Vibhuti And Rudraksha Mahatmayam: A Wellness Guide from Times of India!

Written by November 25, 2008 2:52 am 19 comments

I reproduce here a write-up that appeared recently in the Times of India (Bangalore, 20 November 2008). According to one Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (I have no clue who this gentleman is!) as quoted by the article, “applying vibhuti in different points of the body can bring positive energy”. The article is reproduced here without any comment. Rather, the claims made in the article are so hilarious (even outrageous at times) that it does not require any comment!

Unfortunately, that is not the way it is seen by the believers. When I referred the article to a few of my “spiritually-inclined” friends, they animatedly described the spiritual powers of these holiest of holy items. Undoubtedly, these “benefits” are derived, according to them, from a mysterious play of some “positive” and “negative” energy.

Having read the TOI article and listened to my friends’ vociferous defense of Rudraksha’s magical powers, I turned to the Internet to get some scientific information on the benefits (if any) of Rudraksha. Even after an hour of google-search, I could not locate even a single web page giving scientific information on this magic berry. On the other hand there are thousand of web pages marketing Rudraksha beads online!  The only write-up I could locate that even remotely approaches the subject on a scientific basis is a news report about a claim made by some ayurvedic researchers. Even the ever-expanding Wikipedia failed to be helpful in this regard.

I expect some of our readers may be able to throw some light on this bead. No, I don’t want to hear anything about its unexplained spiritual powers, but some factual botanical information on this berries.

So, here is the write-up:

Benefits of vibhuti & rudraksh

Vibhuti is a tool to enhance receptivity. When applied at different points of the body, especially points of higher receptivity, one receives positive energy.

Vibhuti is always taken with the ring finger, as that is the most sacred part of the body.  Apply vibhuti to the following places for maximum benefit:

  • Agna Chakra: Between the eyebrows to receive life as knowledge or wisdom.
  • Vishuddi Chakra: Pit of the throat to enhance power.
  • Anahata Chakra: Center of chest, where the ribcage meets to receive life as love.
  • Just behind the earlobe is a solid bone which runs into a crevice. If one follows that crevice one can find a dimple where a little vibhuti can be applied.
  • Men can apply a little bit of Vibhuti one their right big toe, while women should apply it one their left big toe.

Another powerful tool to enhance one’s well-being is Rudraksh, the seed of a tree that primarily grows in the mountains. Rudraksh has a very unique vibration about itself and is won for different purposes.

Rudraksh cleanses a certain amount of the aura. It can vary from pitch-black to pure white, depending on the person’s physical and mental health. The aura is the reflection of who one really is. If one goes to a new place where the vibrations are completely different, the body many not be able to settle down. Wearing Rudraksh cocoons one in one’s own energies, preventing external energies from disturbing. There are a variety of Rudraksh available, each for a different purpose. Ekamukhi or single-faced Rudraksh is for power. However, it is not advisable to wear it without proper guidance. Dwimukhi or two faced is for wealth, while Panchamukhi or five-faced is for well-being. Panchamukhi can be worn by everyone, irrespective of age or gender. Apart from improving genral well-being, it is also reduces blood pressure and keeps the body calm and alert. Shanmukhi or six-faced Rudraksh is good for children as it attracts motherly love.

Editor’s Note: A few additional facts about this business of Rudraksh. A single seed from the fruit can cost upto Rs. 40,000. There are over 300 different species of trees from the Elaeocarpus genus that are farmed to harvest these berries. The import trade from Indonesia alone amounts to Rs. 3 billion a year, and another Rs. 2 billion worth of seeds comes from Nepal. And we wonder why 456 million Indians are living below the poverty line.

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- who has written 14 posts on Nirmukta.

19 Comments

  • Manoj,

    Well said. Claims are too funny. This comedy writes itself.

    Next time some one argues about Rudraksh, I will present him these statistics.

    H A

  • well swami dayananda saraswati founder of arya samaj said that rudraksha is dry seed of tree. it has no healing power. why nobody challenge it according to drug and magic (objectionable advertisement)act 1954

  • Manoj,
    Thank you for incuding a very helpful summary on the benefits of Rudraksha particularly the section on Vibhuti and how/where to apply it. However, your article and research to me appears haphazard. You have apprently researched (an exhaustive, one hour Google query) regarding the scientific information on Rudraksha. And you mention Sadghuru and have no idea who he is…why not do another Google investigation?
    Some things cannot be explained by science. Life itself cannot be explained by science. But there are certain truths. Rudraksha have been appreciated for thousands of years, used by countless sages and yogis. Certainly there must be a reason behind this and not just some modern-marketing gimmick? The same applies for Vibhuti really, it has been used for countless years, perhaps there is a reason, no?
    You can conduct a simple experiment with a Rudraksha necklace. Certain foods have negative, positive and neutral prana. If you don’t know what prana is you can Google that too. Onions and garlic for example are known to have negative prana meaning it tends to have a draining effect on one’s energy. Fresh fruit (especially lemon/lime) typically emit positive energy, which benefits one’s prana. Suspend the necklace just a few inches over each of these foods by gently holding the end string or just one of the beads. Do not move your arm, you can cradle it to make sure it is not interfering with what will happen (if the Rudraksha has been properly energized by the way). You should notice that the beads will swing clockwise for poitive prana, counterclockwise for negative prana and a straight line for neutral pranic foods.

    Can science explain this? Maybe, maybe not? Yogis have used this particular benefit for countless years. It is helpful because oftentimes they receive food from begging and do not know what went in to it. This is a way of letting them know its pranic capacity. This is just one of the many benefits of the beads but one that is “observable”.

    • “Some things cannot be explained by science. Life itself cannot be explained by science.”

      This is completely false. Perhaps the “why not do another Google investigation?” statement can be thrown back here, but that would not be sufficient simply in light of the vast amount of scientific information explaining life. If you have other things that science cannot answer that your form of magic can, please state them.

      “Rudraksha have been appreciated for thousands of years, used by countless sages and yogis. Certainly there must be a reason behind this and not just some modern-marketing gimmick?”

      Certainly. It’s not a modern marketing gimmick, it’s an ancient one. This form of argument, the argument from popularity, is laughable. The ability of large masses of humans to believe in fantasy has been documented time and again. Please listen to some of V.S. Ramachandran’s lectures.

      The entire concept of “Prana” is hogwash and not supported by any evidence. But let me side-step that distraction to address your “experiment”.
      What you have described is called pendulum dowsing. It is caused by subconscious ideomotor responses. If you searched in the scientific literature you will find a simple and well-established explanation for this phenomenon. Instead of going through it with you here, let me simply point to a source: http://www.psychicscience.org/dows1.aspx

      Now, the experiment itself that you suggest is completely non-scientific (shows how little you understand science). For the experiment to be scientifically rigid, the person doing the experiment should not know what is supposed to happen. Also, there needs to be a statistically significant sample size, but let’s ignore that for now. I suggest readers to find someone who has not heard about this con and tell them to expect the exact opposite. i.e., tell them that that fruit (lemons) will elicit a counter-clockwise turning and vice-versa for garlic.

      The swinging has nothing to do with these “beads” which are simply the seeds of a tree and nothing more, or the foods. People throughout the ages have conned others using the ideomotor effect. It is found in all cultures is different forms. It is a powerful con because the victims have no idea about the science behind it. These cons have been used for centuries and organized cons turn into mass delusions, like in the case of the rudraksha beads and vibhuti.

  • Since Ajita has given a proper response (Had I not read his response, I would have repeated it almost verbatim!) to SR, I need not give an exhausitive reply here.

    A belief does not become right just because people hold on to it for thousands of years. To cite an oft-repeated example, people believed (some still do!) in a flat earth for thousands of years, but it was not right. The brahmins believed in their divine superiority for thousands of years; to have a proper response to this claim, find a militant Dalit activist.

    Sure, google is not the only or the ultimate source of information.

    Can SR provide an authentic source of scientific (experimentally proven) information on the mysterious properties of his favorite berry? No dowsing business please!

    Manoj

  • m sorry i object,i don thing u have got ur perception right (ad hominem attack removed)..

    i have recently started using a rudraksha and hav visibly c its benifits it is very subtle but it dosnt mean it does not exists and ur right rudraksha has sum wat become a business many fakes are there n they are largely marketed here and else where …. but rudraksha the originals definitely have benefits and as u have printed above…

    abt the vibuthi… vibuthi has both mental and physical well being it has been experienced my many not yet by me

  • Hi Manoj, Are you Hindu? Are you Married? If Married how your marriage got performed? Can you pls let me know? Answer is behind answers of question I asked for. Do you know about Tulsi plant and other Herbal plants which are SCIENTIFICALLY used for making MODERN DRUGS? Recent research done in JAPAN over a WATER properties for Negative or Positive effects (Said by Brahma Kumari sister in her program on Star TV) 3 glass of water had different write ups.

    Hitler, Love and Hate. After freezing of this glasses and than ice crystals observed in Microscope had too many differences – same water, same glass, same freezing !! If just words written on water makes this difference, why can’t a Tree beads can? RUDRAKSH powers are not MAGICAL but its very much scientific, if you keep a Good rudraksh bead in between Copper its moves because of it’s magnetic and electrical properties. If some WiKiPedia or Google do not write anything does not mean ancient Indian facts become false. Why HALDI, NEEM kind of powerful Indian herbs which are highly ancient were tried to taken away by West using PATENT RIGHTS?

    American Geological scientist had done EARTHQUAKE announcements using Animal behavior, not accepted by science but there is significant level of truth that Animal has powerful instinct about natural happenings which Human do not!

    On name of science making fun of religious belief are not mass acceptance.

    • Satish Chandra

      The Japanese research on water is pseudoscience. So please calm down, learn to distinguish between science and pseudoscience, and then ask your questions.

    • Satish Chandra

      Also please learn about the argument from ignorance fallacy.

      • Dear Manoj/Satish

        Few books, articles and research reports details for your kind information. Spend some time and money to read so. Do not spread some joke about ancient Indian powers, there are enough enemies to destroy Indian capabilities, suggest you to not become member of one. I’m not talking about any MAGICAL CLAIMS done by various Babas and Hakims. So be cool and calm. I do not need to learn from WiKiPedia but you do. There are thousand of matters pending in Courts so leave it to judges and go with what written and accepted by people of India.

        Rudraksha References

        Vedic Literature:

        Padma Purana, Chap. 57
        Mantra Maharnava, verses 158-174
        Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad
        Siva Purana (Vidyesvara Samhita), Chap. 25
        Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, 11th Skanda, Chap. 3-7

        Contemporary Books and Research Articles:

        “A note on rudraksha, Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn.) K. Schum” by (? – Krishnamurthy, T.) (1964), Indian Forester 90, 11, 774-776.
        “Action of a fraction of Elaeocarpus Ganitrus on Muscles” – Bhattacharya S. S and Sarkar P. K., R. G. Kar (Medical College Calcutta)
        “Anticonvulsant activity of the mixed fatty acids of Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb. (Rudraksh)” by Dasgupta A, Agarwal SS, Basu DK., Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1984 Jul-Sep; 28(3) : 245-6.
        “Anti-inflammatory activity of Elaeocarpus sphaericus fruits extracts in rats” by R. K. Singh and B. L. Pandey Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, India
        “Antimicrobial activity of Elaeocarpus sphaericus” by Singh RK, Nath G., Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi – 221 005, India., (Phytother Res. 1999 Aug;13(5):448-50)
        “Celled stone of Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb” – by Oza. GM, Current Science, 41 (7): 269, 1972
        “Further observations with Elaeocarpus Ganitrus on Normal and Hypodynamic Heart” – by Sarkar. P. K., Bhattacharya S. S and Sengupta S. S., Department of Pharmacology, Medical College Calcutta
        “Gems and Rudraksha” by Anil Gupta and Rudra Centre, 130p.
        “Gems Therapy” by Dr. Mahan Vir Tulli (In addition, of gems he has given beautiful coverage to impact and usage of Rudraksha on human destiny)
        “Gorakhnath and The Kanphata Yogis” by George Weston Briggs, p. 13-15.
        “Isolation of microsatellite loci from a rainforest tree, Elaeocarpus grandis (Elaeocarpaceae), and amplification across closely related taxa” – R. C Jones, J McNally, M Rossetto (Molecular Ecology Notes, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Page 179, June 2002)
        “More about Rudraksha” by Joyce Diamanti, 2001, The Bead Soclety of Greater Washington Newsletter, 18(2): 6.
        “Notes on The Botanical Identity of Beads Found Under The Name: Rudraksha” – by Yelne, M. B., BIORHYTHM, AYU. ACADEMY SERIES, 44, PP. 39-44., 1995
        “Numerology, Gemology and Rudraksha” by Pravin (Praveen) S. R. Bhatia, 2000, 239p.
        “Pharmacological activity of Elaeocarpus sphaericus” by R. K. Singh, S. B. Acharya, Dr S. K. Bhattacharya, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi – 221 005, India
        “Pharmacological investigations on Elaeocarpus ganitrus.” by Bhattacharya SK, Debnath PK, Pandey VB, Sanyal AK., Planta Med. 1975 Oct;28(2):174-7.
        “Power of Rudraksha” – by Rudra Centre, 26 p., 2003
        “Raksha Rudraksha Chandra Marthandam” (in Nagara-Lipi, i. e. Tamil) – by Sri Mudigonda Nagalinga Sastry garu, (This book explains the greatness and power of Rudraksa and its wearing on one”s body)
        “Regeneration status and population structure of Rudraksh (Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb.) in relation to cultural disturbances in tropical wet evergreen forest of Arunachal Pradesh” – Bhuyan, Putul; Khan, M. L. and Tripathi, R. S. 2002, Current Science, 83(11): 1391-1394. Department of Forestry, North-Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, Nirjuli 791109, India; Department of Botany, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793022, India. [BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION; DENSITY; POPULATION STRUCTURE; SEEDLING]
        “Rudraksa Properties and Biomedical Implications” by Subas Rai, rep. 2000, 197p.
        “Rudraksa: Mahatwa ra Kheti Prabidhi (Dhankuta, Pakhribas Krishi Kendra)” by Chet Nath Kanel (is a fine introduction to one of the most religiously important plants in Nepal and its cultivation practices. The author claims that Rudraksa has also assumed economic, medicinal, aesthetic and environmental importance before describing its cultivation in a few hilly districts in east Nepal. The last four chapters detail the cultivation techniques, including ways to tackle diseases and post-harvest procedures before the rudraksas reach the market)
        “Rudraksa-dharan”, Delhi 1991
        “Rudraksam” by N. Swarnalatha (Journal of Sukrtindra Oriental Research Institute, Vol. II, No. 1, Oct. 2000)
        “Rudraksh” by S M Khatri
        “Rudraksha – A Religious Tree and Its Economic Importance” – by Mitra, B., Das Gupta, R., & Sur, P. R., Ethnobotany in India, Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, 1992.
        “Rudraksha – Not Just a Spiritual Symbol But Also a Medicinal Remedy” – Dennis, T. J. (1993a), Sachitra Ayurved 46, 2, 142., (on Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb)
        “Rudraksha (BEEJ MANTRA)” (AUDIO in sanskrit) – by Narain Bhatia
        “Rudraksha (The Mystic Seed)” by Shubhakran K. T, (Rudraksha The Mystic Seed Book-2 by Sahitya Academy)
        “Rudraksha and Ratna” by Rudra Centre, 125p.
        “Rudraksha Dharna and Japa Yoga” (in Hindi) by Nishant Ketu
        “Rudraksha Mahatmyam” – by Narain Bhatia
        “Rudraksha Mahima” by D. H. Junnarkar, published by Messrs. Sharada Sahitya
        “Rudraksha Pooja & Dharan – Rudraksha Purification, Initiation & Dharan” (CD, sanskrit song form, Mantras for Purification, rituals for Sanctification and Dharan of Rudraksha Beads or Mala) – by Rudra Centre & Rudra Life
        “Rudraksha The Eyes of Rudra” (eBook) by TSV Hari
        “Rudraksha therapy for perfect health” by Panduranga Rao, J. I., Sathyanarayana Swamy, K., International Institute of Ayurveda AVR Educational Foundation of Ayurveda, 15(1):21-26, 1995
        “Rudraksha Therapy” by DharmaDeva Arya and Rudra Centre, 79p.
        “Rudraksha” (VIDEO) by Narain Bhatia
        “Rudraksha” by David W. Lee, the Taj Magazine, 23(2):56-60, 1994
        “Rudraksha” by Dr. Vanamala Parthasarathy, Feb / Mar 1993, (Mr. Vanamala is a Reader in ancient Indian history and culture of the Anathacharya Indological Research Institute, Bombay)
        “Rudraksha” by Narain Bhatia, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, 41 p.: col. ill.; 23 x 29
        “Scientific appraisal of rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus): chemical and pharmacological studies” – Pandey, V. B. and S. K. Bhattacharya (1985), JREIM 4, 1/2, 47-50. (on rudraksa, Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn. ) K. Schum. = E. ganitrus Roxb.)
        “Significance of Rudraksha” (in Nepali language) – by Pujya Gurudev Shreesadhak Satyam (Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, Sanad Kumar Adhikari)
        “Symbols of Art, Religion and Philosophy” by Dr. Padma Sudhi, Chapter 7
        “Talk on: Wearing Rudraksha” – by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, (devotee asks if it is alright for him to wear rudraksha, the uniquely beautiful seed which is sacred to Siva. Gurudeva says it is fine to wear rudraksha, even for children. He also tells a little of the recent findings in our own rudraksha forest of some rare varieties of the seeds. Date Given: July 18, 2000, Duration: 1 min., 09 seconds)
        “The Healing Power of Rudraksha” (CD) by H. H. Swami Chinmayananda, Chinmaya Mission
        “The Science of God Satya Sagar: the natural symbols of god on ekmukh rudraksh seeds god”s own book in nature” by Shreesh, 2001
        “The Voice of My Master” by ?, 60 pages, (Articles in English and Tamil, An interesting collection of articles on theory of Karma, Maya and role of mind makes it a compulsory reading. Some of the other informative articles include Flowers for Pooja – their qualities and significance, Efficacies of performing such a Pooja, Significance of Vibhuti and how it can be prepared, how Rudraksha gets formed, efficacies of Rudraksha with various faces and worship of Tulasi plant.)
        “Ultrastructural basis and function of iridescend blue colour of fruits in Elaeocarpus” by David W. Lee, Nature, Vol. 349, No.6306, pp. 260-262, 17th January 1991

        • Satish Chandra

          Dear enlightened one, why don’t you list each benefit of Rudraksha and cite the relevant scientific literature for each of them? Dumping a big list of references doesn’t help at all.

          And please cite only scientific literature and not pseudoscience like the Japanese research on water.

          • Dude you can’t pull people away from pseudo-science. They believe it’s true and they won’t change. I just lost my girlfriend because of such discussions ;) And now I’m feeling free

  • i think that who does not belive they dont have mind.

    • Sudhir sir that was the worst form of argument I’ve ever seen. No explanation. You didn’t specify what you didn’t like. You just wrote a part of emotion you felt. Weird.

  • Gravity existed before newton ‘discovered’ it. everything exists and it is human nature to question until finally discovered. nothing is invention. Likewise, maybe our present science is a bit slow in discovering the ‘science’ behind what is mentioned about in the write-up. to make ridicule of rudraksham is perhaps not the right approach to discovery of the science behind it, or its effects-could b magical-, rather, one needs curiosity to learn more. Time and space are teachers. soon mankind will learn in this or the next. Prayers.

    • I’ve followed all the advice I could on using Rudraksha, keeping myself pavitra for five years. And in the end, I got nothing. All what they say was fake.

      I wanted to explore the magical properties of these elements. I knew when I’ll grow up, maybe I’ll contribute to science as well as our old traditions but alas, I was blind. I wasted so precious years following someone’s advice who himself wasn’t well versed in science, while a famous sage in my area.

      Rather than believing the sages or the gurus or the so-called New-age-scientists, try these out for yourself, and you will realize they don’t actually work…

  • Let the self proclaimed Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev wear the Vibhooti first. He never adorn any vibhooti or rudraksha but teaches others about their importance.

    • Nandi, even though am not fully aware of this teacher, ur point of view is wrong here. A father insistin his son to go to school regularly doesnt literaly mean that the father also needs to go to school at this stage, since bcos he had alrdy finishd his schoolin ..

      • Here, I have mentioned about a Guru and not a father or dad as you mentioned. A guru should be an example to his disciples. That’s enough for you, I think, to understand.

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