Rudraksha is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree whose seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in Hinduism. The seeds are known as rudraksha, or rudraksh, Sanskrit: rudr?k?a (“Rudra’s eyes”). Rudraksha may be produced by several species ofElaeocarpus, however E. ganitrus is the principal species used in the making of organic jewellery or mala. The word Rudraksha has its etymological beginnings in the two Sanskrit words “Rudra” and “Aksha” meaning Lord Shiva and teardrops respectively. According to “Shiva Purana”, Lord Shiva once went into deep meditation for the well being of all living creatures. When he woke up, he opened his eyes and tear drops fell on the Earth. These tear drops took the form of seeds that later on became the Rudraksha tree.Rudraksha therefore means ‘The Tear of Lord Shiva’. The Dry Seed-Capsules from the Rudraksha tree form the rudraksha beads, which are being used as a rosary and are also worn as a chain. According to methological epic “Shiv Purana”, Rudraksha was the favorite tree of Lord Shiva and it grew in Gauda land (present day Gangetic plains to foothills of Himalayas). Lord Shiva is always portrayed wearing rosaries of Rudraksha beads on his head, arms and hands. With this came the religious and spiritual significance of Rudraksha. It is believed that the seed of Rudraksha contains the secrets of the entire evolution of the cosmos within it. The sages and yogis of the Himalayas, who live according to the Eternal natural law of Sanatana Dharma, have always been wearing Rudraksha for centuries for a fearless life on their path to spiritual Enlightenment and Liberation. Devotees dedicated to Lord Shiva always wear Rudraksha as rosaries which are used in meditation; it helps to maintain good health, to gain self-empowerment and a fearless life. Rudraksha are noted for their divine protection and are worn on the body singly or as chains (Mala). The english name of the Eliocarpus is Utrasum Bead Tree or Woodenbegar.
The Rudraksha tree inhabits areas starting from Manila, Philippines and passing through Myanmar to entire North-East India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. However, in present era, the Rudraksha tree is localized only in Eastern Nepal due to suitable climatic conditions. The Tree of Rudraksha is about 50-200 feet high. It may be 14.60 meters to 29.20 meters tall depending on the area and the climate. The diameter of trunk is upto 1.22 meter.