Primarily Rudraksha is a symbol of spirituality. 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 world wide. Apart from Hindu religious saints, its users and worshipers vary from artisans, housewives, academicians to businessmen. Its origin are traced to Lord Shiva, one of the Trinity of Hindu religion. From ancient times, Shiva’s images and idols are shown wearing Rudraksh beads. It is worn singly or in multiples in the form of mala. Many people wear for its good omen, may be as a talisman or just for good health.

There has been no research or organised studies carried out on this bead either for assessing its medicinal or healing properties and also its divine effects. Since the beads are identified more as a Hindu religious symbol it did not attract special attention of the western commercial world.

The non clinical test conducted during the period February 2005 till August 2007 by the department of Pharmacology, University of Mumbai on Rudraksh and its benefits looks quite promising.

It is believed that Rudraksha tree originated from the tears of Lord Shiva known as Mahadev. The most important basic property of these beads as per experience and also expectation is to make a person fearless.

According to Hindu mythology Lord Shiva is omni potent and He exists in atoms and cosmos. He controls the cycle of birth & death. He is dimensionless.

In many families, women are forbidden from wearing Rudraksh. Presence of the large number of fake beads in the market has shaken the confidence of people and this is one of the important reasons that inhibit its use.

The new age gurus and learned orators wear Rudraksh and they offer Rudraksh mala as their blessings to their followers. In order to understand the properties of Rudraksha, there is need for pool of experts from fields like digital biology, magneto therapy, kirlian photo imaging, x-ray / CT scanning and botany, along with researchers in pharmacology, medicine and physics. This can be done either at a corporate level or by the government. There is no doubt that Rudraksh can help to make the world free from diseases, stress and fear. It can easily become the low cost treatment as well as preventive therapy for various physical and mental disorder.

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In simple words following can be said about checking Rudraksh:-

  1. A good and perfectly matured Rudraksh should sink in water but this does not mean that all Rudraksh that do not sink in water are fake. Minute check for the lines or the joints before coming to a conclusion is required. A genuine Rudraksh can also float in water if there is a hole in it & when air is trapped or if the beads have been dehydrated due to aging. There are some varieties of genuine Rudraksh whose density is not enough to make it sink or which have been plucked from tree before maturity. Therefore this test has limitation and could not lead to final word.
  2. Rotating the bead between two copper coins is also not a correct test, any bead having surface like that of Rudraksh and having groves and ups and downs can rotate in this condition.
  3. Test like seeing whether the milk in which a bead is immersed does not ferment or the bead comes to the top automatically when kept in bag full of grains are not correct.
  4. Proper examination of the bead by owns eye is the best method available for which one does not have to be an expert. Do not buy a round 1 mukhi even if it is available covered with a skin or with leaves or accept it if given free. Do not buy a Gourishankar having flat end to end joint. The groove in a Gourishankar should join from inside.
  5. In case of a doubt, a destructive test by cutting the seed horizontally and counting the seed inside will offer a conclusive proof. The number of seeds should be equal to the number of lines. Here again it is absolutely necessary to understand if the seed inside is not fully developed then you will see only a point or an empty compartment instead of a seed. This type of test can be useful for seeds upto 10 mukhi. Beads of higher mukhi should be examined and tested using special skill and counter checking using CT scan technique. Some of the non destructive test like X-ray or CT scan can be indicative, but the methods are not perfected as of now and hence cannot be accepted as proof. This test can be done correctly for beads upto 8 mukhis. But beyond that it may require patience and skill to count the internal seeds or additional checking using detailed visual inspection. It may not give 100% accurate result due to the overlapping of the internal seeds and therefore this technique needs to be further refined and developed as this is the only non destructive procedure to verify the number of mukhis. X-ray from different angles may help to count the inner seeds. CT scanning is the other way to help, but it is very expensive. One needs to engage an expert for this purpose whose visual check might be correct.
  6. Boiling in water for a minimum of two hours shall bring out whether the bead is created using an artificial joint and remain uniform in colour even after the boiling process.
  7. Always follow the guidelines to procure perfect beads which are not damaged, have hard body, have thorny yet smooth surface and have natural hole.
  8. Predominant etching of OM, Shivling or Trishul should indicate that it is spurious. Although in some genuine bead such etching occurs, but in a very natural and merging manner.
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