Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 11 Chapter 4



Chapter IV

On the greatness of the Rudrākṣa

1-11. Nārada said:

O Sinless one! The greatness of the Rudrākṣa seed that you have described is verily such.

Now I ask why is this Rudrākṣa so much entitled to worship by the people. Please speak clearly on this point.

Nārāyaṇa spoke:

O Child! This is the very question that was asked once by Kārtika, the six-faced One, to Bhagavān Rudra, dwelling in Kailāśa. What He replied, I will tell you now. Listen.

Rudra Deva spoke:

O Child Ṣaḍānana. I will dwell briefly on the secret cause of the greatness of the Rudrākṣa seed. Hear.

In days of yore, there was a Daitya called Tripura who could not be conquered by anybody. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and the other Devas were defeated by him.

They then came to Me and requested Me to kill the Asura.

At their request, I called in my mind the Divine Great weapon, named Aghora, beautiful and terrible and containing the strength of all the Devas, to kill him. It was inconceivable and it was blazing with fire.

For full divine one thousand years I remained awake with eyelids wide open in thinking of the Aghora weapon, the destroyer of all obstacles, whereby the killing of Tripurāsura might be effected and the troubles of the Devas be removed.

Not for a moment my eyelids dropped. There my eyes were affected and drops of water came out of my eyes. Note here. How enemies are to be killed. It requires great thought, great concentration, great yoga and great powers.

O Mahāsena! From those drops of water coming out of my eyes, the great tree of Rudrākṣa did spring for the welfare of all.

This Rudrākṣa seed is of thirty-eight varieties.

From My Sūrya Netra, i.e., My right eye, symbolizing the Sun, twelve yellow coloured (Pingala colour) varieties have come; and from my left eye representing the Moon, the Soma Netra, sixteen varieties of white colour and from my third eye on the top, representing Fire, i.e., the Agni Netra, ten varieties of black colour have come out.

Of these the white Rudrākṣas are Brāhmins and they are used by the Brāhmaṇas; the red coloured ones are the Kṣattriyas and should be used by the Kṣattriyas and the black ones are Śudras and should be used by the Vaiṣyas and the Śudras.

12-19. One faced Rudrākṣa seed is the Śiva Himself, made manifest and rendered vivid; even the sin incurred in killing a Brāhmaṇa is destroyed thereby.

Two faced or two headed Rudrākṣam is like the Deva and the Devī. Two sorts of sins are destroyed thereby.

The three faced Rudrākṣam is like fire; the sin incurred in killing a woman is destroyed in a moment.

The four faced Rudrākṣa seed is like Brahmā and removes the sin of killing persons.

The five faced Rudrākṣam is verily an image of Rudra; all sorts of sins, e.g., eating prohibited food, going to the ungoables, etc., are destroyed thereby.

The six faced Rudrākṣam is Kārtikeya. It is to be worn on the right hand. One becomes freed of the Brahmāhatyā sin. There is no manner of doubt in this.

The seven faced Rudrākṣam is named Ananga. Holding this frees one from the sin of stealing gold, etc.

O Mahāsena! The eight faced Rudrākṣa is Vināyaka. Holding this frees one from the sin of holding an illicit contact with a woman of a bad family and with the wife of one's Guru, etc., and other sins as well. It enables one to acquire heaps of food, cotton, and gold; and in the end the Highest Place is attained.

20-35. The fruit of holding the eight faced Rudrākṣa seed has been said.

Now I will talk of the nine-faced Rudrākṣam. It is verily the Bhairava made manifest. On the left hand it should be worn. By this, the people get both Bhoga (enjoyment) and Mokṣa (liberation) and they become powerful like Me and get themselves freed at once, without the least delay, of the sins incurred by committing thousands of abortions, hundreds of Brahmāhatyas (killing the Brāhmaṇas).

Holding the ten-faced Rudrākṣa is verily wearing Janārdana, the Deva of the Devas. The holding of which pacifies the evils caused by planets, Piśāchas, Vetālas, Brahmā Rākṣasas, and Pannagas.

The eleven-faced Rudrākṣam is like the Eleven Rudras. The fruits, the efficacy of which I now describe. Hear.

The fruits obtained through the performance of one thousand horse sacrifices, one hundred Vājapeya sacrifices, and making gifts of one hundred thousand cows are obtained thereby.

If one wears the twelve-headed Rudrākṣam on one's ear, the Ādityas get satisfied. The fruits of performing Gomedha and Aśva Medhā sacrifices are obtained thereby:

No fear comes from burned buffaloes, armed enemies and wolves and tigers and other murderous animals. Also the several diseases of the body never come to him.

The holder of the twelve-faced Rudrākṣa seed feels always happy and he is the master of some kingdoms He becomes freed of the sins incurred in killing elephants, horses, deer, cats, snakes, mice, frogs, asses, foxes and various other animals.

O Child! The thirteen faced Rudrākṣam is very rare; if anybody gets it, he becomes like Kārtikeya and gets all desires fulfilled; and the eight siddhis are under his grasp. He learns how to make gold, silver and other metals; he attains all sorts of enjoyments. There is no manner of doubt in this.

O Ṣaḍānana! If anybody holds the thirteen faced Rudrākṣam, he becomes freed from the sins incurred in killing mother, father and brothers.

O Son! If one holds on one's head the fourteen faced Rudrākṣam always, one becomes like Śiva.

O Muni! What more shall I speak to you! The Devas pay their respects to one holding the fourteen faced Rudrākṣas and he in the end attains the Highest Goal, the state of Śiva. His body becomes verily the body of Śiva.

36-40. The Devas always worship the Rudrākṣa seed; the highest goal is attained by wearing the Rudrākṣam.

The Brāhmaṇas should hold on their heads at least one Rudrākṣam with devotion. A rosary of twenty-six Rudrākṣas is to be made and tied on the head.

Similarly a rosary of fifty seeds is to be worn and suspended on the breast; sixteen each on each of the two arms; twenty-four Rudrākṣas to be worn on the wrists, twelve on each.

O Ṣaḍānana! If a rosary be made of one hundred and eight, fifty or twenty-seven Rudrākṣas and if japam be done with that, immeasurable merits are obtained.

If anybody wears a rosary of one hundred and eight seeds, he gets at every moment the fruit of performing the Aśva Medhā sacrifices and uplifts his twenty-one generations and finally he resides in the Śiva Loka.

Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Greatness of the Rudrākṣam in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.