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RUDRĀKṢA - रुद्राक्ष

See also:  रुद्राक्ष
(Elaco Carpus seeds) Beads for rosaries.
1) General information.
A holy thing worn by devotees. In the Purāṇas much importance is attached to Rudrākṣa. In [Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 11], there is a story stating how Rudrākṣa came to be honoured in this way. Once there lived an asura chief who was mighty and valiant. His name was Tripura. He defeated Devas and deva chiefs and became emperor of the asuras. The Devas were much grieved because of him. They went to Śiva and represented their grievances. Śiva thought for a while, how to kill Tripura, and sat with open epes. This sitting continued for a thousand divine years. After this prolonged time Śiva winked his eyes and tears fell down from them. The Rudrākṣa tree originated from these tears. From the Sun-eye of Śiva twelve types of Rudrākṣas came into being; from the moon-eye sixteen kinds of Rudrākṣas and from the fire-eye ten kinds of Rudrākṣas originated. Those which originated from the Sun-eye are blood coloured, those from the moon-eye white Rudrākṣas and from the fire-eye black rudrākṣas. Boiled Rudrākṣa is considered a Brahmin caste, red rudrākṣa a Kṣatriya caste, white one a Vaiśya caste and the black rudrākṣa a Śūdra caste.
2) Division of rudrākṣa based on quality.
The division of rudrākṣa according to the number of faces, and qualities thereof are given below: With one face: Rudrākṣa with only one face is the figure of Śiva. By wearing this remission from the sin of Brahmahatyā could be procured. With two faces: Rudrākṣa with two faces is the figure of Devīdeva. This is known by the name “Gaurīśaṅkara”. By wearing this remission from all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly, would be obtained. With three faces: This is the figure of Agni (fire). By wearing this the sin incurred by Strīhatyā (killing a woman) would be washed away. With four faces: Rudrākṣa with four faces is the figure of Brahmā. By wearing this, the sin incurred by Narahatyā (killing a man) could be got rid of. With five faces: This is the figure of Kālāgni (Fire of Kāla the God of death). By wearing this, remission of sins incurred by eating food which ought not to have been eaten and enjoying woman who ought not to have been enjoyed, could be obtained. All sorts of sins would be absolved by five-faced rudrākṣa. With six faces; Six-faced rudrākṣa is the six-faced god Kārttikeya. By wearing it on the right hand, remission from all sins, beginning with Brahmahatyā could be obtained. With seven faces: Rudrākṣa with seven faces is the figure of Kāmadeva (Cupid). If this is worn, sins such as theft of gold etc. could be removed. Eight faces; Rudrākṣa with eight faces is the figure of Vināyaka, the general of the great army. By wearing this, sins incurred by deceit such as selling rice of low quality as good quality, keeping false weights and measures, giving gold of lower carat as good carat gold, by enjoying woman of wicked families, touching the wife of teacher, and so many other kinds of sins would be absolved, and impediments would be avoided and finally one can attain supernal bliss. With nine faces:- This rudrākṣa is the figure of Bhairava. This should be worn on the left hand. By doing so one would become as mighty as god and would become devoted to god and would attain salvation. The sins incurred by killing the child in the womb a thousand times and killing Brahmins a hundred times would be got rid of by wearing this rudrākṣa. With ten faces:--This is the figure of the real Janārdana. If one wears this, the devils, wicked planets. Ghosts, goblins, spirits haunting funeral places, Brahmarākṣasas (a kind of demon) etc. will not come near him. Moreover, snake-bite would not affect him. With eleven faces:--Rudrākṣa with eleven faces is the figure of the Eleven Rudras. This should be worn on the head. By doing so one could obtain the fruits of performing a thousand horse-sacrifices and a hundred Vājapeyayāgas (A kind of sacrifice). With twelve faces:--Rudrākṣa with twelve faces is the dwelling place of the twelve Ādityas. This should be worn on the ear. If it is done so, the sun-god will be pleased. The wearer will obtain the fruits of performing horse-sacrifice, cow-sacrifice etc. He will not be wounded by animals with horns, or quills or teeth. He need not fear disease or worry. He need not fear to go anywhere. Wherever he goes he will be honoured as God. All the sins incurred by slaughter of elephant, man, snake, rat, frog etc. will instantly be absolved. With thirteen faces:--He who wears rudrākṣa with thirteen faces will be equal to Kārttikeya. All his wishes will be realized. He will get rasa (mercury) and rasāyana (sweetened medicine) and all the pleasures and luxuries of the world. The great sins of killing parents, brothers etc. will be removed. With fourteen faces:--He who wears rudrākṣa with fourteen faces will be exactly like the real Paramaśiva.
3) The mode of wearing Rudrākṣa.
He who wears thirtytwo rudrākṣas on the neck, forty on the head, six on each ear, twelve on each hand, sixteen on each of the upper arms, one on each eye, one on the lock of hair, and one hundred and eight on the chest is really Śrī Nīlakaṇṭha Paramaśiva Himself.

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