1.27.2010

How to Meditate Like a Master: Rosaries—the Beads of Bliss

Rudraksha: The Seeds of Compassion

Om Sam Saraswati Namah! Om Namah Shivaya! Om

Ages ago, Shiva was sitting in deep meditation for eons. One day he finished his meditation and opened his eyes looking down upon the state of the human race after the destruction of the Tripura. He cried when he saw the great suffering of humanity. His tears of compassion fell from heaven upon the earth; and where each tear struck, a rudraksha tree sprang up. The seeds of this tree have special properties, divine and mystical. The seeds are called Rudrasksa beads and are considered to be the tears of Shiva. Rudra means Shiva; and aksha means eye or tear. One of the meanings of Rudra is the compassionate one; he is a form of Shiva who is fond of meditation and ascetic pursuits.

The seeds from the rudraksha tree, Eleocarpus, have special properties such as healing, propitiating planetary forces and deities. The Rudrakshajabalopanisad states that using rudraksha beads to count mantras, or prayers, in a rosary empowers a mantra “100 koti lakh times”—or 100,000,000,000,000 times (one hundred trillion times). Using a rudraksha rosary, or mala, empowers the mantra or prayers being recited quantum mechanically. The use of the rudraksha beads is considered a great aid to meditation in saivite and tantric traditions in India, Tibet, and Nepal.