Rudraksha, Rudrākṣa, Rudra-aksha: 8 definitions

Introduction

Rudraksha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Rudrākṣa can be transliterated into English as Rudraksa or Rudraksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous (R) next»] — Rudraksha in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—The Sanskrit name for an important Āyurvedic drug.—Rudrākṣa beads are commonly worn by the devotees of Śiva. It is cold, soothing and useful in hypertension, insanity, burning snesation and fever.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous (R) next»] — Rudraksha in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष, “rosary of seeds”) refers to one of the five kinds of external marks of an ācārya (“Śaiva preceptor”), according to Nigamajñāna (Śaiva teacher of the 16th century) in his Śaivāgamaparibhāṣāmañjarī.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (R) next»] — Rudraksha in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—(Elaco Carpus seeds) Beads for rosaries. General information. A holy thing worn by devotees. In the Purāṇas much importance is attached to Rudrākṣa. In Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 11, there is a story stating how Rudrākṣa came to be honoured in this way. (See full article at Story of Rudrākṣa from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष) refer to sacred beads to be worn on the body, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.23, while explaining the importance of the glorification of Rudrākṣa:—“Śiva’s name, the ashes and the Rudrākṣa beads—the three are very holy and are on a par with Triveṇī (the confluence of the three holy rivers). [...] The man who has no ashes on his forehead, has not worn Rudrākṣa on his body and does not utter names of Śiva shall be shunned as one does a base man. As said by Brahmā, Śiva’s name is on a par with Gaṅgā, the ash is equal to Yamunā and Rudrākṣa destroys all sins (and is equal to Sarasvatī)”.

According to the Śivapurāṇa 1.25, while explaining the greatness of Rudrākṣa:—“[...] Rudrākṣas grown in Gauḍa land became great favourites of Śiva. They were grown in Mathurā, Laṅkā, Ayodhyā, Malaya, Sahya mountain, Kāśī and other places. They are competent to break asunder the clustered sins unbearable to the others, as the sacred texts have declared. At my bidding they were classified into Brahmins, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas and Śūdras. These Rudrākṣas are of auspicious nature. The colours of the four types of Rudrākṣas are respectively white (śveta), red (rakta), yellow (pīta) and black (kṛṣṇa). All people shall wear the Rudrākṣa of their own varna”.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (R) next»] — Rudraksha in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—m (S) A tree sacred to Shiva, Eleocarpus lanceolatus or ganitrus. 2 The berry of it. Used in making necklaces, rosaries &c. Ex. jō karī sahasrarudrākṣadhāraṇa || tyāsa vanditi aditinandana ||.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—m A tree sacred to śiva; the berry of it.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (R) next»] — Rudraksha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—a kind of tree. (-kṣam) 1 a rosary.

2) the berry of this tree, used for rosaries; भस्मोद्धूलन भद्रमस्तु भवते रुद्राक्षमाले शुभम् (bhasmoddhūlana bhadramastu bhavate rudrākṣamāle śubham) K. P.1.

Derivable forms: rudrākṣaḥ (रुद्राक्षः).

Rudrākṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms rudra and akṣa (अक्ष).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Rudrākṣa (रुद्राक्ष).—m.

(-kṣaḥ) A tree, (Eleocarpus ganitrus, Rox.) n.

(-kṣaṃ) The berry of the Eleocarpus, of which rosaries are usually made. E. rudra Siva, and akṣa from akṣi the eye.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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