Rudraksha is a divine seed and is believed to bestow all sorts of spiritual, mental & physical benefits to its wearer.
The term ‘Rudraksha’ itself symbolizes Lord Shiva. ‘Rudra’ stands for Lord Shiva and ‘Aaksha’ for Shiva’s tears. These beads are the seeds of Rudraksha fruit obtained from Rudraksha trees. Rudraksha is often believed to symbolize the link between the earth and the heaven, hence are an object of veneration and used as prayer beads to reach the higher self.
Rudraksha trees are mostly found in South Eastern Asian Islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Iran, Timor (Indonesia) and parts of South Asian Kingdom of Nepal.
Around 70% of Rudraksha trees are found in Indonesia, 25% in Nepal & 5% in India.
Scientifically known as Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb, Rudraksha tree is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree. Its green, globose fruit’s seed is the Rudraksha beads. It takes 15 to 16 years for the tree to mature and bear fruits. The fruits are kept in water for a number of days and then Rudraksha seed is taken out after peeling off the pulp.
On each Rudraksha seed vertical lines are seen running down its surface. These lines are called mukhi or ‘the clefts or furrows on the surface’ and determine the type – for instance seeds with one vertical line are one mukhi, those with two lines are two mukhi and so on.
Rudraksha comes from 1 to 38 mukhis. The five-faced Rudraksha are found easily and abundantly, but a one mukhi Rudraksha is extremely rare.
The Rudraksha beads found in Indonesia (Called Java beads) are much smaller in size with smoother surface and mukhi lines visible as white lines from one to the other very close to the surface and not etched deep. Sizes vary from 2mm-20mm, with average size 12mm. These are found to have a natural hole and are found with all 21 Mukhis.
Whereas the ones from Nepal have a limited variety of mukhis. Nepal beads are larger in size, thorny with several projections and having deep clear mukhis. The mukhi lines are embedded deep in the outer surface. Sizes may vary from 14mm-40mm with average size 20mm.
All Japa Malas and Rudraksha bead malas ranging in size from 2mm-14mm (Normal & Chikna Variety) come from Indonesia only. These have been worn since times immemorial for health, spirituality, peace and for mantra japa.