Rudraksham seems to have an important place in the Saivite sect of Hinduism. I have seen it being worn by many Saivite temple priests and many rishis (in their portrayals). Apart from priests, I have also seen people preferring to wear Rudraksha Maala around their neck. People also use it for prayer beads. Lord Shiva himself is depicted wearing Rudraksha around his hair, neck and arms.

What is the reason for Rudraksha to have gained so much importance and popularity in Shaivism? Is there any mention about Rudraksha in the Scriptures?

4 Answers 4


The Devi Bhagavatha Purana describes the origin and importance of Rudrakshas as follows.

The origin of Rudrakshas [dark beads of Tree, termed Elaeocorpus Ganitrus in Latin language] or Lord Siva’s tears, extensively used as Prayer Rosaries, goes back to Maha Deva’s killing Tripurasura, who sought to destroy the Universe and whom all the Devas, Brahma and Vishnu failed to control. Maha Deva concentrated with His eyes wide open for several years together to create a very highly potent weapon by name ‘Aghora’ with which to annihilate the Demon and in the process trickled tears which produced a stream from where sprang a Rudraksha Tree.

The Rudraksha Seeds are of thirty eight varieties. From Lord Shiva’s right eye, signifying ‘Surya Netra’ (Sun God), emerged from the Trees that yielded twelve kinds of yellow colour seeds;from His left eye, signifying ‘Soma Netra’ (Moon) came sixteen varieties of white coloured beads, and from the Lord’s third eye on His forehead representing ‘Agni Netra’ ( Fire) came ten varieties of black colour. The white variety of the beads are meant for wearing by Brahmanas, the red colour by Kshatriyas and the black coloured beads by Vaisyas and others. ‘Eka Mukhi’ Rudrakshas represent Siva Himself the wearing of which washes off even the worst sin of a killing a Brahmana’; two faced one represents Deva and Devi destroying two kinds of sins among ‘Pancha Paatakas’;....

Further important informations on Rudraksha from the linked page:

1)Wearing one- faced, five- faced, eleven- faced or fourteen- faced Rudrakshas is highly recommended.

2)Medical values of wearing Rudraksha malas (rosaries) are said to be immense in warding off depression, stress, diabetes, cancer, heart and blood related diseases. Close contact of body parts like head, heart, neck, ear and hands assures protection from ill health.

3)All vedic acts are to be accompanied by wearing Rudraksha Malas like Sacrifices, Vraths, Pujas, holy baths, Shraddhas, Solar and Lunar Eclipses, Uttarayana and Dakshinayana ‘Samkramanas’(entry timings), and Full Moon and New Moon days or Pournami and Pradhama days.

4)However one should not touch or consume wine, meat, tobacco, onion, garlic and such impurities as also during mating, since these constitute atrocious insults to Maha Deva.

5)However, Sage Narayana quoted Maha Deva telling Kartikeya that any human being irrespective of caste or even animals or other species carrying Rudrakshas would be immune from sins as an ass carrying a load of the beads died on way but had salvation!

&6 He who holds thirty on neck, fourty on head, six each on ears, twelve each on hands, sixteen each on arms, one each on eyes, one on hair or crown, and hundred and eight on breast totalling two hundred and fifty one become Maha Deva Himself

The importance of Rudraksha is well highlighted in the following Linga Purana verse which states that Shiva does not accept Puja of those devotees who do not wear 1) The Tripundha(on forehead using Bhasma or otherwise) & 2)the Rudrakshas.

Hence, for Shiva Devotees(or generally) the importance of Rudraksha is supreme.

Vina Bhasma Tripundrena Vina Rudrakshamaalayaa ||

Pujito 'Api Mahadevo Na Syaat Tasya PhalaPradah||

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The Shiva Purana, in its 25th chapter describes the following about Rudraksha's origin:

Lord Siva, the Yogeshwar (master of Yoga), was meditating for thousands of years for the benefit of people everywhere. When Siva opened his eyes, some tear-drops fell on the earth and grew into Rudraksha trees.

The Rudraksha trees grow in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Hawaii and Australia.[1] The Rudrakshas are considered holy since they are believed to be the representations of Shiva's tears. They may have upto fourteen faces (sides). Rudrakshas with different faces are believed to have different abilities. For example:

  • One sided Rudraksha is believed to bring happiness, wealth, liberation and removes problems and obstacles.
  • Two sided Rudraksha is believed to increase mental powers, calms agitated minds, helps to overcome Tamasic Guna.
  • Three sided Rudraksha is believed to help in acquiring knowledge and skills, helps increase digestive power, effective in reducing fever and in eye diseases.
  • Four sided Rudraksha is believed to increase memory and improve the power of speech.

This answer is an excerpt from http://www.hinduism.co.za/siva.htm#Rudraksha%20Beads

  • So, there are only 4 types of Rudraksha? May 18, 2016 at 7:27
  • @AmitSaxena No.See my answer .
    – Rickross
    Oct 10, 2016 at 11:03

The importance , Significance of Rudrakasha and it's Glory are described in Vidyesvara Samhita , Shiva Purana , Chapter 25 "Glory of Rudrakasha"

दर्शनात्स्पर्शनाज्जप्यात्सर्वपापहर: स्मृतः ॥2॥

This Rudraksha is an extremely auspicious bead and is extremely dear to Lord Shiva. By it's mere sight or by preforming japam with the same ,or using it as rosary , all the sins get destroyed.

रुद्राक्षधारणं प्रोक्त पापनाशनहेतवे
 तस्माश्च धारणीयो वै सर्वार्थसाधनो ध्रुवं ॥19॥

Rudraksha has been prescribed for the removal of the sins.Therefor one should wear this Rudraksha which fulfils all the desire.

According to this shloka from Shiv-Purana , Rudraksha is like a "Yajnopavita".

त्रिभि: शतै: षष्टियुक्ततैस्त्रिरावृत्या तथा पुनः ।
रुद्राक्षैरूपवीतं च निर्मियाद्भक्तितत्पर:॥27॥

A devotee should wear three strings of three hundred and sixty Rudraksha beads like a "Yajnopavita"

रुद्राक्षेण जपन्मत्रं पुण्यं कोटिगुणं भवेत् ।
दशकोटिगुणं पुण्यं धारणाल्लभते नर:॥58॥

The performing of "Japam" by the rosary of Rudrakasha beads ,multiplies the reward crores of times.

So from above shlokas we can see that why Rudrakasha is very Important in Saivism and its Significance.


Rudraksha is considered as tear of Lord Shiva.

Sage Sanatkumara approached Lord Kalagni Rudra and asked him, "Lord, kindly explain to me the method of wearing Rudraksha." What he told him was, "Rudraksha became famous by that name because initially, it was produced from the eyes of Rudra. During the time of destruction and after the act of destruction, when Rudra closed his eye of destruction, Rudraksha was produced from that eye. That is the Rudraksha property of Rudraksha. Just by touching and wearing this Rudraksha, one gets the same effect of giving in charity one thousand cows."

Brihad Jabala Upanishad

Rudraksha was produced during the fight between Shiva and Tarakasura.

Sage Bhusunda questioned Lord Kalagni-Rudra: What is the beginning of Rudraksha beads? What is the benefit of wearing them on the body? Lord Kalagni-Rudra answered him thus: I closed my eyes for the sake of destroying the Tripurasura. From my eyes thus closed, drops of water fell on the earth. These drops of tears turned into Rudrakshas. By the mere utterance of the name of 'Rudraksha', one acquires the benefit of giving ten cows in charity. By seeing and touching it, one attains double that benefit. I am unable to praise it any more.

Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad

Glorification of Rudraksha in Padma Purana

201. A man becomes equal to me by wearing rudrākṣas of all mouths (i.e. by wearing rudrākṣas having any number of mouths). Therefore, O son, with all effort, wear a rudrākṣa. 202. A man, who, wearing a rudrākṣa, dies on the earth, goes to my charming city, (and) is honoured by all gods. 203. O boy, formerly in Maru country when a trader was going for trading he was harassed (i.e. haunted) by a female spirit under a tree. 204. She danced there; a brāhmaṇa saw her (and said to her:) “Who are you? You are helpless; you are covered over with a tattered garment.” 205-206a. She then told the brāhmaṇa: “I have heard from a messenger of gods; O brāhmaṇa, this charming man will now certainly meet with death due to the fall of the thunderbolt (on his body); and he will be my husband.” 206b-209a. In the meanwhile, the thunderbolt fell from heaven on his head; and he fell on the ground on half the portion of a rudrākṣa. Then, O son, an aeroplane quickly flew from my city. Then the fortunate man, got into it and remained there for a long time. Having obtained my portion he will be a rich and wealthy man on the earth. O son, thus a man who dies on a piece of a rudrākṣa, obtains a good position (i.e, goes to heaven). 209b. I am unable to describe the fruit of wearing a rudrākṣa with the knowledge (of its importance). 210. He who dies with a rosary of rudrākṣas or with (just) one rudrākṣa (on his body), would become the follower of Śiva, Śakti, Gaṇapati, or the Sun. 211. He who recites it to himself, or to others, causes others to listen to it or himself listens to it, is free from all sins, and would obtain heaven in (due) order.

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