create sections; each section is considered a face
    • śarīra शरीर - body, or frame; support; also " that which is easily destroyed or dissolved " which is another name for our physcal body. ( the garment a woman wears to cover her śarīra is considered a śari ).
    • sthūla स्थूल - large , thick , stout , massive , bulky ; the gross body
    • vallī वल्ली - a creeper ( like a cucumber), creeping plant, yet applied as 'of the section of' some also like to write this like valī वलि which is
      a line or stroke made with fragrant unguents on the person - hense the wisdom as fragrant falling on the reader.
    • vali वलि- a line or stroke made with fragrant unguents on the person
    • kośa-s are also nown as kacuta-s - the coverings over pure conceiousness that brings it into the linitation of present jiva experience.
    • HDF post on trika via Śiva's triśula - http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=23124&postcount=5 ( note its the 5th post )
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Rudrakhsa

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Many see rudrākśa (rudra + akśa) as the tear of Śiva. There is also another slightly different view held; that rudrākśa are the eyes of Śiva. How so?
    rudra रुद्र - we know as crying , howling , roaring , dreadful , terrific , terrible , horrible; yet this rudra is also red , shining , glittering from its root rud or rudh. And we know this rudra is another name for Śiva, so no news hear.
    Namaste

    Another view I just thnking of as I read mālinī-vijayotara tantra is the following. We reviewed this format rudrākśa (rudra + akśa) above.

    Yet another form is rud + rākṣā.

    rud रुद् - is grief, pain, wailing, weeping or crying.
    rākṣā रक्षा - the act of protecting or guarding , protection , care , preservation , security

    Put together - rudrākṣā is that which protects one from grief and pain;
    and if one would say rud is also another way of saying rudra, then the notion is 'rudra' the one that protects the native from grief and pain.


    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 11 September 2008 at 08:08 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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