Rudraksha is a sacred seed used as chanting beads or worn for protection. It has a long history of how it came into existence.
To know about the importance of rudraksha, we must know about its history and origin first.
What is Rudraksha?
Rudraksha is holy to Lord Shiva. This bead is often fashioned into jewelry such as pendants and malas or used as chanting beads.
People have worshiped rudraksha trees since ancient times. Several Hindu scriptures, Shiva Purana, and shastras have noted the importance of rudraksha.
According to ancient texts, rudraksha beads are full of spiritual and healing benefits. Spiritual seekers, Sages, or people who wanted to gain “moksha” wore these beads.
Ayurvedic medicines used several parts of the rudraksha tree other than its beads. Some elements that were ingredients in ayurvedic medicines were rudraksha’s bark, fruit, seed, etc.
History of Rudraksha
Rudraksha comprises two words, “Rudra” and “aksha.” “Rudra” signifies Lord Shiva, and “aksha” stands for tears.
Shiva Purana has the story about how rudraksha beads came into existence, and it goes thus :
“An ambitious asura named Tripurasura did meditation for many decades. He prayed to Lord Brahma. Impressed by his dedication, Brahma presented him with a boon.
After getting his wish fulfilled, he became consumed with pride.
Tripurasura forgot humility and started destruction and nuisance. He created imbalance and caused havoc on earth and heaven alike.
The demon created mass hysteria among humankind, destroyed cities, and disrupted the flow of nature.
He drove gods out of heaven and broke sages’ meditation.
Unable to do anything, all gods went to plead to Lord Brahma.
Brahma being the one who granted Tripurasura’s boon, couldn’t do anything despite the dire situations.
Brahma sent the gods to Lord Shiva. After millennia of concentration, Shiva cried tears of grief.
The divine Trinity then came together to destroy Tripurasura and succeeded.”
The tears Lord Shiva shed fell on the earth and became the first rudraksha trees. He created these beads to aid humankind.
These beads can help you in the most difficult of times and change destinies.
Even Lord Shiva wears these beads in his hair, shoulders, waist, arms, wrists, and neck.
Hindu mythologies say that he did not create these beads only for humanity. He believes in the power of these beads and thus always wears them.
Praying with rudraksha beads has been a practice since 1000 B.C. The history of rudraksha is hundreds and thousands of years old.
Wearing it can remove your sins and guide you on the right path.
Origin of Rudraksha
Rudraksha trees grow worldwide in present times. But, the first trees of rudraksha grew in the foothills of Himalaya.
As Lord Shiva’s tears got scattered across the planet, one can’t be sure if this was the only place of origin.
Rudraksha trees grown in Nepal produce the most valuable beads. Beads from the Himalayan region are rough beads.
Both these kinds are rare and precious because of their unique structure and density.
The proper growth of rudraksha trees depends on factors such as terrain, moisture, etc.
When all these factors favor the development of rudraksha, the beads are of better quality.
Importance of Rudraksha
Rudraksha holds great importance in both spiritual and scientific aspects. The ways in which rudraksha is essential to both of them are
Spiritual Importance of Rudraksha
Rudraksha has a great deal of spiritual importance to it. As it originated from the tears of Lord Shiva, that makes it mystical and divine.
Spiritual seekers respect and wear rudraksha and warn to follow the rules of wearing rudraksha. Rudraksha helps you along the path of attaining salvation. It also gives you the courage and energy you need to face the world.
Scientific Importance of Rudraksha
Ayurveda uses several parts of the rudraksha tree as medicinal ingredients. Yet, it took modern medicine some time to accept and use rudraksha.
Rudraksha is now an ingredient for many drugs and medications such as antidepressants.
Rudraksha can rid you of diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease, etc., in due time.
It also cures and reduces the effects of anxiety, depression, palpitations, stress, etc.
Short Summary on the History and Origin of Rudraksha
Rudraksha has a vast history. Many people believe that rudraksha has its origins in Nepal. But, there is no hard evidence that supports this claim.
Rudraksha has always had a significant contribution to science and medicine.
It has many beneficial properties, and it truly is a divine element.
The practice of wearing rudraksha began with Shaivism followers.
But, soon after, when people became aware of its beneficial properties, it became popular.