Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 11 Chapter 7



Chapter VII

On the greatness of one faced, etc., Rudrākṣam

1-4. Śrī Nārāyaṇa said:

O Nārada! When Girīśā thus explained to Kārtikeya the greatness of Rudrākṣam, he became satisfied.

Now I have spoken to you of the glories of the Rudrākṣas as far as I know.

Now, as to our subject of right way of acting, I will now speak on other things that ought to be known. Listen.

The seeing of Rudrākṣam brings in a lakh times of Puṇyam and koṭi times the merit arises from touching that; holding it brings in koṭi times merit;

again if one makes the japam of a Mantra with that Rudrākṣam, one obtains merit one hundred lakh koti times and one thousand lakh koṭi times the merit.

The merit in holding the Rudrākṣam is far superior to that in holding Bhadrākṣam.

The Rudrākṣam seed that is of the size of an Āmalakī is the best; which is the of the size of a plum, is middling; and which is of the size of a gram is the worst. This is my word and promise.

The Rudrākṣam tree is of four kinds Brāhmaṇa, Kṣattriya, Vaiṣya, and Śūdra.

The white colour is Brāhmaṇa; the red colour is Kṣattriya; the yellow colour is Vaiśya and the black coloured Rudrākṣam seed is Śūdra.

The Brāhmaṇas are to use the white coloured Rudrākṣas; the Kṣattriyas, the red coloured ones, the Vaiṣyas, the yellow coloured ones; and the Śudras, the black ones.

Those Rudrākṣa seeds that are nicely circular, smooth, hard, and whose thorns or points are distinctly visible, are the best.

Those that are pierced by insects, broken in parts, whose thorns are not clearly visible, with swells and holes and those that are coated over, these six varieties of Rudrākṣas are faulty.

Those Rudrākṣas that have their holes by nature running through and through are best; and those that base their holes pierced by men are middling.

The Rudrākṣa seeds that are all of uniform shape, bright, hard, and beautifully circular should be strung together by a silken thread.

How to test the Rudrākṣa seed?

As gold is tested by a touch stone; so the Rudrākṣam is tested by drawing lines on it; those on which the lines are most uniform, bright and beautiful are the best and they should be worn by the Śaivas.

One should hold one Rudrākṣam on the crown hair, thirty on the head, thirty six on the neck; sixteen on each arm, twelve on each wrist, fifty on the shoulders, one hundred and eight Rudrākṣas in the place of the sacrificial thread; and the devotee should have two or three rounds on the neck.

On the earrings, on the crown of the head, the head, on bracelets, on armlets, on necklace, on the ornament worn on the loins one should hold Rudrākṣam always, whether one sleeps or eats.

Holding three hundred Rudrākṣas is the lowest; holding five hundred is middling; holding one thousand Rudrākṣas is the best; so one ought to wear one thousand Rudrākṣas.

At the time of taking Rudrākṣam, on one's head, one should utter the Mantra of Īśāna;

||Note: i.e. Īśāna Mantra is this:

ईशान सर्वविद्यानामीश्वरः सर्वभूतानां ब्रह्मादिपति ब्रह्मणोऽधिपतिर्।
ब्रह्मा शिवो मे अस्तु स एव सदाशिव ओम्॥

īśāna sarvavidyānāmīśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ brahmādipati brahmaṇo'dhipatir
brahmā śivo me astu sa eva sadāśiva om

Ruler of all knowledge, Master of all beings,
Commander of all study and devotion,
That God Auspicious to me,
Be He just so, the Ever-Auspicious Om.

the mantra of Tat Puruṣa while holding on one's ears;

||Note: i.e. Mantra of Tat Puruṣa is:

तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि।
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्॥

tatpuruṣāya vidmahe mahādevāya dhīmahi
tanno rudraḥ pracodayāt

May we know that Supreme Person
And mediate on that Great God,
May Rudra impel us!

Aghora mantra on one's forehead and heart;

||Note: i.e. Aghora Mantra is:

अघोरेभ्योऽथ घोरेभ्यो अघोरघोरेतरेभ्यः।
सर्वतः शर्वः सर्वेभ्यो नमस्ते रुद्र रूपेभ्यः॥

aghorebhyo'tha ghorebhyo aghoraghoretarebhyaḥ
sarvataḥ ṣarvaḥ sarvebhyo namaste rudra rūpebhyaḥ

I bow to those not terrible and those who are terrible,
And to those who are both terrible and not terrible.
Everywhere and always,
ṣarva, I bow to all Thy Rudra forms.||

and the bīja of Aghora mantra, i.e., “hasau” while holding on one's hands.

One should wear the rosary of fifty Rudrākṣa seeds, suspended up to the belly, uttering the Vāmadēva mantra,

||Note: i.e. Vāmadēva Mantra is:

वामदेवायनमो ज्येष्ठाय नमः श्रेष्ठाय
नमो रुद्राय नमः कालाय नमः।
कलविकरणाय नमो बलाय नमो
बलविकरणाय नमो बलप्रमथनाय नमः।
सर्वभूतदमनाय नमो मनोन्मनाय नमः॥

vāmadevāya namo jyeṣṭhāya namaḥ śreṣṭhāya
namo rudrāya namaḥ kālāya namaḥ
kalavikaraṇāya namo balāya namo
balavikaraṇāya namo balapramathanāya namaḥ
sarvabhūtadamanāya namo manonmanāya namaḥ

I bow to the Noble One, the Eldest; to the Best, to Rudra and to Time,
I bow to the Incomprehensible, to Strength,
To the Causer of various forces, and to the Extender of Strength.
I bow to the Subduer of all beings, and to the One who kindles the Light.

i.e., Sadyojāta, etc.,

||Note: Sadyojāta Mantra is:

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.

 the five Brahmā mantras, and the six-limbed Śiva mantra (Om NamaŚivāya).

One is to string every Rudrākṣa seed, uttering the root mantra and then hold it.

One-faced Rudrākṣa reveals Paratattva (the highest Tattva); when worn, the knowledge of the highest Tattva arises; the Brahmā is seen then.

The two-faced Rudrākṣam is Ardhanārīśvara, the Lord of the other half which represents women (in the same person); if worn, Ardhanārīśvara Śiva is always pleased with that man who holds it.

The three-faced Rudrākṣam is Fire made manifest; it destroys in a moment the sin of killing a woman.The three-faced Rudrākṣam is the three Agnis, Dakṣiṇāgni, Gārhapatya, and Āhavanīya; Bhagavān Agni is always pleased with that man who wears the three-faced Rudrākṣam.

The four-faced Rudrākṣam is Brahmā Himself. The wearer gets his prosperity enhanced, his diseases destroyed, the divine knowledge springs in him and his heart is always pleased.

The five-faced Rudrākṣam is the five faced Śiva Himself; Mahādeva gets pleased with him who holds it.

The Presiding Deity of the six faced Rudrākṣam is Kārtikeya. Some Pundits take Gaṇapati to be the Presiding Deity of the six-faced Rudrākṣam.

The presiding Deity of the seven-faced Rudrākṣam is the seven Mātrikās, the Sun and the seven Riṣis. By putting on this, the prosperity is increased, health and the pure knowledge are established. It should be put on when one becomes pure.

The Presiding Deity of the eight-faced Rudrākṣam is Brāhmī, the eight Mātrikās. By holding this, the eight Vasus are pleased and the river Ganges is also pleased. The putting on of this makes the Jīvas truthful and pleasant-minded.

The Devatā of the nine-faced Rudrākṣam is Yama; holding this puts off the fears of Death.

The Devatā of the ten-faced Rudrākṣam is ten quarters, the ten quarters are pleased with him who wears the ten-faced Rudrākṣam.

The Devatā of the eleven mouthed Rudrākṣam is the eleven Rudras and Indra. Holding this enhances happiness.

The twelve-faced Rudrākṣam is Viṣṇu made manifest; its Devatās are the twelve Ādityas; the devotees of Śiva should hold this.

The thirteen-faced Rudrākṣam, if worn, enables one to secure one's desires; he does nowhere experience failures. The Kāma Deva becomes pleased with him who wears this.

The fourteen-faced Rudrākṣam destroys all diseases and gives eternal health. While holding this, one ought not to take wine, flesh, onion, garlic, Saṁjñā fruit, Chāltā fruit and the flesh of the boar which eats excrements, etc.

During the Lunar and Solar eclipses, during the Uttarāyaṇa Śamkrānti or the Dakṣiṇāyana Śamkrānti, during the full Moon or the New Moon day, if Rudrākṣam be worn, one becomes instantly freed of all one's sins.

Here ends the Seventh Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the greatness of one faced, etc., Rudrākṣam in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.