I had written a bit on Rudraksh earlier. But there has been a request for more on the different faceted ones. There is a huge market for weirdly shaped higher faceted Rudrakshs which the dealers capitalise on. You might be swayed by your dealer into parting with large amounts of money for beads named, ‘Gauri-shankar’, ‘Ganesha’, ‘Saraswati’, ‘Laxmi’, ‘Trijuta’, etc. But remember the Shiva Puran and the shastra is the basic resource for information on Rudraksh not your dealer. So be very careful while buying this bead. You should buy a round, spherical Nepalese bead not the Indian/Indonesian beads as far as possible.According to Shiva Puran following beads should not be worn.
- Beads which have been damaged by worms and have visible holes where the worms have eaten them.
- Rudraksha beads have natural holes (Nepalese beads) through which the string is tied. This natural hole is irregular and not drilled smooth. Indian and Sri Lankan beads do not have holes and these are drilled artificially to give smooth holes.
- Roundness. Beads have to be spherical and smoothly round. Irregularly shaped beads are either not genuine or not good energy.
- Rudraksh of faces above fourteen are not mentioned in the shastras.
- Buy a bead which looks light for its size. So a light weighted large bead will be good or if you want to wear a small sized one it should be perfectly round in shape and size and the ridges on it should be pleasantly rounded not spiky.
- As far as I have seen Rudraksh is not a planetary remedy. (It is possible that some people have had other experiences with the Rudraksh as a remedy for planets, but I have not). So if your astrologer asks you to wear a 1-Mukhi bead for balancing your Sun, do take a second opinion and follow your conscience.
So how can you check out if the bead you have is genuine? It should be first of all round, spherical and pleasing to the eye. Indian beads are elongated. Indonesian beads are small and do not have prominent enough ridges.
- Break it open? The bead is a seed-case. The ridges on the outside/the facets correspond to the number of seed chambers inside. But do not destroy your bead, just X-ray it. The number of faces outside should be the same as the number of seed chambers inside it.
- Presence of a natural irregular hole is genuine. (not a drilled smooth perfect hole.)
- If you drop a rudraksh in water, it should sink vertically straight to the bottom.
- Avoid rudraksh on which dyes, vermillion etc has been applied, even if your dealer says it is a puja done to enhance the potency of the bead. More likely it is been done to hide the fake bead till you have paid for it.
- And finally for those who can see auras and feel the energy, a real Rudraksh has a silver-gold aura and if you hold it in your hand you can sense its force through your palm chakras.
Now for the question on the number of faces on the bead.
1-face. A rudraksha of a single face is Siva himself very potent and with powerful energies which will grant Moksha. It is a round bead. It is extremely rare and never seen in the commercial markets. ‘Kaju-dana’ (Cashew Shaped) is not an ek mukhi/1-faced bead, it is not even a Rudraksh.
2-faces. A rudraksha with two faces is the Isha form of Shiva. It is also called the Ardhnarishwar as it symbolises the union of 2 forces which results in Creation/manifestation. It will grant you all the desires you want. Is quite rare, recheck before buying.
3-faces. A Rudraksh with three faces is dedicated to Shiva in the form of Agni. It represents the illumination seen at the third eye/Agni. This helps in clearing chakras especially increases focus on the third eye. Is quite rare.
4-faces. A Rudraksh of four faces is Shiva is the form of the creator Brahma. It will help in completing the 4 aims of life Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. This one is easily available in the market and is never faked.
5-faces. A Rudraksh with five faces is Shiva in the form of Kalagni-Rudra. It helps in balancing the 5 tattvas (Prithvi, Aap, Tej, Vayu and Akash). Is found in all sizes and very common. The smaller this one is the potent its energy.
6-faces. A Rudraksh with six faces represents the son of Shiv-Kartikeya. It is worn on the right arm or the right wrist. It adds to learning and wisdom of all types. This is also quite easily available.
7-faces. A Rudraksh with seven faces is called Ananga and is linked to prosperity. This bead is easily available.
8-faces. This bead is called Bhairva and is easily available. It helps overcome fears of every sort and allows you to do your sadhana with single minded concentration.
9-faces. This Rudraksha with nine faces is also called Bhairav but with a difference. This one is presided over by the 9 forms of Shakti Herself and worn on the left arm. This bead is easily available.
10-faces. This is also called as Janardana and helps removal of all sorts of obstacles, evil eye and negativity. This is also available in the market but should be verified before buying.
11-faces. This bead is the 11 forms of Rudra Himself. It allows control over the vital energy/pran flowing in your body. It is available but is often faked, so be careful while buying it.
12-faces. This bead is linked to the 12 Adityas and is worn on the head in the hair. It is simply brilliant and helps in sadhana. If used properly can accelerate your spiritual progress so that you are able to ‘see’ the Golden Sun in your third eye(Hiranyagarbha).
13-faces. This bead is called Vishvedev. It is often used by religious leaders. This bead in the market is often fake made by cutting more grooves in the lower faced beads.
14-faces. Is the highest energy of Shiva, Tripurari. This bead is worn on the head in the hair, is called the Devmani (jewel of illumination). This bead in the market is often fake, made by cutting more grooves in the lower faced beads.
Now a bit on how to wear. You can wear all the types of beads as a single bead pendant. (wearing the specific faced ones on the arm or head will be obviously better). Or you can make a jaap mala of 108 beads (plus one Sumeru bead) and use it to count your mantra jaap or wear it in your neck. You can also dip them in water, do your mantra jaap over the water and sprinkle the water over yourself and in your house.
Then the mantra to be used with the Rudraksh in your puja. This bead like any other is a tool for channelising energy. You need to do some puja daily if you want to derive the benefits of the bead. For normal householders like you and me the best and easiest way is to recite, ‘Om namah Shivaya’ 108 times (will take 5 minutes of your time every day). Or if you have a bit more time recite the Mahamrutunjai Mantra, Om Tryambakam yajamahe, sungandhim pushtivardhanam, uruvarukmiva bandhanat, mryutor mukshiya maam amrutat. Om’ 108 times (will take 15 mins of your time everyday).
(There are beej mantras different for each type of bead. But beej mantras are to be treated with respect and not randomly used. Pronunciation is paramount in using beej mantras. And rudraksh is a very potent energy. If you wish to find out more they are mentioned in Shivapuran, Padmapuran, Skandapuran and Brahajjalopanishad. I will not give them out in a post.)