Author: kamalseetha

Numbers of Rudraksha to be worn

There are two approaches to determine how many rudrakshas one should wear. In the first approach, one can follow what the epics say about the number of beads to be worn on specific body parts like the neck, the wrist, the arm and so on. The second approach is to follow the traditions practised in the society in which one lives or the family to which one belongs, as these have also got evolved based on beads’ availability and experiences. The number of rudrakshas to be worn on different parts of the body as recommended in our epics is summarized as follows:

Body parts/organsNo of beadsEpic sources
Shikha (crown hair)1Shrimad Devibhagavata
(both right & left)
12/12Shrimad Devibhagavata
Neck32Shrimad Devibhagavata
Forehead40Shrimad Devibhagavata
(both right & left)
6/6Shrimad Devibhagavata
Chest108Shrimad Devibhagavata
Shoulders500Shrimad Devibhagavata
(sacred thread)
108Shrimad Devibhagavata
Body parts/organsNo of beadsEpic sources
Neck2 rowsShrimad Devibhagavata
Other parts of the body e.g. as earrings,
crown, waist belt, in abdomen, etc.
3 rowsShrimad Devibhagavata
Crown550Shiva Puran
Crown1,100Shiva Puran
Yajnopaveet (sacred threat)360 (3 rows)
& 120 each
Shiva Puran
I (crown hair)1 & 3Shiva Puran
(both right & left)
6/6Shiva Puran
Neck101, 50, 32Shiva Puran
(both righ & left)
11, 16, 24Shiva Puran
Karpoordvara11Shiva Puran
(both right & left)
11, 12Shiva Puran
Yajnopaveet (sacred thread)3 strings each of 108Shiva Puran
Waist region5Shiva Puran
Forehead30, 40Shiva Puran
Shoulders500Shiva Puran
Heart (chest)108Shiva Puran
Forehead30Shiva Puran
Neck region36Shiva Puran
(both right & left)
16/16Shiva Puran
Body parts/organsNo of beadsEpic sources
(both right & left)
Yajnopaveet (sacred thread)108Rudrakshajabalopanishad
Neck region2, 3, 5
& 7 rows
Kundal (as earring)_Rudrakshajabalopanishad
Waist300 (mean)
500 (medium)
1,000 (best)
(both right & left)
Neck region32Nirunayasindhu
(both right & left)
(both right & left)
(both right & left)
Sikha (crown hair)1Nirunayasindhu
Heart (chest)108Nirunayasindhu

The total number of rudrakshas to be worn over the body also varies in different epics. For example, it can be 108, 249, 1,000, 1,008 or 1,111 rudrakshas. The picture shows our house priest wearing a rudraksha meditation dress with 1,111 beads. We have made a meditation dress with 2,780 rudrakshas (after consulting different epics and with the highest number mentioned in them for a particular part of the body) for wearing over head, arms and wrists, heart, neck, waist, ears and eyes. Wearing such a divine and powerful dress and performing meditation will lead to calm and serene feeling from within. However, it is not practical for all to use such large number of beads on a regular basis. My suggestion is to use as many rudrakshas as possible and make it a point to choose larger beads for wearing over chest to get better acupressure effect. The malas on the neck must go up to the level of the heart at the minimum and it should be two inches above the navel as maximum length.

It is necessary to understand the difference between a mala and a combination of beads. The main differences are:

  • A mala, whether for wearing or for jap, is continuously strung with beads with gaps for knots only. Generally, a mala has only one type of bead; for example, a rudraksha mala will have only rudrakshas and a tulsi mala will have only tulsi beads. 
  • A combination can be in the form of a thread or silver/ gold chain around neck and beads at the bottom. Different materials can be used in a combination, e.g. gems can be used along with rudraksha. Sphatik beads can also be used in some regularity for adjusting length or for good looks. Wearing of different materials (which are accepted as useful and may have some curative or divine properties) is perfectly right for spiritual purposes. One can wear tulsi, sphatik, sandalwood, keharwa (amber) and rudraksha malas separately, if one has faith in a particular God (Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, Ram, Krishna, etc.). However, if these materials are being used for health purposes, it is advisable to consult an expert. For example, those suffering from asthma are not advised to wear sphatik along with rudraksha.
  • Some people get taabeej (talisman) made from some source, which they consider very powerful while others choose tiger nails (though these are banned, some get them from old stocks or through inheritance). Many are found choosing metal pendants of Shree Yantra, Ganesh, Hanuman, Krishna or any God or Goddess and become confused whether to wear these with rudraksha. Our opinion is that as rudraksha is a natural and holy product having no specific branding, it can be used with devotion for worshipping any God or Goddess.   
  • People wearing fake rudraksha beads are advised that they should remove such beads after it is confirmed as fake or spurious by any expert or by oneself as anything, which is not genuine, is likely to give negative influence.
  • Further, in accordance with family traditions or due to mindset, many do not use tulsi and rudraksha beads together. There is nothing wrong in wearing these holy materials together. We find that in Hindu culture a lot of effort has been made in the past to bring Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites together. There are temples in which Hari (Vishnu) and Har (Shiva) are worshipped in a unified form. Goswami Tulsidas had composed Harishankari verse to offer unified prayers of Lord Shiva and Lord Ram. It is included in Vinayapatrika, which is one of the finest works of poetry in Hindi literature. In Ramcharitmanas, which is the greatest work of this poet, Lord Ram says “anyone calling himself my devotee and by conviction is an opponent of Lord Shiva will be condemned and he is destined to get punishment within this life and also in the next life” Shaligram shilas, which are revered by Vaishnavaities, have been used to make Shivalinga and several efforts have been made to bring these two sects into one fold. Lord Krishna has worshipped Lord Shiva and vice versa. Lord Vishnu had offered one of his eyes when He fell short of one lotus flower while worshipping Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva has worshipped Lord Vishnu. Therefore, rudraksha is not confined to only Shaivites. I feel a majority of people in our country accept this view.

Shiva Puran defines a meditation dress as:

  • Three strands of 120 rudrakshas, each to be worn across the chest as Yagnopaveet, one strand of 108 rudraksha for chest, 11 rudraksha each on both wrists and arms (total 44), six rudrakshas on each ear, five rudrakshas on naval, 32 rudrakshas on throat, and 550 rudrakshas on head. This way, a total of 1,111 rudrakshas make a meditation dress and is considered auspicious for attaining rudrahood.

Shrimad Devibhagwat: 

  • One on the tuft, 30 on the head, 36 on the neck, 16 on each arm (total 32), 12 on each wrist (total 24), 50 on the shoulders, and 108 as Yagnopaveet. In addition, some rudrakshas should be worn around the neck to make the total number to 300. As per this epic, 300 numbers of rudrakshas is the minimum, 500 is recommended and 1,000 is the best.


  • One on tuft of hair (shikha) 30 on head, 36 on neck,16 each on arms,12 each on each wrists,15 on shoulders, 108 as Yajnopaveet and 2×108 or 3×108 or 5×108 or 7×108 around neck.

In general, it can be said that epics recommend the use of as many rudrakshas as possible.
In case of a mala for jap, use 27+1, 54+1 or 108+1 beads. Those believing in numerology should consider the following numbers as auspicious for different objectives (for jap only):

        32 or 30 for wealth

        100 for thousands of mahapurashcharans       

        102 for merits and knowledge

        104 for health and strength

        107 for final liberation (nirvan or moksha)

        108 for righteousness (dharma), wealth, desire and the final liberation.


Que.1) What are your latest findings on Rudraksha for getting maximum benefits?


  1.  Rudraksha beads or mala should be washed with water on a daily basis. Just keep your beads or mala below a water tap for a few seconds and then pad-dry or wear directly. Apply any edible oil once in a month over the beads for better shine and longer life. As these beads work on the principle of touch, physical cleaning and appearance of the beads is also important. If the beads get dried over time, they look lifeless and may not give desired results. Whenever you feel that results expected from Rudraksha are not coming then increase the frequency of washing to twice or even thrice in a day.
  2.  Rudraksha should be worn for longer periods and wear them even at night during sleep, provided your sleep is not disturbed. If wearing a Gaurishankar or Sawar, it must be removed at night otherwise the bead may get damaged. Beads should not be kept far away from you and keep then in a clean box or container at a distance not more than a meter from you. If taken out at night, you may wear them immediately on waking up with chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” or beej mantra. Alternatively, you may wear them after taking bath.
  3. It has been observed that if Rudraksha are blessed by regular abhishek or pooja particularly on special occasions of holy festivals then the wearer gets better results. Whenever you visit a temple or a famous shrine of any religious order, or your Guru’s or other divine ashram, all charged with devotional energies (like a Gurudwara, Shirdi Samadhi Mandir, Jain temple, dargah, any pilgrim centre, a holy river or mountain or a meditation centre) just concentrate your attention on your Rudraksha and chant “Om Namah Shivaya” or beej mantra and pray for positive energies to bless you. If permissible wash your Rudraksha with water and touch the energy source to get these blessed.

Que.2) What happens if on wearing Rudraksha I get unusual feelings, get allergies, become stressful or start feeling low?


  1. Rudraksha do not cause any discomfort or negative feelings, however, if such a situation arises then the Rudraksha may be removed and kept at a safe clean place. After a day or two wear again, preferably in a temple and do mantra recitation for a few minutes.
  2. In most cases such feelings disappear. In some cases, particularly males with hair on the chest are sensitive and feel discomfort on wearing Rudraksha mala, particularly with metal caps. Such persons can wear the Rudraksha, around the wrist or as an armlet or try wearing them without any metal caps or chain.


Que.3)  How much time is required to sense a change in body, mind, status or a given situation after wearing Rudraksha?


  1. Aura becomes powerful soon after a Rudraksha comes in contact with the body, in other words it becomes sharp and bigger. As we know all the three layers of the body starting from bones, muscles/ flesh and skin, get disturbed aura if affected by any disease or negative emotions. When Rudraksha comes in contact with the body, these aura layers become stabilized almost immediately, however, long lasting results and recovery from diseases, if any, may take place after some time. Correct selection and proper wearing of Rudraksha helps in balancing of chakras. Various trials and effort is required to balance these chakras, including chanting of proper mantras or by getting blessing of different Gods/ Goddesses who bless the specific chakras.
  2. It can be said that for physical disorders a minimum time of 20 days is required to feel and experience the change, and for reducing level of anxiety or stress about 40 days are optimum. For change of luck and removal of obstacles one needs to constantly wear a Rudraksha, for 60 days to notice its positive effects. Anxiety and fear is diminished and effects of evil eye, jealousy and black magic almost disappear immediately.
  3. The above time frame is just approximate and varies from person to person and is grossly dependent on situations. These beads are not magical, however the wearer starts taking thoughtful decisions and thus starts reaping its benefits within the specified time frame. If no effects are visible then one should try using more number of recommended beads or using higher mukhi and powerful beads. Through this process of trial we try to invoke divine blessings using Rudraksha. Thus the wearer has to conduct experiments with himself.

Que.4) Should I continue to keep fake Rudraksha even after their identification?

Ans :

  1. Not only Rudraksha but if you keep imitation jewellery, fake paintings, non-functioning clocks/ watches, dead persons’ statue and stuffed animals/ birds etc at home particularly at a place most frequented by you, certainly you will feel depressed, Fake and damaged Rudraksha should be thrown away in water bodies(river/pond or sea).
  2. Only exception being as has been narrated earlier, if such a fake bead had been given to you by your Guru, then you may accept it as Prasad (blessings) from him/her and need not destroy it.

Que.5)Can I use Rudraksha to destroy or harm my enemies?


  1. Rudraksha with 9, 10, 16 ,19 mukhis and Trijuti are known for being used for Vair Samvardhan, Maran and destruction, if invoked the tantric way. People are known to practice these vidyas by using the above mentioned mukhi Rudrakshas, particularly by conducting rituals on Friday nights. Some go to a funeral ground or to a devi temple on dark nights and do tantric mantra jap to achieve their goals. We have been against such practices and instead of harming others we advice people to pray for self protection and for leading a safe fearless life. Beads like 9, 10, 11 and 19 mukhis are excellent for protection from any type of enemy or their practices.

Que.6) For meditation and self control which type of Rudraksha should be chosen?


  1. A kantha of 5 mukhi large sized beads (above 28 mm India) is good for meditation. This should be beaded in wool with 28, 32 or 36 number of beads. A powerful kantha beaded in copper wire without any metal caps is also a good option.
  2. As per Akshmalakopnishad, three types of wires (copper, silver and gold) woven to a single strand, and stringing a mala using this wire will help one to achieve a higher level of meditative power. There is no need for metal caps. For a higher level of meditation and to reach a near zero thought level of meditation, a combination using large sized beads of 3M (2 beads), 5M (21 beads), 9M (1 bead), 11M (1 bead), 14M (1 bead), Gaurishankar (1 bead) and 1 M (1bead) should be used to make a higher level Dhyan Yog mala.
  3. Long-term usage of a 14 mukhi over the forehead, particularly during meditation is said to give excellent concentration.
  4. Rudraksha mala is like a store house of energy, which helps you in keeping powerful Urja arising out of meditation or good deeds within yourself. Mention of several kinds of meditation dresses has been made in our scriptures (Ref to Chap. 7) for details or read Shivpuran and Devibhagwatam. You have to evaluate a practical way of handling or wearing it and also to see the level at which you would like to operate.

Que.5) What is the most optimum way of doing pooja of Rudraksha at home, whether first time or at any time?


  1. Arrange following items to prepare Panchamrit (Panchtirtha)
  2. Pure water (preferably mixed with small amount of Ganges or other holy river water) 50 ml, Milk 50 ml, Ghee (clarified butter) 20 ml and a lamp to light it (diya or deepak), Curd (yoghurt plain) 20 ml, Honey 20 ml.
  3. Mix all the above to make Panchamrit Also arrange small quantities of the following: Camphor, Sandalwood powder or paste, Rice grains Flowers, preferably white, and Water.
  4. Steps to be followed:
    it facing East or North in a comfortable posture.
    Light the lamp with Ghee.
    Wash Rudraksha, using water and then wipe it clean with a cloth. Place Rudraksha in a tray.
    Pour Panchamrit over Rudraksha using a spoon, and chant with each pouring Om Namah Shivaya. Finish all panchamrit in this way. Wash Rudraksha with water and clean using a cloth. Prepare a clean tray and put petals of flowers on the tray. Place Rudraksha on the tray and then chant the following mantra:
    “Sadyojat mantra”

    “Aum sadyojaatam prapadyaami sadyojataaya namo namah bhave bhavenaati bhave,
    bhavasmaam bhavodbhavaye namah”

    Offer Sandalwood paste to Rudraksha and then light incense sticks and camphor and offer flowers to Rudraksha. Now, chant the following mantra:
    “Aghor mantra” 

    “Aum aghorebhyo agh ghorebhyo ghor ghor tarebhyo,
    Sarvebhyah sarve sharvebhyo namaste astu rudra rupebhyah “

    Offer rice to the Rudraksha and chant the following mantra:
    “Tatpurush mantra”

    “Aum tat purushaye vidhmahe, mahadevaye dheemahi
    Tanno rudraha prachodayat”

    Now chant “Om Namah Shivaya” 11 times or chant Rudraksha beej mantra of each mukhi (if available with you) and then wear Rudraksha. Pray to Lord Shiva and express your wish, if any.

Que.6) Whether Nepal beads are better than Indonesian beads?


  1. Physical characteristics and experience shows that Indonesian beads of 1 mukhi, 2 mukhi and 3 mukhi are effective and can be used comfortably if Nepal variety is not available or is out of reach due to cost considerations. (1 mukhi Indonesian is the only and the best option considering 1 mukhi Nepal variety which is difficult to get).
  2. Beyond 3 mukhi the clarity of lines and distribution of inner compartments start getting jumbled up and effectiveness may be questionable. One can wear higher mukhi Indonesian beads in a symbolic way in large number and some wearers have testified them for good results also.
  3. Another advantage of higher mukhi Indonesian beads is their purity as it is not easy to duplicate an Indonesian Rudraksha as the lines are only on the surface of the bead. Nepal beads have deeper lines  and can be carved artificially which is a common practice in case of higher mukhi Rudraksha (beyond 8 mukhi), unless these are sourced from a reliable supplier.

Que.7) Is wearing of Rudraksha advisable to a non-vegetarian, or a person taking alcoholic drinks or a couple during physical relationships?


  1. Logically there is no need to take off the Rudraksha from the body during any of the above activity. Shastra like Shivpuran prohibit eating of non-vegetarian food or taking of alcohol or even eating of onion, garlic etc. for the wearer. Other scriptures are silent about it.
  2. However, a compromised suggestion is to take the mala off the body during any of the above activity and wear it again after the activity is over. Most people follow this advice, although not fully convinced with the argument.
  3. Author’s assumption is that if Rudraksha powder or extract is being taken orally by any person, as a herbal medicine, then the above restrictions imposed have some basis but for simply wearing Rudraksha over the body this restriction may not apply. However, tradition always overtakes logic and hence there is no harm in following the age old advice — take it off while doing these activities.
  4. One argument in favor of abstaining from Non-vegetarian food or alcohol etc is their coming in the category of Rajasi food (in contrast to spiritually desirable Satvik food) One who takes Rajasi food may become slave of his/her body senses and cannot focus on meditation or pure stable thought process. As Rudraksha is used for jap and dhyan yog, intake of Satvik food is always recommended, even based on logic.
  5. Some wearers have experienced that after wearing Rudraksha, they have switched to strict vegetarian diet and even avoid alcohol.

Que.8) Should one wear Rudraksha while having bath or while going to toilet.


  • Yes. However, bracelet should be removed if going to the toilet. Our scriptures have not mentioned any restriction in this regard.

Que.9) Can Rudraksha be worn while going to a funeral ground?


  • There is no restriction imposed by any of our holy scripture However, as per the tradition prevailing, all articles symbolising power or having source of energy should be taken off the body (like gemstones, Rudraksha, yantras etc) while visiting places like a funeral ground.

Que.10) For testing the facets of beads, your method of testing by X-ray technique is catching up, but in higher mukhi beads the compartments are difficult to see.


  • It is true that in case of higher mukhi beads compartments are overlapped and need services of a radiologist and also may require use of a CT-scan to reach correct conclusion. Normally over 8 mukhi one gets only 50% or even less, fully grown or developed compartments or seeds. A properly nurtured fruit, ripened on the tree itself normally yields a seed which should be visible in an X-ray but even here seeds may not be found in all the compartments.

Que.11) What is the best way to select type of Rudraksha required by a person?


  1. In spite of best efforts there is no method which can be fully relied upon to exactly match your needs. Problems are sometime complex, their root causes may vary. Astrological predictions may differ from person to person. Pin pointing a disturbed or unbalanced chakra is a futile exercise as no perfect equipment has been invented so far to observe unbalanced chakra. Numerological evaluation also gives multiple options and therefore we have to live with this fact that some variations may be possible while selecting optimum Rudraksha for you. One should keep the mind open to keep on trying different beads. However, make sure to wear a basic 5 mukhi bead and at least one of the following:
    7 mukhi, 9 mukhi, 10 mukhi, 11 mukhi and 14 mukhi.
  2. For good health always choose 3 mukhi, 5 mukhi and 12 mukhi for blood pressure, diabetes or cardiac disorders, 7 mukhi for body pain, 6 mukhi, 13 mukhi and Gaurishankar for fertility, 3 mukhi, 9 mukhi and 10 mukhi for fear and anxiety, 4 mukhi, 6 mukhi and 1 mukhi (Indonesian) for mental illness of anykind.
    For meditation and Shiva Bhakti any or all of the following beads assigned to Lord Shiva should be used:

    1 mukhi, 2 mukhi, 5 mukhi, 14 mukhi and Gaurishankar.

    For wealth any one or all Rudraksha assigned to Gods/Goddesses of wealth should be used:

    1 mukhi (Indonesian or Nepal) 7 mukhi, 8 mukhi, 15 mukhi, 17 mukhi and 21 mukhi.

    For keeping the enemy away and/or to win in legal cases use the following:
    10 mukhi, 16 mukhi, 19 mukhi.
    Siddha Mala which contains all the beads from 1 to 14 mukhi and also has a Gaurishankar and Ganesh Rudraksha; is a good option to get overall success in any business or for professional excellence.