Chapter III(Second Part)
A s stated in the last chapter it would be good to take a look at people today who are a modern example of ancient Shaivism and how the Holy Rudraksha is treated in their Spiritual Teachings.
Although Veera Shaivism is one of the older sects of this belief system along with Shaiva Siddhaanta, Shivaadvaita and Kashmir Shaivism it is one of the most dynamic of modern day Shaivite Schools.
Religious homeland for Veera Shaivism is in Karnataka South Central India. About 40 million people live in this state and about one fourth or 10 million people are practicing this Faith there. There is hardly a village in the state without a jangama (wandering monk) or matha (monastery).
The earliest reference to Veera Shaivism is found in the ShivaAgamas and the adherents of this faith trace their beginnings back to the rishis of ancient times. It was made popular by the remarkable South Indian Brahmin Srhi Basavanna (1105 – 1167).
Veera \”heroic\” Shaivites are also known as Lingayats, \”bearers of the Linga\” and Sivasharanas. All members are to constantly wear a Linga encased in a pendant around the neck. Veera Shaivite belief is that wearing the linga on the body unites the soul with the Omnipresence.
The Veera Shaivites goal in life is accomplished when soul and God are fused in a final state of perpetual Lord Shiva Consciousness by way of Shatsthala that is a progressive 6-stage path of devotion and surrender.
Â· Bhakta sthala (devotion)
Â· Mahesha sthala (selfless service)
Â· Prasaadhi sthala (earnestly seeking Sivas grace)
Â· Praana Linga sthala (experience all as Shiva)
Â· Sharana sthala (ego less refuge in Shiva)
Â· Aikya sthala (oneness with Shiva)
Attainment of this goal depends on the successful practices of panchachara (five codes of conduct) and AshtaAvarana (eight shields or protections) to protect the body as the abode of Shiva.
Panchachara The Five Codes of Conduct
Â· Lingachara (daily worship of the ShivaLinga)
Â· Sadachara (attention to vocation and duty)
Â· Sivachara (acknowledging Siva as the one God and maintaining equality among all members of the community regardless of caste, education or sex)
Â· Bhrityachara (humility towards all creatures)
Â· Ganachara (defense of the community and its tenets Ashta Aavarana
Ashta Aavarana The Eight Protections or aids
Â· Guru (obedience to a teacher)
Â· Linga (worship of the Divine Self)
Â· Jangama (reverence for a person who moves from place to place)
Â· Paadodaka (sipping the water in which the feet of a guru or jangama have been ceremoniously washed
Â· Prasaada (offering food to a guru, jangama or linga and then partaking sacra mentally of what is left over)
Â· Vibhuti or Bhasma (smearing of the sacred ash)
Â· Rudraksha (wearing of the sacred rosary beads)
Â· Mantra (chanting the five syllable formula Namah Shivaya)
Today Veera Shaivism is a vibrant compassionate faith that has been credited with championing the cause of the down trodden and rebelling against a powerful brahminical system which promoted social inequality through a caste system that branded a whole class of people as polluted.
They teach a monistic theistic doctrine named Shakti Vishishtadvaita that rejects duality of God and Soul, multiplicity of Gods, caste hierarchy, animal sacrifice and karmic bondage.
One of the things I have found remarkable about Veera Shaivism is that deeply imbedded in their Eight Protections that are linked to their Five Codes of Conduct to protect the body as the abode of Lord Shiva, there is the wearing of the Holy Rudraksa.
I t is an easy matter to recognize authentic Rudraksha by its facets or faces or mukhis. Here the descriptive words describing the different Mukhis seem to be interchangeable and are interpreted to mean the deep lines that are seen from the upper part to the lower part of the Rudraksha and to include the surface areas between the lines.
Five Mukhi Kaalagni Rudraksha that pacifies planet Jupiter and is seen as the Guru Rudraksha Bead or 5-mukhi rudraksha has 5 lines and has total of 5 faces that are between the 5 lines. There is a seed that rests inside the face or surface area found between each of the lines. There are 5 seeds in a 5 Mukhi Rudraksha that would potentially grow 5 Rudraksha Trees.
Authentic Rudraksha can easily be recognized by looking at these deep lines or Mukhis and also by observing the exterior surface areas between the lines as the different Mukhi Beads have a distinctly different growth pattern of the thorny surface protrusions. Sometimes in the authentication process it is necessary to place the Rudraksha Beads under a microscope or look at them with a magnifying glass as there are certain artisans who make higher Mukhi Beads out of the lower Mukhi Beads meaning they will add lines to sell the Bead for higher price.
Opposite to this sometimes there are artisans who will fill in the lines of a Nepal Round 3 Mukhi Bead with glue and other material to make it a rare Round One Mukhi Nepal Rudraksha. If the glue is a natural made product then placing the bead in water that has been boiled and removed from stove will melt the glue and other material out of the lines. If more modern glue is used then chemicals have to be applied to melt the glue and remove the material in the lines.
Rudraksha have a number of basic shapes and sizes to include round 5 Mukhi Nepal Rudraksha and more Oblong 11 Mukhi Nepal Rudraksha. The Indian 2 Mukhi and 3 Mukhi Beads are oval shaped and a most unique Rudraksha Bead due to the excess of exterior surface area that lends itself to many different design patterns. All the exterior surface areas of the Nepal and Indian Rudraksha seem to look like the exterior surface of the human brain.
The smallest and most common are usually from Indonesia strung in Japa Malas and are the size of a peppercorn or gram up to about 10mm to 12 mm. Rudraksha then range in size from the smaller 4mm Indonesian Beads to the Giant Collector Nepal Beads of 25mm to 30mm.
In recent years the Indonesian Marketplace has made the smaller Indonesian Rudraksha into Japa Malas commonly available world wide and misinformation has been spread to the world that the smaller the bead the more powerful it is. This is a marketing attempt by a group of people who are telling people opposite of what is found in the Shiva Purana or any of the other Holy Books we have read.
In Shiva Purana VidyeshvaraSamhitaa Chapter 25 there is the most accurate information:
Parts 9 and 10
Rudraksha grown in Gauda Land became great favorites of Shiva. They were grown in Mathuraa, Lankaa, Ayodhayaa, Malaya, Sahya Mountain, Kaashi and other places. They are competent to break asunder the clustered sins unbearable to the others as the sacred texts have declared.
SEE THE COMMENT FOR THE CONTINUATION(VEDETI CONTINUAREA IN COMENTARIU )