Rudraksha beads, once identified only with saints and spirituality, are now gaining popularity among all sections of people. Meaning Rudra's (Lord Siva's) eyes in Sanskrit, Rudraksha, seed of Elaeocarpus Ganitrus tree mostly grown on Himalayan foothills, was till recently associated only with spirituality.
The beads are increasingly becoming popular among the public, particularly women, in various parts of India and abroad, according to Somasundaram, an organiser of exhibition-cum-sale of various types of Rudrakshas here.
Foreigners, especially those studying Yoga and Indian culture, have turned lovers of the beads, he said. Women in the past were not in favour of their husbands wearing rudraksha, fearing that it would wean them away to spirituality, he said.
However, women were now buying rudrakshas and even gifting the beads to their husbands seeking "prosperity, wealth and health".
Elaborating the powers attributed to the beads, he said one-faced rudraksha stood for prosperity, while two-faced beads indicate unity, particularly between couples. The three-faced beads stand for power and command and the four-faced rudraksha help in creativity. The five-faced beads help for good health, he said.
Those wearing 12-faced rudraksha would be successful in trade, business and also in politics, Somasundaram claimed.
Though number 13 is considered unlucky, the person wearing a 13-faced rudraksha would have the capacity "to attract by the looks and performance". The rudrakshas from 15 to 21 faces are normally worn by saints and sooth sayers, he added. Somasundaram has a large collection of rudrakshas, valued from Rs five to Rs 2.40 lakh.
As rudrakshas are traditionally attached to Lord Shiva, the users have to follow some restrictions, such as being a strict vegetarian while wearing them, he pointed out.
Those consuming non-vegetarian food should remove the Rudraksha before eating and wear it only after taking a bath and "purifying" it, preferably with milk. It would be better to remove rudraksha while consuming alcohol or indulging in sexual act, he added.