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We know that Yantra is the manifestation of mantra, or of a deity. Through such representational diagrams, the seeker meditates on the chosen god, to attain powers or liberation. In nature we come across objects or things, which are marked by symbols of divinity. The shapes, or imagery of divine forces are found in trees, plants, and flowers and most commonly in beads such as Rudraksha. As the very name Rudraksha—the eye of Rudra [Shiva] – defines the beads it is considered the most potent, manifestation Cosmic Force. Hence Rudraksha is the object of veneration and also the source to reach the higher self. It is the natural Yantra representing the all-pervading energy, The Shiva.

The power of Rudraksha
Beads and seeds are considered sacred in the recitation of mantras. Even wearing of these around one’s neck is believed to bring happiness, peace and prosperity. Beads are good symbols to concentrate one’s thought while reciting mantras or performing rituals. Tulsi beads and Rudraksha are the most important and sacred in Hinduism. While Tulsi beads are considered to symbolize the creative principle, Rudraksha represents the destructive energy. Rudraksha means the Red-eye in Sanskrit. It is brick-red coloured dried berry of the Rudraksha tree (Elacocarpur Ganitrus). It has also been alluded to as Rudra. In Hindu mythology, there is a story about the creation of Rudraksha. In order to destroy a demon named Tripura Sur, Lord Shiva used a fire weapon called Aaghor. It killed the demon, but the power and radiance of the weapon made Shiva close his eyes, for even He could not gaze at its brilliance. As lord Shiva opened his eyes, it became watery and tears rolled down. Wherever the tears fell on earth, trees sprouted bearing Rudraksha beads.

Various kinds of Rudraksha and their Meanings
Rudraksha beads have sides, or faces and these can be from one to as many as 38. Though all are considered auspicious, one faced Rudraksha is supposed to bring prosperity and power to one who possess it. One faced Rudraksha is believed to represent Lord Shiva. Sometimes other auspicious design are found on this Rudraksha, like a trident, serpent, star-hexagon etc. as we have already discussed in our features on Yantras, that such symbols are power symbols and if energized through prayers, mantras and rituals, it can give all objects desired by its possessor.

In Tantra, different face Rudraksha is supposed to represent different cosmic energy and is used accordingly. It is said to possess supernatural ingredients, which can prevent ageing, bestow good health, and remove all impurities from body. Rudraksha beads are commonly used for treatment of all types of hypertension and for heart diseases.

How to select a real Rudraksha
One has to use a real Rudraksha bead, for artificial beads made from wood are sometimes passed off as real Rudraksha. There are some simple tests to distinguish the real Rudraksha from fake one, though there is no foolproof method. A real bead does not float the surface of water or milk. It is also believed if in a string one suspends a real Rudraksha over a contaminated onion, it will begin to rotate. The best quality Rudraksha is a little greasy, rounded, hard, with protuberant mouth, clear face, and with a natural hole. It should be worn on solar or lunar eclipse day after performing ritual worship.

Faces of Rudraksha

There are generally 38 faces that are found on Rudraksha. Here we shall briefly enumerate their properties, namely of one to twelve faces.

One Face: Brings worldly success power and glory.

Two Face: Helps concentration and fulfil romantic desire.

Three Face: Good for health and higher education.

Four Face: Good for gaining health, intellect and happiness.

Five Face: Good for fulfilment of desire and enlightenment.

Six Face: Helps gaining physical strength, prowess and success.

Seven Face: Increases intuitive knowledge and brings honour.

Eight Face: Removes all obstacles and leads to happiness.

Nine Face: Brings wealth, happiness and contentment in family.

Ten Face: Protects from black magic and provides good health.

Eleven Face: Bestows happiness in marriage and provides long life.

Twelve Face: Gives prosperity, bliss, and spiritual knowledge.