Rudraksha

Rudraksha

Rudraksha refers to the dried stones or seeds of the genus Elaeocarpus specifically, Elaeocarpus ganitrus. These stones serve as prayer beads for Hindus (especially Shaivas), Buddhists and Sikhs. When they are ripe, rudraksha stones are covered by an inedible blue outer fruit so they are sometimes called "blueberry beads".

The stones are associated with the Hindu deity Shiva and are commonly worn for protection and for chanting mantras such as Om Namah Shivaya . They are primarily sourced from India, Indonesia, and Nepal for jewellery and malas (garlands) and valued similarly to semi-precious stones. Rudraksha can have up to fourteen "faces" or locules - naturally ingrained longitudinal lines which divide the stone into segments. Each face represents a particular deity.