Rudraksha has fascinated people across the world due to it's mystical properties. It is amazing that a seed of a fruit grown on trees has gone on to receive so much attention and created so much interest worldwide. Apart from Hindu religious saints, its users and worshippers vary from artisans, housewives, academicians to businessmen.
Rudraksha is known and has been in use from time immemorail. It's origins are traced to Lord Shiva, one of the Trinities of the Hindu religion. From ancient times, Shiva's images and idols are shown wearing these beads.
Rudraksha is for self-empowerment and for bringing about positive changes from within. It has been generally found that people suffering from hypertension, diabetes, stomach disorders, stress, arthritis and fear get beneficial results by wearing rudraksha. Even disorders like asthma, insomnia and hypertension get cured or controlled by wearing rudraksha alone in some cases and along with fundamental natural therapies or herbal treatments in other cases. Such therapies can be yoga, pranayam, sun therapy and use of ayurvedic herbal products.
A mukh is a complete dividing line running from top of the seed unto its bottom. Generally in two, three, four, five and six mukhi rudraksha, these dividing lines are more or less equally spaced (there could be several exceptions). In the higher mukhis, the mukh may be spaced unequally although the better-looking ones are those having nearly equal distribution of surface. Mostly, the lines or mukh is on the raised mountain protion of rudraksha body and not on the ridges. This is an improtant point to remember while identifying genuine rudraksha from the fake ones.
This feature makes it slightly difficult for people manipulationg the beads by creating extra lines. It is a matter of width between nature and man's greed. There are unscrupulous people, who very cleverly study the free spcae availability and space, before creating the extra line and this makes it difficult for an ordinary customer to identify the bead. These people insert a full section of rudraksha having multiple mukhis into another rudraksha with counter space to create a higher mukhi bead. This is done usually for 12 and higher mukhi beads. An expert can discover the manipulation by just seeing such rudraksha.
About 70% of all rudraksha beads from nature are five mukhis, 10% each of four mukhis and six mukhis and the balance 10% makes for lower mukhis (1,2,3) or higher mukhis (7,8,9 and upwards). Rudraksha of 16 mukhis and upward are really rare and only few pieces are found from nature in an entire year. Only one or two pieces are found from nature in an entire year. Any one or two pieces of 20 or 21 mukhis and one or two Trijutis occur in nature each year.
Gaurishankher (two beads joined naturally on the trees and having one common shell outside) is also a rare variety. Hence, buyeres of such extremely rare varieties should be extra careful while procuring them.
In ancient epics like Shiva Puran, Padma Puran, Shrimad Devibhagwat or Skhand Puran rudraksha up to 14 mukhis are mentioned. There is no reference to those beyond 14 mukhis, possible due to extremely rariety of such beads.
Higher mukhis beads have been popular among princely families, rich business families and saints. Reference of beads higher than 14 mukhis is found in Katyani Yantra and some other old scriptures written some eight or nine centuries ago.
The rudraksha bead has top portion from where the lines (mukh) originate and this is called Brahma. The middle portion having the largest diameter is known as Vishnu and the bottom portion where the lines end is known as Shiva.
Beads higher than fourteen mukhis are very rare. They become rarer according to their mukh- for example 21 mukhi beads are rarer than 20 mukhi and this trend is followed in most cases. Those with 22 muhis and above are historic occurences. Three beads joining naturally on the trees is a rare phenomenon and its occurrence is similar to that of 19 mukhis and above (three to four pieces per year in each season.)
The one mukhi rudraksha from Nepal, if at all found, shall be similar in shape but smaller compared to the two mukhi, also from Nepal. (It will be oval in shape and slightly flat and having the shape of an eye when viewed from the sides). The beads of the Nepal variety shall have a natural hole in the centre.
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