As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 15
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The magnitude of Rudraksa’s influence and its holy impact on devotees, who worship and adorn it…rudraksa is of fourteen kinds each with one to fourteen mouths and these affect devotees’ destiny and fortune, and destroy sins.
After dwelling on the import and significance of application of Bhasma – the sacred ashes and tripundra, he speaks on the grandeur of Rudraksa for it also liberates a man from all sins and evils. It sanctifies man internally and externally, and a mere glimpse and contact with chanting of mantra purifies a man, a devotee. Shiva, long back in ancient times, narrated the magnificence of Rudraksa to goddess Parvati so that it helps devotees.
Ages back, Shiva undertook rigorous penance and tapa. Once he was terribly disturbed and so the benefactor of the worlds, opened eyes and instantly, a few drop of water fell down, and it gave birth to a huge Rudraksa tree, he tells Parvati, and later, the trees grew in number and became stationary. Shiva distributed a few beads of Rudraksas to the devotees of Vishnu and among the four varnas and later, Shiva planted the trees in a country called Gauda and later, he planted and grew the holy trees in Mathura, Ayodhya, Lanka, Malayachal, Sahayagiri, Kashi and other regions. The trees of best quality and beads were able to destroy sins and evil forces and even Shiva categorised these Rudraksas (of four colours – white, red, yellow and black) into Brahmins, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras and said they were of auspicious nature.
For benefit of worldly pleasures and deliverance, devotees must wear holy beads of Rudraksas. To please the god and goddess, the devotees ought to adorn themselves with the fruit of Rudraksa’s tree. Rudraksa of the size of amla – Emblic myrobalan (Dhatariphala is the best and the bead of the size of jujube is of lower size, Shiva tells Parvati. A rudraksa of the size of gram is of small class. However, each class of Rudraksa blesses the devotee with happiness and good fortune.
Thereafter, lord Shiva gives description of benefits of different kinds of beads of Rudraksas. Rudraksas of the size of amla cause destruction of all distresses. Lighter fruit is more fruitful he tells. The wise men tell that the rudraksas that are small give fruit ten times more, and for the destruction of sin, it is good to wear. Rudraksas with many protrusions yield benefits, give pleasures, and lead to liberation. Worms-eaten beads or beads with cracks, and misshaped are not good. In this way, lord Shiva continues to speak about the blessings of Rudraksa devotees will have. He also tells about the mode of wearing rudraksa round the neck, arms, elbows, wrists and three rudraksas in the holy thread. A devotee shall put three in the thread and tie up five round the hip.
Lord tells that wearing of rudraksas destroys many sins and a devotee, who wears eleven hundred rudraksas, gets fruit, one cannot describe it in hundreds of years. A man of devotion should make a crown of five hundred beads and wear it on head for divine blessings. He advises that a devotee should make a rosary of three hundred and sixty beads and prepare a holy thread and then, should wear after completing rituals. Later, monk Suta speaks of number of Rudraksas a man should wear on different parts of the body with japa of different mantras, which are must for a disciple, who is willing to master various mantras relating to Rudraksas for wearing the beads in ears, neck, heart, hands, stomach while chanting of mantras pertaining to specific parts of body.
A man who wears Rudraksas must abstain from stimulants or liquids of solid nature. Shiva tells holy goddess that white Rudraksas are good for brahmins, for ksatriyas red beads and for the caste of vaisyas yellow is good and for sudras black rudraksa is prescribed and the categorisation is based on theVedic principles and if examined from the contemporary point of view, these carry scientific reasons. Thus, the fruit of Rudraksa tree blesses all men of all castes, ashramas, varnas, women, yatis and others if they wear it with devotion and perform requisite rites for appropriate and immediate reward of good health, wealth and prosperity, for it also purifies and ultimately, is a path to liberation. However, a man, who wears rudraksa ought to ensure purity and cleanliness of mind, heart and body even as he fulfills requirement of essential prayer and worship.
While adoring the body with the holy beads of Rudraksas, one ought to take care of rituals and rites, size of the beads, appropriate mantras and purity of mind, heart and body, he underlines again. He, who puts on tripundra on forehead and adorns different limbs with the holy beads and chants the great Mahamritunjaya mantra, is a hallowed devotee whose mere glimpses confer darshana of lord Rudra. An ascetic should adorn it with japa of Pranava. The great lord tells that the holy Rudraksa is a phallic image and all beads need worship and praise.
Shiva narrates the nature and kinds of Rudraksas to Parvati, which bless devotees with joys of life and salvation. Rudraksa of one mouth is image of Shiva. Worship of the holy bead keeps goddess Laksmi near and happy and so she blesses. It destroys anarchic situations and fulfills peoples’ desires. Rudraksa of two mouths is lord of lords and its worship fulfills all wishes. Similarly, Rudraksa of three mouths is house of all wisdom and knowledge – vidyas. Four mouthed Rudraksa is an image of Brahma and blesses a devotee with the four Purusarthas (objective of life and existence) – dharma (truth, moral values and uprightness), artha (wealth and prosperity), kama (joy and delight of material and physical-psychological life) and moksa (deliverance or salvation).
Five-mouthed Rudraksa is a symbol of death and this Rudraksa is capable of doing anything, and it fulfills wishes and bestows moksa. Five-mouthed Rudraksa destroys sins and the six-mouthed Rudraksa is an image of Kartikeya and it frees a man from the sins of brahmahatya and therefore, the great lord Shiva briefly tells goddess Parvati of the virtues of all the fourteen kinds of Rudraksas, monk Suta tells inquisitive brahmins and sages. Rudraksa with fourteen mouths is the image of Supreme lord Shiva, he tells and thereafter, the great lord tells goddess about the holy mantras, which a devotee should chant while adorning it. A devotee should discard lethargy, lassitude, etc. and with the japa of particular mantra should wear Rudraksas. Here, the lord also speaks about the fourteen mantras specified for each Rudraksa. The moment, ghosts, evil spirits, pisaches, dakinini, witches etc see a devotee wearing Rudraksa, they run away and so he is free from all dangers. Such a devotee delights, and gives joy to Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, goddess Durga, Ganesha, Surya etc.
Thus, monk Suta continues to glorify the essence of Rudraksa and so tells succinctly about Vidyeiswara Samhita. A devotee is required to adhere to certain principles of prayer and worship. Therefore, he ought to seek guidance from a guru, the preceptor and learn the art and expertise of adoration and worship before he embarks upon the strenuous but motivating and blissful path of devotion to attain the land of god, which lord Shiva narrates to goddess Parvati Suta tells and so concludes the teaching of Vidyeiswara Samhita.
To be Continued