Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 11 Chapter 5



Chapter V

On the Rudrākṣam rosaries

1-14. Iśvara said:

O Kārtikeya! Now I will speak how to count the Japam (repetition of the mantra) with the rosary. Hear.

The face of Rudrākṣam is Brahmā; the upper summit point is Śiva and the tail end of Rudrākṣam is Viṣṇu.

The Rudrākṣam has two-fold powers:

It can give Bhoga (Enjoyment) as well as Mokṣa (Liberation).

Then string or tie together, like a cow's tail, and like the snake's coiling a body, twenty-five five faced Rudrākṣa seeds, thorny and of red, white, mixed colours bored through and through. The rosary is to taper as a cow's tail tapers down.

In stringing the beads into a rosary, it should be seen that the flat face of one Rudrākṣam is in front of the flat face of another Rudrākṣam; so the tail, the pointed end of one, must come in front of the tail or the narrower end of another.

The Meru or the topmost bead of the string must have its face turned upwards and the knot should be given over that. The rosary, thus strung, yields success of the Mantra (mantra-siddhi).

When the rosary is strung, it is to be bathed with clear and scented water and afterwards with the Pañchagavya (cow-dung, cow urine, curd, milk, and ghee); then wash it with clear water and sanctify it with the condensed electrical charge of the Mantra.

Then recite the Mantra of Śiva (Six limbed), with “Hūm” added and collect the rosaries.

Then repeat over them the Mantra “Sadyojāta, etc.”

/Note: Sadyojāta Mantra:

सद्योजातं प्रपद्यामि सद्योजाताय वै नमो नमः।
भवे भवे नाति भवे भवस्व मां भवोद्भवाय नमः॥

sadyojātaṁ prapadyāmi sadyojātāya vai namo namaḥ
bhave bhave nāti bhave bhavasva māṁ bhavodbhavāya namaḥ

I take refuge in the First Born, verily I bow to the First Born
Do not consign me to birth after birth;
Guide me beyond birth, I bow to the Causer of birth. /

, and sprinkle water over it one hundred and eight times.

Then utter the principal mantra and place them on a holy ground and perform Nyāsa over it, i.e., think that the power of Great Cause Śiva and the World-Mother Bhagavatī have come on them.

Thus make the Saṁskāra of the rosary (i.e., purify it) and you will find then that your desired end will be attained successfully.

Worship the rosary with the Mantra of that Devatā for which it is intended.

One is to wear the Rudrākṣa rosary on one's head, neck or ear and controlling oneself, one should make japam with the rosary. On the neck, head, breast, or the ears or on the arms, the rosary should he held with the greatest devotion.

What is the use in saying about it so often? It is highly meritorious and commendable to hold always the Rudrākṣam.

Especially on such occasions as taking baths, making gifts, making Japams, performing the Homas, or sacrifices to Viśva Devas, in performing the Pujas of the Devas, in making Prāyaśchitta (penances), in the time of Śrādh and in the time of initiation, it is highly necessary to hold Rudrākṣam.

A Brāhmin is sure to go to hell if he performs any Vaidik act without wearing any Rudrākṣam.

15-29. It is advisable to use the true Rudrākṣam with gold and jewel, on the head, neck or on one's hand.

Never use the Rudrākṣam worn by another. Use Rudrākṣam always with devotion; never use it while you are impure. Even the grass that grows with the air in contact with the Rudrākṣa tree, goes verily to a holy region forever.

Jabālā Muni says in the Śruti:

If a man wearing Rudrākṣam commits a sin, he gets deliverance from that sin. Even if animals hold Rudrākṣam, they become Śiva; what of men!

The devotees of Śrī Rudra should always use at least one Rudrākṣa on the head. Those great devotees, who with Rudrākṣam on take the name of the Highest Self Śambhu, get themselves freed of all sorts of sins and pains.

Those who are ornamented with Rudrākṣam are the best devotees. It is highly incumbent on those who want their welfare to wear Rudrākṣam.

Those who hold Rudrākṣam on their ears, crown hair, neck, hands, and breast, get Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Mahēśvara under them as their Vibhūtis (manifestations, powers).

The Devas and all those Riṣis that started the Gotra, the Ādi Puruṣas (the first chief men in several families), held with reverence the Rudrākṣas.

All the other Munis, that descended from their families, the ardent followers of Śrauta Dharma, the pure souled, held the Rudrākṣas.

It may be, that many might not like at first to hold this Rudrākṣam, the visible giver of liberation and so well written in the Vedas; but after many births, out of the Grace of Mahādeva many become eager to take the Rudrākṣas.

The Munis that are the Jabālā Sakhīs are famous in expounding the inestimable greatness of Rudrākṣas.

The effect of holding Rudrākṣas is well known in the three worlds. Puṇyam (great merit) arises from the mere sight of Rudrākṣas; ten million times that merit arises by its touch; and by wearing it, one hundred Koṭi times the fruit arises and if one makes Japam every day, then one lakh koti times the Puṇyam arises. There is no manner of questionings in this.

30-36. He who holds in his hand, breast, neck, ears, head, the Rudrākṣas, becomes an image of Rudra. There is no manner of doubt in this.

By holding Rudrākṣas, men become invulnerable of all the beings, become respected, like Mahā Deva, by the Devas and Asuras and they roam on the earth like Rudra.

Even if a man be addicted to evil deeds and commits all sorts of sins, he becomes respected by all, on holding Rudrākṣas. By this men are freed of the sin of taking Uchhiṣṭa and of all the other sins.

Even if you suspend a Rudrākṣam rosary on the neck of a dog and if that dog dies in that state, he gets liberation! Then what to speak of others!

By holding Rudrākṣas, men even if they be devoid of Japam and Dhyānam, become freed of all sins and attain the highest state.

Even if one holds merely one Rudrākṣa seed purified and surcharged with Mantra Śaktī, he uplifts his twenty-one generations, gets to Heaven and resides there with respect.

I am speaking now further of the Greatness of Rudrākṣam.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Rudrākṣam rosaries in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.