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The term rudraksha is interlaced with Shiva. It was Lord Shiva’s tears that created the first rudraksha trees.
To understand Shiva and rudraksha’s relation, we should first get to know about both of them individually.
Who is Shiva?
Shiva is a Hindu God. His unique depictions make it easier to spot him among an array of other gods.
In the various descriptions of Shiva, people often change minor details. But a few core things stay the same throughout, such as –
- The third eye on his forehead. This eye represents Shiva’s wrath, and when it opens, it’ll cause mass destruction.
- The King of snakes around his neck.
- His bright blue throat earns him the name “Neelkanth.”
- The crescent moon oh his hair.
- River Ganga that flows from his hair.
- The three lines of bhasma or ash on his forehead.
- His trident weapon, the trishula.
- His damaru.
Shiva is also known for his other forms. Some of his well known
- The first is Adi Yogi or the supreme mediator. He abstains from worldly life.
- Ardhanareeshwara where he represents both masculine and feminine characters. He embraces both of them and portrays they can co-exist.
- Natarajan or the dancer. I’m this form; he does his divine dance of destruction.
Shiva is the third of the three major gods. The trio of gods is mentioned in many Vedas and epics.
They are known as Tridev or Trimurti.
This trinity of gods is essential to Hinduism because they represent the three different aspects of life.
These are birth, growth, and death.
Brahma represents birth; he was responsible for the construction of the material world as we know it.
He is known as the “God of creation” in Hinduism. Ancient scriptures say that Brahma was the beginning of all existence.
It is from him that the three worlds or “lokas” originated.
He created the first humans and fashioned the four Vedas from his four heads.
Vishnu represents growth; he is the “preserver” or “sustainer.”
Whenever the world or humankind is in danger, Vishnu ascends to earth. Texts mention ten avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu.
Many people believe Vishnu comes to earth when evil has spread, and justice needs to be served.
Shiva represents death; he is the “destroyer.” He is the one who destroys the corrupt and evil times to start a new world.
Shiva is the primal soul of the universe. One can see a stark difference between most of his depictions.
He is in a meditating posture, or he can be doing his dance of destruction.
What is Rudraksha?
Rudraksha is a mystical bead. It has numerous beneficial properties. Rudraksha comprises two words, “Rudra” and “aksha.” “Rudra” means Shiva, and “aksha” stands for tears.
Wearing a rudraksha can bring miraculous changes to your life.
Lord Shiva says that thinking of, looking at, or even touching a rudraksha can benefit you.
Wearing a rudraksha on different parts of the body will account for the “fal” you can get off it.
To know the origin of rudraksha, we must go way back through our ancient scriptures. The story of rudraksha’s birth goes as such –
“A long time ago, an asura named Tripurasura wreaked havoc on earth.
He tortured people, burned down cities, and murdered people who stood against him.
He caused great harm to the world as well as humankind. Humans and gods were all terrified of his power, but nobody could do anything to stop his insanity.
He had powers, unlike anyone in all three realms.
After a long time, the gods couldn’t take it anymore and pleaded with Lord Shiva to end Tripurasura.
They asked the Lord to bring justice and save humanity from the terrors of the demon.
Upon hearing this, Lord Shiva went into “sadhna” (meditation). After several millennia, he broke his concentration.
Drops of lotus-shaped tears started falling on the earth.
Shiva could not contain his grief and emotions anymore.
Upon peeking into humankind’s future, he saw a scene so terrifying that even the calm and composed Lord cried.
But, only aiding humanity was not enough to get rid of the demon. All three Major gods (Tridev) had to unite to destroy it.
Brahma pulled the chariot, and Vishnu fashioned himself into an arrow. Shiva fired the arrow and killed the demon.”
When Shiva’s tears fell on earth, they became the first rudraksha trees.
However, to say that rudraksha is just another creation of Shiva will be unfair. Shiva truly believes in the power of rudraksha.
In all his depictions, Shiva wears various pieces of jewelry made of rudraksha.
If you wear a rudraksha, So you need to follow the rules of wearing rudraksha mala/beads to become one with Lord Shiva himself.