What Are Rudraksha?

Rudraksha are the seeds of a tree to which special powers have been attributed in India for thousands of years. The tree grows mainly in the Himalayan mountains and on Java and is considered sacred in Hinduism. The seeds of the bluish fruits are traditionally used by yogis to make their mala necklaces and are considered particularly suitable aids on the spiritual path.

Rudraksha Samen Beispiel Indien

Rudraksha in ancient Indian texts

The name "Rudraksh" means "tears of Shiva". (Rudra = name for Shiva, Aksha= eye). According to the legend, Shiva wanted to restore the well-being of all living beings. He meditated for thousands of years deep the mountains of the Himalaya. When he awoke from meditation, he opened his eyes and began to weep with compassion. His tears fell to the ground beside him and large trees grew where they touched the ground. The fruits of these trees and their seeds are therefore called Rudraksha, the tears of Shiva.

The Vedic texts also say: By watering the root of a tree, all its branches are nourished. In the same way, if you please Shiva with a mala ritual, all the other gods will also be pleased. By reciting the Shiva mantra ("Om namah shivaya") with complete attention and devotion, you achieve joy in life and freedom from the ailments of the world.

Rudraksha Chains in the Modern World

In modern times, necklaces made of Rudraksha are still very popular, especially in India and Bali. They are considered to protect against negative energies and stimulate the nervous system due to their special surface structure. When you run your fingers over the beads, it feels like a little massage for your fingertips.

For this very reason, Rudraksha are particularly suitable for meditation and are also becoming increasingly popular among Western yogis. Many yogis also simply carry the necklaces with them to remind themselves of their yoga practice in everyday life and to use the positive energy of the necklaces.

Junge Frau Meditation Malakette Japa im Wohnzimmer

Image: @juliaeileensoul

Uses of Rudraksha

Rudraksha beads are usually strung into a mala and worn either around the neck or wrist. Traditionally, a mala has 108 + 1 bead. The extra bead is called a "bindu" or "guru bead". A mala should always have a guru bead, as it helps to direct the energy back out of the necklace so that it does not run cyclicly. In this article we show you how to meditate with a mala necklace.

Spiritual powers of Rudraksha seeds

It has been passed down that Rudrakshas have special energetic (electromagnetic) properties. When worn on the body, they have a calming effect on the nervous system. They absorb the energy of the wearer, thereby enveloping him in a cocoon of his own energy. This can have several effects. For example, a Rudraksha mala is considered a shield against negative energies of other people. It is also said that wearing a mala makes you feel a little more at home wherever you go. For people who travel often and sleep in strange places, this is a great support.

But above all, a Rudraksha mala is a companion on one's spiritual path. Anyone who has tried to walk this path knows how difficult and full of obstacles it can be. A mala cannot walk the path for you, of course, but it can support you a little at each step and help you to focus on what is essential within you.

What are Mukhi?

Since Rudraksha grow naturally, there are many different ways they can look. No two seeds are exactly alike. Therefore, the main feature to group different seeds are the mukhi, also called faces.

Rudraksha have fine lines that run straight from top to bottom. They divide the hard shell into several segments - and these segments are called mukhi.

Mukhi Panchmukhi Rudraksha

The number and location of the mukhi affects the energy of the seeds. Each mukhi number unfolds different effects, which can be enhanced by matching mantras. Five-mukhi beads (also called panchmukhi) are good for all people - men, women, old and young. They represent general well-being and health. They have a calming effect and give a certain alertness to the nervous system.

Other mukhis (1,2,3,6,8,etc.) can have very specific effects and cause unwanted side effects. For example, there are reports of people who, by wearing a 1-mukhi bead, left their entire family within 7 days. There are no better or worse mukhis - only those that suit you better or worse as a person. So if for some reason you want to wear a Rudraksha with a mukhi number other than 5, it is important that it is personally chosen for you by an experienced teacher.

For this reason, we only use 5-mukhi beads in our necklaces, which are inspected and selected by hand.

What you should pay attention to when buying a Rudraksha Mala

Traditionally, making malas was a sacred duty performed by certain people for generations. These people, of course, also earned their living from the malas, but in principle they considered it a privilege to give the malas to others. However, due to the ever-increasing demand (especially in India), more and more commercial dealers are selling Rudraksha malas. These often use seeds of inferior quality or even completely different seeds that look similar to Rudraksha.

Especially for rare beads, whole immitates are fabricated, as rare collector beads can fetch up to several thousand Euros. The immitates are often so good that only very sensitive people even notice the difference. Purely visually, the difference is usually undetectable and you definitely have to have the beads in your hand. Therefore, it is very important to obtain Rudraksha only from trustworthy sources.

It is also important how the seeds are knotted into a mala necklace. The beads must be strung carefully and sensitively so that there are no cracks inside the beads. In addition, all beads should be arranged in the same direction so that the energy can flow optimally.

By the way, we only use cotton threads for our malas, because we are convinced that modern nylon strings ("bead yarns") do not suit the energy of the Rudraksha. In addition, we put a knot after each individual bead, so that the chain lies better in the hand during meditation.

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