A Review On Mythological, Spiritual And Medicinal Importance
Kumar Naresh1, Dubey Mukesh2, Agarwal Vivek3*
1Assistant Professor, Department of Dravyaguna, M.S.M. Institute of Ayurveda, B.P.S. Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur kalan, Distt. Sonipat, Haryana – 131305, India. 2Assistant Professor, Department of Agada Tantra, M.S.M. Institute of Ayurveda, B.P.S. Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur kalan, Distt. Sonipat, Haryana – 131305, India. 3Assistant Professor, Department of Roga Nidana, M.S.M. Institute of Ayurveda, B.P.S. Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur kalan, Distt. Sonipat, Haryana – 131305, India
*Corresponding author: Email- firstname.lastname@example.org; Mobile: +919416051032
Since long time back, Rudraksha, has been recognized in Ayurveda due to its spiritual and medicinal uses. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that anyone who wears Rudraksha beads get the mental and physical prowess to achieve spiritual enlightenment. As an Ayurvedic medicine it is used in the management of blood pressure, mental disorders, neurological disorders, asthma, diabetes and gynecological disorders. It retards the aging process. Modern medical science also recognises its anchoring effect on heart and circulatory system because of its electric and diamagnetic properties. This review article is aimed at explaining the ancient mythological, spiritual and medicinal attributes of Rudraksha on the basis of modern science.
Key words: Rudraksha, mythology, diamagnetic properties.
In Hindu mythology, Rudraksha beads bear a great spiritual, religions and materialistic significance. The Hindu mythology considers Rudraksha as symbol of link between earth and heaven. It is believed that it contains the secrets of evolution of entire cosmos within itself (Chaturvedi B K, 2004). For centuries, the Hindu sages believe that one can cultivate mental, physical and spiritual prowess to attain fearlessness to achieve the ultimate enlightenment (Seetha K N, 2008).
According to Shivpurana, the one who wears the rosary of Rudraksha beads around his/her wrist, arm, neck or head can roam in the world fearlessly as does the Rudra and he/she cannot be killed by a living being. Wearing it makes the person respected and honoured by all (Chaturvedi B K, 2004).
As per Ayurvedic system of medicine, wearing Rudraksha beads relieves strain, insomnia, anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, palpitation, hypertension, rheumatism, infertility and asthma. It has anti-aging effect also (Dennis T. J., 1993).
Nearly 360 species of Rudraksha trees are found in different parts of the world. Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb. is the scientific name for the most popular species of Rudraksha tree. It belongs to the family Tiliaceae. This species was named by Dr. William Roxburgh. Elaeocarpus, this scientific name was taken from Greek words, Elaei which means – Wild olive, Carpus – fruit. Rudraksha is named differently in different languages across India. Rudraksha – in Sanskrit & Marathi languages. Rudrakshi as in Kannada language. Aakkam as in Tamil language. Its English name is Litrasum bead tree. This variety matches to the given specifications as found in our epic books which are old enough. This popular species is found in Nepal and Indonesia in more concentration. (Yelne M. B., 1995).
This plant is native of Indonesia. Now a day, trees of Rudraksha are found in tropical and subtropical areas at the altitude ranging from sea level to 2000 meters above sea level. It is mostly found in South East Asia, Island of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Iran, Timor (Indonesia) and Nepal. (Yelne M. B., 1995).
It is a large evergreen tree with broad leaves. Its height ranges from 50–200 feet. Leaves are large and shining green on the sun facing side and dull leathery on earth facing side. Flowers appear in the month of April-May and are white in colour. Fruits start appearing in June and ripen by October. Ripe fruit is fleshy and has a seed with blue shell. Inner part or bead lying in the seed is called Rudraksha. (Yelne, M. B., 1995).
C-H-N analyzer and gas chromatography has shown that it contains 50.30% Carbon, 0.95% Nitrogen, 17.897% Hydrogen and 30.53% oxygen. Among other elements it contains Aluminium, Chlorine, chloride, Copper, Cobalt, Nickel, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc and Silicon oxide. (Pandey V B and Bhattacharya S K,1985).
It is guru (heavy), snigdha (unctuous) in native, madhura (sweet) in taste, madhura in vipaka (sweet in post-digestive taste and sheet virya (cooling potency). Because of all these attributes it has vata-pitta pacifying action on the body.
Rudraksha beads have several amazing powers due to their electromagnetic properties. Wearing it affects the body and performs following actions:
Rudraksha is a natural tranquilizer. Wearing rosary of its beads relieves stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression and lack of concentration. It calms mind and cool down the body temperature. Wearing it around heart controls heart beats and keeps blood pressure under control. It slows down the aging process.Wearing three faced Rudraksha cures frequent fever in children. Wearing Garbh-gauri Rudraksha helps women in conceiving and get rid of threatened abortion. It has anti- paralysis properties. It helps balancing the vital chakras of human body that control wind, bile and phlegm.
Its systemic use is useful in following conditions:
Five faced Rudraksha possesses anti-hypertensive properties. Dip two beads of it in a glass of water in night and leave it over-night. Drinking this water in the morning in empty stomach condition controls blood pressure. Powder of beads when mixed with any Ayurvedic herb improves its effectiveness and period of treatment. Paste of ten faced beads taken with milk thrice a day cures cough. External use of paste and systemic use of powder form cures skin disorder, sores, pimples, boils, burns and ringworm. Use of mixture of powder and black pepper in equal quantity taken with water is useful in smallpox. Boil two beads of four faced Rudraksha in one glass of milk and drinking this milk is very useful in patient of manas rogas (mental disorders) and poor memory.
The whole human body behaves as a complex bio-electric circuit consisting of nervous system and other organs. A number of electrical impulses are generated in the human body because of continuous heart beats, blood circulation, and conduction of sensory and motor impulses in nerves, contraction and relaxing of muscle fibers. These electrical impulses are known as bio-electricity. Because of difference in the energy levels of different body parts, flow of bio-electric current starts. Smooth and controlled flow of this bio-electric current in the body provides streamlined functioning of different body systems. All the activities in our sense organs are governed by flow of this bio-electric current.
Psycho-somatic stress and maladjustment disrupts this streamlined flow of bio-electric current as well as normal functioning of the body systems which results in uncomfortable feeling, illness and abnormal psyche.
Rudraksha beads possess the property of a stabilizing anchor. Wearing these beads controls and normalizes the flow of bio-electric current in body.
Resistance – Rudraksha of particular type of mukhi have a definitive factor of resistance. It resists the flow of bio-electric current generated due to potential difference between different organs or parts of the body. This resistance generates a specific ampere of current flow depending on the factor of resistance. This acts in tandem with heartbeat, streamlining it and sending out specific impulses to brain to generate certain bio-chemicals in the brain which brings positivity in mood and more confidence making us feel better, more poised and energetic.
It is important to mention here that specific variety of Rudraksha sends specific impulses acting on a specific type of bio-chemicals in the brain thereby bringing specific positive changes in the personality.
Capacitance: This term means ability to store the bio-electric energy. The values are measured in the units of Farad. This property of Rudraksha makes them capable of stabilizing and anchoring the flow of bio-electric current thereby controlling and normalizing heart beat and sensory activities in the body. The increased level of stress results in increased physical activity in the body along with increase in heart beats, hormonal and nervine activities, thus increasing energy levels and potential differences at different levels. As a result the magnitude of flow of bio-electric current increases.
Rudraksha beads acts as capacitor or dielectric store when directly comes in contact with body and absorbs or store this excess of bio-energy streamlining the overall activity in the body to normalcy.
Inductance: Specific type of Rudraksha sends out specific inductive vibrations because of unique magnetic properties. These vibrations are the reason for why the people feel better even when the beads do not touch them physically.
The beneficial healing properties of magnets are an established factor. Rudraksha also heave magnetic properties. It has both paramagnetic and diamagnetic properties. It has unique feature of having ability to change its polarity. This feature is called dynamic polarity. In Rudraksha, it is by virtue of diamagnetism which is defined as the ability of any substance to acquire temporary magnetic property in presence of an external magnetic field. The polarity of the charge induced is always opposite to that of the external field inducing the charge.
How the Rudraksha beads streamline the functioning of heart and circulatory system is explained by the diamagnetic property of Rudraksha. (Sarkar P K et al., 2000).
Supply of oxygen and energy to the different body parts is hampered if the circulation of blood is blocked or reduced because of any blockage in the passage of blood vessels. This results in impaired functioning of the affected body part thereby causing illness.
We know that every cell of the arteries and veins as well as blood cells is either charged positive or negative. When a magnet comes in contact with a body part the opposite poles of the magnet and that of the cells get attracted. This attraction, in case of blood vessels, causes expansion of the passage and opening up of them facilitating the normal blood circulation. Normal supply of oxygen and energy through streamlined blood circulation makes us rejuvenated. If an ordinary magnet is brought near any part of the body it attracts the cells of only those sections of the blood vessels which oppositely charged hence complete streamlining of blood circulation cannot be ensured.
We know the circulation of blood & heart beats continuously induces a magnetic field around the body and particularly heart region. The bio-electric flow in the body also develops bio-magnetism depending on the polarity of the induced magnetic field. When Rudraksha comes in contact with body it acquires a polarity that is opposite to the inducing field. That’s why it helps in opening up of the blood vessels better than magnets.
Now a day, rarely faceted Rudraksha beads such as ek mukhi (one faced) beads are being manufactured by artificial means to make financial benefits. In such circumstances, it is important to check the purity and genuine-ness of the beads before buying them by any of these methods:
- Cut test: – This test is most reliable for checking the genuineness of Rudraksha beads. If, on cutting the bead horizontally the bead shows same number of compartments as that of facets or faces, it is a genuine bead. But, this method has a major drawback that the bead gets destroyed.
- Copper coin test: – If a Rudraksha bead is placed between two copper coins or copper chips, the bead rotates slightly because of its physical and magnetic properties.
- Electro–magnetic properties: – The original beads manifests properties like resistance, capacitance, inductance, conductance of electric current, magnetic forces etc.
- Water test: – The higher valued beads like Trijuti and Gauri-shankar Rudraksha manufactured by artificially gluing the two or three beads can be tested with this method. On boiling the bead with water, sharp discolouration appears at the joints of artificial Rudraksha.
The genuine beads sink in water. Fake traders of Rudraksha deceive the customers by dipping the beads in water. But, it is important to mention, here that fake beads prepared out of wood and impregnated with lead will sink in water thereby giving a fake impression of real Rudraksha.
According the Hindu mythology, the Rudraksha has originated from tear drops fallen from the three eyes of Rudra (Lord Shiva). Three eyes of Rudra represent sun, moon and fire. Rudraksha beads born out of tears of solar eye of Rudra are brown in colour and are of 12 types. Those beads which are born of his lunar eye are fair and are of 16 types. The furious eye tears gave origin to black Rudraksha which are of 10 types. In this way, ancient scriptures mention 38 types of Rudraksha.
Traditionally, Rudraksha beads are categorized on the basis of clefts or faces or mukhas the beads bears. Two mukhi to fourteen mukhi Rudraksha are commonly available in the market. One mukhi and Fifteen to twenty one mukhi Rudraksha are rare and costly varieties. Three more varieties namely Ganesh Rudraksha, Gauri Shankar Rudraksha and Garbh–Gauri Rudraksha are also available in the markets.
Before bearing, it should be sanctified. Specific type of Rudraksha is sanctified by chanting specific Beej mantra (empowering verse) and performing specific rites and rituals. It empowers and blesses the beads with amazing powers. Usually this sanctification ceremony is performed in the morning of Monday and the sanctified bead is worn the same day after touching it with Shivalinga (the symbol of Lord Shiva) (Parthasarathy V, 1993).
Table No. 01
Different type of Rudraksha their Ruling God, Planet and Beej Mantra (Empowering verse)
(Swarnalatha N, 2000) and (Vigyananand Swami, 2000).
|Type Of Rudraksha||Ruling God||Planet||Beej Mantra|
|1 Faced||Shiva||Sun||Om Hreem Nama|
|2 Faced||Ardhnareeshwar||Moon||Om Namah|
|3 Faced||Agni||Mass||Om Kleem Namha|
|4 Faced||Brahma||Mercury||Om Kleem Namha|
|5 Faced||Kalaagni||Jupiter||Om Hreem|
|6 Faced||Kartikeya||Venus||Om Hreem Hoom Namah|
|7 Faced||Mahalaxmi||Saturn||Om Hoom|
|8 Faced||Ganesh||Rahu||Om Hoom Namah|
|9 Faced||Durga||Ketu||Om Heem Hoom Namah|
|10 Faced||Vishnu||None||Om Hreem Namha Namah|
|11 Faced||Hanuman||None||Om Hreem Hoom Namah|
|12 Faced||Surya (sun)||Sun||Om Drom Sarom Ram Namah|
|13 Faced||Indra||Venus||Om Hreem Namah|
|14 Faced||Hanuman||None||Om Namah|
|Gauri Shankar||Chadra (moon)||Om Shree Gauri Shankar|
Table No. 02
Different type of Rudraksha and their indication (Dennis, T. J., 1993)
|Type of Rudraksha||Indication|
|1 Faced||Chronic asthma heart problems, mental anxiety, T.B, paralysis, stroke, eye problem bone pain and head ache.|
|2 Faced||Impotency, renal failure, stress, anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, negative thinking, eye problems, mental chaos, hysteria and intestinal disorder|
|3 Faced||Depression, schizophrenia, weakness multifarious, directive of the menstrual cycley/menstrual stress, fixation or guilt induced complexes, blood pressure, mood swings, fever or weakness, jaundice and mental disability.|
|4 Faced||Blood circulation, cough and brain linked illness, asthma, hesitate, memory lapse and respiratory strip problems|
|5 Faced||Blood pressure, heart problems, stress, mental disability, fatness, anger management, diabetics, piles, neurotic and maladjustment problems|
|6 Faced||Epilepsy and gynecological problems|
|7 Faced||Asthma, pharyngitis, impotency, foot related disease, respiratory and confusion|
|8 Faced||Stomach ache, stress, skin diseases and anxiety.|
|9 Faced||Work as mysterious medicine for treating strange diseases|
|10 Faced||Hormonal inequality in the body, mental insecurity and whooping cough|
|11 Faced||Body pain, backache, chronic alcoholism and liver diseases|
|12 Faced||Bone diseases, rickets, osteoporosis, mental disability and anxiety|
|13 Faced||Muscular dystrophies|
|14 Faced||Brain related and many other types of disease.|
|15 Faced||Skin diseases, recurring miscarriage and still birth. It is measured as a blessing for women who are incapable to imagine and in such case both the partner should wear it for fruitfulness.|
|16 Faced||Leprosy, tuberculosis, cor – pulmonale and lung diseases|
|17 Faced||Memory lapse and body functional disorders|
|18 Faced||Mental harmonization and loss or power.|
|19 Faced||Blood disorder and spinal disorder.|
|20 Faced||Eyesight problems and snake bites|
|21 Faced||It eliminates all form of disease.|
|Trijuti/tribhagi||Internal and external body disorders|
|Gaurisankar||Sexual and behavioral disorders|
|Garbha gauri||Gynecological disorders|
Since the epic times, Rudraksha beads have been attracting the attention of not only the ordinary human beings but also the sages, scientists and physicians because of attributes and powers. Across the world, scientists from the field of Physics, Bio Chemistry, Pharmaceutics and Medicine etc. are doing research on molecular levels on this herb. Recent researches on Rudraksha have proved the existence of miraculous electro-magnetic properties in it. The beneficial effects of these electro-magnetic properties on human body are also no more secret now.
Classification on the basis of external features of the beads is not correct scientifically. But, ancient scriptures classify and tag the quality and importance to different mukhi beads according to the number or type of mukha (Faces) the bead has.
The mythological and spiritual importance of anything has roots in faith and belief the human beings have. They do not require any explanations. But, the myths about miraculous effects of Rudraksha on human body have been proved true by modern science. The medicinal uses of Rudraksha beads in human body have been established through clinical trials under controlled and standard conditions. The exceptional electro- magnetic properties, especially diamagnetism contained in these beads are responsible for the beneficial effects on the different systems of human body through mere contact with these beads or wearing them. Out of nearly 360 species of Rudraksha, three specieses namely Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb. ex. G. Don, (Syn: Elaeocarpus sphaerica Gaertn) and Elaeocarpus angustifolius Blume. have been found possessing the properties for which these beads are in demand. At places even Guazuma ulmifolia Lam., Ulmaceae, commonly known as Badraksha is taken as a poor substitute of Rudraksha. (Bodhi Nighantu, 2010)
Till date, comparative evaluation of all the properties of different mukhi (types of) Rudraksha has also not been done scientifically under controlled conditions. Scientific research from this point of view will further unfold the mysteries related to Rudraksha.
- Bodhi Nighantu (2010), Singh Gurucharan, Guazuma ulmifolia (Rudrasham) from Delhi, Bodhi Nighantu, Retrieved from URL on 30/11/2012: URL - groups.google.com/group/bodhi-nighantu
- Chaturvedi B.K. (2004). Shiv Purana, Vidyeshwar Samhita, Chapter 25, Diamond Books (P) Ltd., New Delhi, Parts 01–95.
- David W. Lee (1991). Ultrastructural basis and function of iridescend blue colour of fruits in Elaeocarpus, Nature, Vol. 349, No.6306, p. 260–262.
- Dennis T. J. (1993). Rudraksha - Not Just a Spiritual Symbol But Also a Medicinal Remedy, Sachitra Ayurved 46, 2, p 142.
- Parthasarathy Vanamala, (1993), Ancient Indian History and Culture of the Anathacharya Indological Research Institute, Bombay, 1993, p. 98–100).
- Joyce Diamanti (2001). More about Rudraksha, The Bead Society of Greater Washington Newsletter, 18(2): p.6–8.
- Swarnalatha N., (2000), Rudraksam, Journal of Sukrtindra Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 03, P.17–22.
- Pandey V. B. and S. K. Bhattacharya (1985). Scientific appraisal of Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus): chemical and pharmacological studies", JREIM, P.66–71.
- Saminathan K. R. Veda (2009). The Amazing Power Of Rudraksha, P.55.
- Sarkar. P. K., Bhattacharya S.S. and Sengupta (2001), Further observations with Elaeocarpus ganitrus on Normal and Hypodynamic Heart, Department of Pharmacology, Medical College Calcutta.
- Seetha K.N. (2008). The Power of Rudraksha, 4th edition, Jaico Publishing House, 2008, Mumbai, p. 23–78.
- Vigyananand Swami (2000), Srimad Devi Bhagvatam, 11th Skanda, Allahabad Panini Office, Allahabad, Vol. 26, Chapter 3–7.
- Yelne, M. B. (1995) Notes on The Botanical Identity of Beads Found Under The Name: Rudraksha, Biorhythm, AYU. academy series, 44, P. 39–44.
Cite this article:
Kumar Naresh, Dubey Mukesh, Agarwal Vivek (2013), RUDRAKHA: A REVIEW ON MYTHOLOGICAL, SPRITUAL AND MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE, Global J Res. Med. Plants & Indigen. Med., Volume 2(1): 65–72
Received: 10/12/2012; Revised: 25/12/2012; Accepted: 05/01/2013